Marjorie Whitcomb Sallie, class of 1927

Marjorie Whitcomb Sallie, class of 1927

Marjorie Whitcomb Sallie, a native of Foxborough, Massachusetts, earned her A.B. in 1927 and became the first woman to be accepted into the Brown University Medical School. The Great Depression prevented her attending, however, and Marjorie entered the teaching field, receiving her M.A.T. from Smith College in 1938. She worked as a teacher and headmistress in Massachusetts, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and Michigan. She received many awards for her community service, and after retiring, continued to volunteer in public schools in Detroit.

In Part 1 of this interview, Marjorie Whitcomb Sallie explains why she decided to attend Pembroke College. She says that Dean Margaret Shove Morriss was the most influential faculty member on campus and she shares some memories of their interactions. Sallie goes on to describe how she decided to concentrate in biology and also details the commute she had to make from Foxboro, Massachusetts to Providence.

Sallie mentions her post-graduation teaching career, specifically discussing her twelve year tenure at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. She briefly discusses the importance of religion in her life and shares her interest in women’s history, providing many details of women’s history in Michigan. Part 1 concludes with Sallie beginning a history of Sojourner Truth.

In Part 2, Sallie continues her history of Sojourner Truth and then notes the classes she has taught on women who have influenced history. She returns to a memory from Pembroke when a black male classmate did not walk her to the train station because he feared what people would say if they saw them together. She also explains her efforts to include Jewish boarding students at Ashley Hall. Sallie concludes the interview by illustrating her love for teaching and mentioning some of her current volunteer opportunities.

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Audio
Part 1
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Audio
Part 2
Recorded on Jun 11, 1986

At Marjorie Whitcomb Sallie's home in Birmingham, Michigan

Interviewed by A. JoAnn Roth