Interviews by Topic: Physical Education

In part 1 of this interview, Alison discusses her childhood, her decision to attend Pembroke, and the Pembroke experience. In part 2 she discusses hazing at Pembroke, her summers while at college, working in New York City, her original interest in the State Department, and her time in Ghana. In part 3, Alison talks about her time in the Belgian Congo. In part 4, she discusses her deployment to British Guyana, gender discrimination, and her decision to volunteer for Vietnam. In part 5, she talks about her opposition to some of the tactics used in Vietnam.

In this interview conducted in 2012, Theresa Elizabeth Gagnon Mellone ’39, discusses her auspicious start at Pembroke College at the age of fifteen. She remembers being interviewed by Dean of Admissions Eva Mooar and being denied Spanish classes by Dean Margaret Shove Morriss because they were full of men. She also recalls the character of President Henry Wriston. Mellone shares her favorite memories of attending proms, passing the swimming test, and participating in field hockey, bowling, and basketball under the supervision of the Director of Physical Education Bessie Rudd.

In this interview conducted in 2012, Theresa Elizabeth Gagnon ’39, discusses her auspicious start at Pembroke College at the age of fifteen. She remembers being interviewed by Dean of Admissions Eva Mooar and being denied Spanish classes by Dean Margaret Shove Morriss because they were full of men. She also recalls the character of President Henry Wriston. Gagnon shares her favorite memories of attending proms, passing the swimming test, and participating in field hockey, bowling, and basketball under the supervision of the Director of Physical Education Bessie Rudd.

Alison Palmer, class of 1953

In part 1 of this interview, Alison Palmer discusses her childhood, her decision to attend Pembroke College, and the Pembroke experience.

In part 2 she discusses hazing at Pembroke, her summers while at college, working in New York City, her original interest in the State Department, and her time in Ghana.

In part 3, Palmer talks about her time in the Belgian Congo.

In part 4, she discusses her deployment to British Guyana, gender discrimination, and her decision to volunteer for Vietnam.

Arlene Elizabeth Gorton, class of 1952

This interview summarizes the career of Arlene Gorton with Pembroke College and Brown University’s Athletics Departments. Gorton graduated from Pembroke College in the class of 1952, and then served as Pembroke College Director of Physical Education and Athletics, 1961–1971, and finally as the Brown University Assistant Athletic Director from 1971–1998.

Beatrice Wattman Miller, class of 1935

Beatrice "Bea" Wattman was the daughter of a jeweler who immigrated from Moldavia in 1895  at age 18, and a mother who came from Austria as a young child. Raised in Providence along with two younger brothers, she attended Hope High School, where her classes in the "Classical" curriculum track were taught by several Brown alumnae. This interview touches on many subjects relating to her family, education, and work. 

Beverly Anne Calderwood, class of 1952

Beverly Anne Calderwood begins this interview by explaining her parents’ self-made careers—her father’s opening of an iron foundry and her mother’s self-education. Calderwood describes her two-year experience as a Pembroke College city girl– a female day student who attended Pembroke but did not live on campus, Pembroke’s regulations and “gracious living” practices, and organizing a dormitory for commuting students.

Carol Ann Markovitz, class of 1962

In this interview, Carol Ann Markovitz begins by describing her involvement at Pembroke outside the classroom, at Brown Youth Guidance—an outreach organization, at the Pendleton-Bradley Hospital, and at the Pembroke College school newspaper, the Pembroke Record. She then tells of her dissatisfaction with the social life on campus, her very close group of friends and their importance to her, the norms of dating, and her decision to study abroad junior year at the Sorbonne, as one of only three women to go abroad.

Charlene Marion Ingraham, class of 1959

In Part 1 of this interview, Charlene Marion Ingraham begins by sharing some family background information, noting that her parents were high school graduates and that she was expected to go to college. She remembers choosing to attend Pembroke College because of its excellent reputation, being a commuter student, and often gathering in West House.

Clara Elizabeth Goodale, class of 1939

Clara Elizabeth Goodale ‘39 is the niece of Nettie Goodale Murdock who was a member of Pembroke College’s first class in 1895. This interview captures the memories Murdock shared with her niece of her time at Pembroke.

Doris Madeline Hopkins, class of 1928

In Part 1 of this interview, Doris Madeline Hopkins begins by discussing her early education and family life in Rhode Island. She talks about the expectations for “nice girls” at Pembroke College in the 1920s, about the curriculum, 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. Hopkins talks about reading for classes and getting books from the public library when they were unavailable elsewhere. She also mentions her friendship with Alice Elizabeth O'Connor.

Dorothy Allen Hill, class of 1930

In this interview, Dorothy Allen Hill starts by discussing her aunt, Mary Hill, who graduated from Pembroke College in 1904, and her father’s early insistence that she attend Pembroke. She recalls mandatory chapel and physical education, making friends, and smoking cigarettes on campus. She also remembers mentorship by senior class members, teas, and working part-time at a local department store.

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.

Edna Frances Graham, class of 1950

In Part 1 of this interview, Edna Frances graham discusses her family background and then elaborated on preparing for Pembroke at Classical High School, attending classes with "mature" veterans who had just returned from WWII, her dating experiences, and traveling with the Glee Club. She speaks briefly about her work as a teacher and what she would change in hindsight. She says the worst experience in college was the death of her father, while the best thing about college was the social life and attending dances.

Eleanor Mary Addison, class of 1938

In this interview, Eleanor Mary Addison begins by considering the difficulties of being a commuter student, not being able to build a community on campus, and the financial strain of living in a dormitory. She recalls participating in choir, correcting math papers, and tutoring, all for money, in order to continue studying at Pembroke College through the Great Depression, and she explains that this was not unusual at the time.

Elizabeth Anne Gibbons, class of 1952

Elizabeth Anne Gibbons begins Part 1 of her interview by noting that she is a fourth generation rancher’s daughter with a grandmother and two great aunts who held masters degrees. She explains the difficulty she had assimilating to Pembroke College after growing up in Texas and says that Dean Nancy Duke Lewis was her best friend all through college.

Elizabeth Susan Weatherhead, class of 1942

Elizabeth Susan Weatherhead begins her interview with a brief family background, noting that her father attended a boy’s school in Barbados while her mother attended a girl’s school in Canada. She explains that having grown up in Barrington, Rhode Island, she was familiar with Pembroke College and was given the same opportunities as her five brothers.

Enid Wilson, class of 1943

In this interview, Enid Wilson begins by describing her family background, her father’s professorships at Massachusetts School of Technology and Harvard University, and her childhood in Brookline, Massachusetts. She explains why she chose to attend Pembroke College and shares pieces of her interview process with Dean Margaret Shove Morriss. She recalls the buildings that were on the Pembroke campus, noting that women almost never went to the Brown campus, and mentions the women’s dress code.

Gloria E. Del Papa, class of 1946

In Part 1 of this interview, Gloria E. Del Papa 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 College.  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.

Helena Patricia Hogan, class of 1930

Helena Patricia Hogan was born in Ireland and was a student in 1928 when the Women’s College in Brown University became known as Pembroke College. She worked her way through school as a commuting student, or “city girl,” who came to campus every day on the trolley. In her interview, Hogan describes buildings on the Pembroke campus; her choice to major in Psychology; physical education; people she knew at Pembroke, and elements of her family history.

Hilda Antoinette Calabro, class of 1945

In this interview, Hilda Antoinette Calabro begins by sharing some family background and explaining her reasons for attending Pembroke College. She recalls being supported by her family and having the freedom to choose what she wanted to do with her college education. She describes the difficult of being a city girl – a female day student who attended Pembroke but did not live on campus, particularly during World War II.

Ingrid Ellen Winther, class of 1964

In this interview, Ingrid Ellen Winther begins by discussing her childhood and early education. She reflects on her memories of the first day at Pembroke College, her active social life, and her academics, pausing to note the lack of female role models at Pembroke. She felt that women were being educated to be good mothers and good wives, and while women felt that they could work and get a decent job, they were ultimately going to be married and be homemakers.

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.

Lillian S. Berberian, class of 1957

This interview concentrates on Lillian S. Berberian's family life and her experiences as a city girl – a female day student who attended Pembroke College but did not live on campus, and she reminisces about life-long friendships with other city girls. 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.” 

Lucile K. Wawzonek, class of 1972

In Part 1 of this interview, Lucile K. Wawzonek 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.

Marcella F. Fagan, class of 1944

In Part 1 of this interview, Marcella F. Fagan recounts her acceptance to Pembroke College in 1940 and her experience as a “day hop” or “city girl.” She describes the effects of World War II, including rations on food and gas, a social life that included few men, the Pratt & Whitney aircraft company’s attempts to recruit student workers, and the activities of the Sewing Club. Fagan relates stories about dating practices at Brown, juggling her studies with paid work, the four-year physical education requirement under professor Bessie Rudd, and posture pictures.

Margaret Mary Porter, class of 1939

Margaret "Peg" Mary Porter begins Part 1 of her 1988 interview discussing her family background and her motivation for both going to college and choosing Pembroke College. She reflects on what is was like to attend college during the Depression years, Franklin Delano Roosevelt becoming President of the United States, and the beginnings of WWII. She considers her freshman year, required courses, and her classes, telling vivid stories of professors. Porter speaks on the then archaic social and academic rules for Pembroke students, and her extracurricular activities on campus.

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.

Mary Bernadette Banigan, class of 1931

Mary Bernadette Banigan begins her interview by discussing her family background, her experience at Classical High School, and her reasons for attending Pembroke College. Throughout Part 1, she describes her favorite professors, and postgraduate options for an English major at Pembroke. She ends the section by explaining her time at Chapel and her extracurricular interests, particularly her intense involvement with Varsity Debating.

Miriam Dale Pichey, class of 1972

Miriam Dale Pichey’s interview is an energetic insight into the politics of student life at Brown University 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 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.

Rosemary Pierrel, class of 1953

In this interview, 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.

Ruth Lilian Wade, class of 1933

In this interview, Ruth Lilian Wade begins by sharing her biographical and family background. She talks about her mother who was a supporter of female suffrage and determined that her daughter should attend Pembroke College. In Part 1, Wade also describes her experience at as a "city girl" from Central Falls and the attitudes of her classmates. She discusses the limited job opportunities for women during the Great Depression and taking courses at the Rhode Island College of Education.

Susan A. Semonoff, class of 1968

In this interview, Susan A. Semonoff begins by talking about her family, her choice to attend Pembroke College, and the challenge of the academics once she arrived. She discusses her various classes and the tumultuous atmosphere at Brown/Pembroke in the sixties (The Vietnam War, the changing attitude towards women, and what inspired her to become president of the Student Government Association). Semonoff also discusses at length the social life on campus.

Theresa Elizabeth Gagnon, class of 1939 - First Interview

Theresa Elizabeth Gagnon begins Part 1 of this interview by discussing her early experiences at Pembroke, including freshman orientation week and the embarrasing experience of taking posture photographs. She also talks about the academic curriculum at Pembroke, her passion for languages, and the strict physical education requirement. 

In Part 2, she talks about the interactions between men and women, dress codes and rules on campus, dorm girls vs. city girls, her passion for teaching, and the positive female influences found in college.

Theresa Elizabeth Gagnon, class of 1939 - Second Interview

In this interview conducted in 2012, Theresa Elizabeth Gagnon ’39, discusses her auspicious start at Pembroke College at the age of fifteen. She remembers being interviewed by Dean of Admissions Eva Mooar and being denied Spanish classes by Dean Margaret Shove Morriss because they were full of men. She also recalls the character of President Henry Wriston. Gagnon shares her favorite memories of attending proms, passing the swimming test, and participating in field hockey, bowling, and basketball under the supervision of the Director of Physical Education Bessie Rudd.