Interviews by Topic: Fraternities

Emerson tells of her family’s tradition of attending Brown University, which included her mother, her maternal uncles and her maternal grandfather. Like her mother, Emerson became a science teacher, teaching biology, geometry, general science, chemistry and physics. She speaks of her early life: losing her father at age 11 while living in Louisiana, then moving with her mother to Rhode Island to be close to her mother’s family.

25th Reunion, class of 1985

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1985 summarizes the economically, socially, and racially diverse undergraduate experiences of Frances S. Lee, Suzanne Beth Goldberg, Margaret E. Rosen, Karen Smith, Allyson Tucker, Katherine Sabin Melchoir, and Jill Anne Hereford, at their 25th reunion.

First, the interviewees are asked why they chose to attend Brown and what their thoughts and experiences were concerning the “new curriculum” that abolished course requirements and allowed for a more open exploration of subjects.

25th Reunion, class of 1986

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1986 highlights the undergraduate experiences of Lisa M. Caputo, Linda M. Sanches, Marcy A. Sandler, Judith Anne Williams, Pamela B. Weiler, Janet L. Kroll, and Christa M. Champion, during their 25th reunion in May 2011.

Alita Dorothy Bosworth, class of 1914

In Part 1 of this interview, classmates Alita Dorothy Bosworth and Rowena Albro Sherman discuss how they came to attend Brown University; restrictions and expectations of behavior; and traditions of the Women's College, including school songs, class colors, sophomore masque and the class mascot. They then discuss fraternities and their abolition by Dean King; the cafeteria on the women's campus; physical education instructors Miss Bates and Miss Payne; their impressions of Dean King, and their social life with men and other class members.

Anita L. Schell, class of 1979

In this interview, Anita L. Schell begins by discussing her family and the support she had from her parents to attend college. She then talks about her initial attraction to Brown University and her fond memories of the choir, which she participated in for all four years, and her group trip to India. Schell then discusses dormitory life and her various experiences at Brown both inside and outside the classroom, highlighting her involvement with St. Stephen’s Church, and religion on campus.

Constance Andrews, class of 1948

Constance Andrews begins her interview by describing her father’s Harvard Law education and her mother’s boarding school education. She explains that her father and brother both graduated from Brown University, and that her mother would keep her and her brother out of school to watch commencement in May. She remarks that it was assumed that she would be accepted to Pembroke College.

Dorothy Ann Haus, class of 1964

Dorothy Ann Haus begins this interview by talking about her life before Pembroke College, growing up as a “Pollyanna” in Brattleboro, Vermont. Haus discusses many different aspects of life as a Pembroker including the rules and regulations, the gym requirement, dorm life, dating, freshman orientation, formal dinners and demitasse, and playing varsity sports. Haus recalls celebrations such as Father-Daughter Weekend, May Day, and Campus Dance.

Gail Y. Mitchell, class of 1973

Gail Y. Mitchell begins Part 1 of this interview by discussing her sheltered upbringing in a very religious household, her desire to attend a school where she could feel more independent, and her decision to attend Brown University. Mitchell talks about working as a student assistant over the summer, and about living at Pembroke and in the dormitories there. 

Galia Siegel, class of 1989

In Part 1 of her interview, Galia Siegel speaks about her work with Project Birth – an advocacy, service, and educational program for pregnant and parenting teens in South Providence, and founding its corollary, Peer Sister, which matched women in Project Birth with women at Brown who would tutor them.

In Part 2, Siegel discusses her belief that the general atmosphere at Brown turned her into an activist. She then speaks of her family life, cultural expectations, and going off to college.

Harva Zelda Fisher, class of 1936

In this interview, Harva Zelda Fisher explains her reasons for attending Pembroke College, particularly citing geographic proximity to her home and small student population. She recalls Dean Margaret Shove Morriss, Physical Education Director Bessie Rudd, and Professor George Downing, but says one of her favorite professors was Israel Kapstein. She gives a brief educational and personal background of her parents and moves on to vaguely remembering some Pembroke traditions and more clearly remembering Sophomore Masque.

Helen Julia Thayer, class of 1922

Helen Julia Thayer grew up in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.  She remembers Pembroke as a place of "gracious living," including maids to clean the dorm rooms.  The main pastime was dancing in the living room of Miller Hall to Jazz records.  Rebellious activities included smoking in one's closet, sleeping out on the fire escapes, and sneaking out to the drug store after hours for treats.  Prominent visitors to the Brown campus were figures of importance in World War I, and Helen's interest in music lead her to attend performances as often as she could in downtown Provide

Joyce Loretta Richardson, class of 1963

Joyce Loretta Richardson begins her interview by discussing the experiences and people that led her to apply to and attend Pembroke College. She cites experiences such as going to boarding school, having a high achieving family, rejection from Radcliffe, and her fear of swimming. She contrasts her experience at boarding school with her arrival to Pembroke, discussing the stereotypical “Penny Pembrokers,” encountering racism for the first time, and being shocked into silence. She explains the extent to which gender and racial issues were not identified and the suppression she felt.

Marguerite Appleton, class of 1914

In this interview, Marguerite Appleton discusses her father, John Howard Appleton, a Brown chemistry professor; her reasons for choosing Brown; the abolition of the sorority system by Dean Lida Shaw King and the role of the Student Government Association in it.  Her sisters’ sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta; athletics including bowling; traditions such as Sophomore Masque, Ivy Day, and Commencement; other social activities, including dances and Komian plays; Her life after college includes teaching at the Lincoln School and Wheaton College; returning to Brown for a Ph.D.

Martha Gardner, class of 1988

In Part 1 of this interview, Martha Gardner discusses the women's march and speakout held in the spring of 1985. She describes fraternity activities and campus conditions that prompted female students to plan a day of events that addressed sexual violence, gender discrimination, and homophobia at Brown.  

In Part 2, Gardner  focuses on the aftermath of the 1985 women's march and speakout. She discusses her involvement with the Sarah Doyle Women's Center, gay and lesbian outreach and activism on campus, and her work as a Woman's Peer Counselor.  

Mary Carpenter Emerson, class of 1927

In this interview, Mary Carpenter Emerson tells of her family’s tradition of attending Brown University, which included her mother, her maternal uncles and her maternal grandfather. Like her mother, Emerson became a science teacher, teaching biology, geometry, general science, chemistry and physics. She speaks of her early life: losing her father at age 11 while living in Louisiana, then moving with her mother to Rhode Island to be close to her mother’s family.

Rose Roberta Traurig, class of 1928

In Part 1 of this interview, Rose Roberta Traurig describes her family, from Waterbury, Connecticut, and the high value they placed on education. At Pembroke College, Rose's first dorm was Angell House, and she talks about entertaining guests there on weekends. She mentions that while she and her family never distinguished between Jews and Christians, Jewish girls were never invited to the parties held by the men. There were no sororities, but Traurig had a tight group of friends including Joan Aschiem Biel and Eleanor Lenore Post.

Rowena Albro Sherman, class of 1914

In Part 1 of this interview, classmates Alita Dorothy Bosworth and Rowena Albro Sherman discuss how they came to attend Brown University; restrictions and expectations of behavior; and traditions of the Women's College, including school songs, class colors, sophomore masque and the class mascot. They then discuss fraternities and their abolition by Dean King; the cafeteria on the women's campus; physical education instructors Miss Bates and Miss Payne; their impressions of Dean King, and their social life with men and other class members.

Steven S. Krawiec, class of 1963

In this 1988 interview with his daughter, Rebecca Krawiec ‘90, Steven S. Krawiec contributes fascinating insights regarding both the social and academic relationships between Brown University men and Pembroke College women in the early 1960s. Krawiec begins by providing a short biography of his parents’ educations and careers, and explains how he came to attend Brown. He goes on to describe his freshman year - including his first day at Brown, his roommate, courses he took, and his dormitory.