Interviews by Topic: Birth Control

Carol Rita Dannenberg, class of 1966

Carol Dannenberg Frenier states that she was the one in her family who had big aspirations. She discusses her decision to attend Pembroke; dating life; student/professor relationships; her involvement with student government; the tension over curfews and Dean Pierrel; the lack of role models on campus; being involved in the Peace Corps during summer break; working in DC after graduation, meeting her husband; working as a teacher in Brookline; getting her graduate degree and opening an advertising agency in Boston with her husband.

Charlotte Nell Cook, class of 1964

In Part 1 of this interview, Charlotte Cook Morse discusses her upbringing, how she came to Pembroke with the help of scholarship aid, and her general academic experience during her college years. She then recalls an anecdote about dating, describes the dynamics between male and female students, and touches on the near-total lack of black and other minority students. She thoroughly discusses the strict parietal laws that came about during the office of Dean Pierrel. In Part 2, she finishes the section on parietal laws and discusses birth control.

Constance Worthington, class of 1968

Connie begins by talking about her family’s involvement in Brown University, and her eventual decision to transfer to Brown. She then discusses her challenging time at Brown being a student, single mother, and a widow, and what it was like raising a son later diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Connie continues on talking about her involvement the Josiah Carberry Book Fund and the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. She also mentions her female role models at Brown during both her time as a student and professional in Providence.

Cynthia Lee Jenner, class of 1961

In Part I, Cynthia begins by describing her family background. She talks about the contemporary stigma against a middle class wife with a career—and the effect of this on her mother and herself. From this context, she attended an all-girls boarding school and Pembroke, both of which sought (though failed) to prepare her for “gracious living.” She goes on to discuss deciding on Pembroke; her tour guide; living at 87 Prospect Street (now Machado House); and her advanced, discussion-based coursework.

Doris Madeline Hopkins, class of 1928

Doris begins Part 1 by discussing her early education and family life in Rhode Island. Doris talks about the expectations for “nice girls” at Brown in the 1920s, and about the curriculum at Brown, and the classes she took. She talks about 1920s fashion, dancing and bootleg liquor, including clubs around the city where students could go to drink. Doris talks about reading for classes and getting books from the public library when they were unavailable elsewhere. She mentions her friendship with Alice Chmielewski.

Dorothy Ann Haus, class of 1964

Dorothy Haus Testa begins this extensive interview by talking about her life before Pembroke, growing up as a “Pollyanna” in Brattleboro, VT. Haus discusses many different aspects of life as a Pembroker—the rules and regulations; the gym requirement; dorm life; dating; freshman orientation; formal dinners and demitasse; dress codes; penalties for missing curfew; playing varsity sports; posture pictures; father-daughter weekends; May Day; Campus Dance; and the Pembroke/Brown merger.

Elissa Lynne Beron Arons, class of 1966

In Part 1 of this interview, Elissa Beron Arons describes her enthusiasm for college life, having entered Pembroke after her junior year of high school. She describes the social expectations of the time and how they began to change; her experience applying to medical schools as one of few female pre-med students; her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement; the creation of the Pembroke Pandas, the first college women's ice hockey team; and Posture Pictures.

Ferelene Nanette "Nan" Bailey, class of 1974

Nan Bailey begins by discussing her childhood and the benefits of living overseas during her childhood, her experience applying to Brown University and her expectations. The interview spends a large amount of time discussing the various and bountiful activist groups Bailey participated in, and more broadly, the social turmoil during the seventies (Vietnam War, birth control, etc.). Towards the end, she tells of her experiences after graduation, and how she was able to take her enthusiasm for the groups she was involved in on campus and carry them out into her career.

Lucile Kay Wawzonek, class of 1972

In part 1 of her interview, Lucile Wawzonek Thompson discusses changing attitudes towards formal gender divisions on campus during the Pembroke/Brown merger. She begins by reflecting on the regulations at Brown in the late 1960s, including the male caller system and curfews. She speaks on the housing lottery and the advent of coed dorms, which she feels led to a looser social structure, especially in terms of dating.

Miriam Dale "Mimi" Pichey, class of 1972

Miriam Dale Pichey’s interview is an energetic insight into the politics of student life at Brown in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She describes both the campus atmosphere of gendered social rules and struggling for equal representation after the Pembroke/Brown merger, and the broader political environment of student activism during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement. She begins her interview discussing her family background and reasons for coming to the East coast to attend Brown.

Rose Beatrice Miller Roitman, class of 1931

In this interview, Rose Miller Roitman discusses the reasons she attended college; her graduate studies and career in bacteriology; Deans Morriss and Mooar; Magel Wilder, her sole female professor at Brown; sex and dating; attending Pembroke as a "city girl"; life during the Depression; and her work with Planned Parenthood.

Rosemary Pierrel, class of 1953

Dr. Rosemary Pierrel Sorrentino describes her leadership as Dean of Pembroke from 1961 through 1972. Dr. Sorrentino, or Dean Pierrel as she was known to Pembrokers, reviews the rapidly changing societal norms, her perceptions of the demands upon Pembroke and upon her role as Dean, and the failure of leadership that led to the abrupt end of Pembroke College as an administrative unit within Brown University. She is quite candid about her opinions and her colleagues. She notes that shared values began to erode after 1966-67.

Susan Elizabeth Geary, class of 1967

Susan Geary begins her interview by discussing her early education in Scituate, Rhode Island and her matriculation to Pembroke, where she was a commuting student. She goes on to discuss in detail the varying elements of her time at Brown, specifically focusing on her academic performance and experiences, dorm life, social life, and social codes. She then outlines her career path, which included earning a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown and working in University Development. 

Sylvia Rosen, class of 1955

Sylvia Rosen Baumgarten says of her decision to attend college: “My generation of women was relatively mindless; we did what we were told.” This opening sets the stage for much of Sylvia’s interview, and her struggle against these gender expectations before the women’s movement. In Part 1, Sylvia reflects on her freshman year at Pembroke, the dormitories, dating, and meeting her husband. In Part 2 she expands on the “thrilling” academic atmosphere at Brown, as well as her experience as one of the few Jewish students at Brown.