Interviews by Topic: Minority Students

In Part 1, Elizabeth begins by talking about her high-achieving family. Educated at Harvard Dental School, her father was one of only two black dentists in Providence at that time. He was additionally active in the NAACP and a variety of community programs, pushing the same expectations he had for himself onto his daughter. Elizabeth discusses the inevitability of pursuing a PhD; her lack of choice in choosing Pembroke; and being a highly visible token among her classmates.

Anna Rena Hass, class of 1917

In the first part of the interview, Anna discusses early life on her family’s farm and the decision to attend Pembroke despite wanting to get married and become a nurse. Anna describes the courses she took in her two years at Pembroke and some of the formative people she met during that time. In the second part of the interview, Anna elucidates the Brown dress code and describes political events, life in Cuba, and her arrest. 

Bernicestine McLeod Bailey, class of 1968

This oral history features three members of the class of ‘68: Marcia Lloyd, an artist and professor of Painting at the Massachusetts College of Art; Bernicestine McLeod Bailey, an information management consultant; and Sandi Richards, a professor of African American Studies and Theatre at Northwestern University. Marcia Lloyd begins the interview discussing her work as an artist; her involvement with the Brown Corporation; her Philadelphia background; coming to Pembroke; and the school’s racial climate and the corresponding social life.

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.

Eleanor Mary Addison, class of 1938

Eleanor Addison describes her time as a "day hop" at Pembroke College during the Great Depression. She comments on the makeup of the student body; relations between male and female students; dress; athletics; lectures she attended; and other student activities. Her interview also includes her impressions of the Providence community and recollections about Brown’s program in Applied Mathematics, which brought scholars from Germany during World War II.

Elizabeth Jackson, class of 1945

In Part 1, Elizabeth begins by talking about her high-achieving family. Educated at Harvard Dental School, her father was one of only two black dentists in Providence at that time. He was additionally active in the NAACP and a variety of community programs, pushing the same expectations he had for himself onto his daughter. Elizabeth discusses the inevitability of pursuing a PhD; her lack of choice in choosing Pembroke; and being a highly visible token among her classmates.

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.

Gloria Elizabeth DelPapa, class of 1946

In Part 1, Gloria begins by describing her relationship to her father, an immigrant cement business owner, her role as a “typical Italian daughter,” and how her father insisted she go to Pembroke.  When discussing her life at Pembroke, she speaks about her academic record, the discovery of her passion for English, after an initial focus on biology, her dedication to her studies and the many student activities in which she was involved.  The people who influenced her include Dean Morriss and Dean Lewis, English Professors Kapstein and Hunt, and Miss Rudd, the gym teacher. 

Javette Damorra Pinkney, class of 1980

In this interview, Javette Pinkney Laremont begins by explaining the academic initiative and activist spirit that brought her to Brown. There, she fondly remembers a “feeling of community” and campus dating, in spite of instances of racism. She describes her involvement in a number of campus activities and social groups; spearheading the College Venture Program; why her Brown experience was unique; her work at the Black Heritage Society; the shared black experience and moral obligation to teach men to respect women.

Jeree Palmer Wade, class of 1983

Jeree Palmer Wade begins her interview by discussing her time in Providence, where she lived with her first husband.  She completed a Brown degree in Theatre Arts in two years through the Resumed Education Program (RUE).  Jeree explains how attending Brown impacted her life in theatre, particularly the production “Shades of Brown,” which led her back to the New York theatre scene.  Wade discusses various productions she has worked on in New York.

Karen Eulah McLaurin, class of 1973

In Part 1, Karen begins by discussing her decision to attend Brown, and her determination to succeed. Karen talks about a summer program she attended that was specifically for students who were deemed less likely to succeed at Brown. Karen discusses minority students at Brown and their importance to the community and the college, as well as her experiences as an African-American woman at Brown. Karen discusses the various faculty members who she knew as a student and then later again when she worked at Brown in Administration.

Katherine May Hazard, class of 1933

In Part 1, Katherine begins by discussing daily life at Pembroke. For her, this meant commuting to campus and becoming used to the regimented life at Pembroke. She explains some of the requirements, what it was like to date mathematicians and that there was no way to not be involved on such a small campus. While she had mostly male professors, she believes that they were unhappy with trekking up to the Pembroke campus. Outside of class, there were a variety of activities and, oftentimes, formal dances.

Lillian Shoushan Berberian Klanian, class of 1957

This interview concentrates on Lillian's family life and her experiences as a commuter student. She explains that her parents expected her to live at home while she attended Pembroke, and she describes her days on campus  as “an outsider.” She reminisces about life-long friendships with other city girls (they had celebrated their 30th reunion together shortly before this interview).

Marjorie Whitcomb Sallie, class of 1927

Marjorie Sallie recounts her experience as a student commuting from Foxboro, Massachusetts.  She describes  about her rigorous co-ed science courses,  her desire to become a doctor, and the guidance of Dean Morriss.

Penelope "Penny" Anne Baskerville, class of 1968

Penelope “Penny” Baskerville begins this interview by recounting her family life and early education in New Jersey. In Part 1, she discusses the experience of being a racial minority at Pembroke (Penny was one of six African-American women in her class) as well as the general novelty of the college social experience, stressing the strength of the friendships she developed. Penny recounts her extracurricular involvement, the founding of the Afro-American Society, and the unique nature of college in the 1960s.

Rita Angela Campbell, class of 1975

In Part 1 of this interview, Rita Campbell discusses her upbringing, how she came to attend Brown, and the racial dynamics she experienced as an African American student in overwhelmingly white educational environments. She then speaks about negative perceptions of interracial dating and about her academic pursuits at Brown.

Stavroula "Starr" Balomenos, class of 1953

Stavroula begins the interview describing her childhood in Portland, which consisted of “home, school, and church.” She tells of her father’s strong belief in the value of a good education—something he didn’t have the opportunity to receive—instilling the message with all his children that “education was the doorway to a good life.” He refused to give his daughters a dowry but rather chose to pay for their educations.