Interviews by Topic: Religion

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.

50th Reunion, class of 1958

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1958, highlights the experiences of Barbara Alice Fontaine, Maraya McCully Goff, Jane Marie Loveless, Carol May Jadick, Rayanne Lucille Walter, Beverly C. Hart, Martha Joukowsky, and Joyce P. Foster, at their 50th reunion.

50th Reunion, class of 1959

This interview with the Pembroke College class of 1959 documents the undergraduate experiences of Katherine Robinson Hampstead, Caryl-Ann Miller, Jacqueline Jones, Diane Eileen Scola, Elizabeth Davidson Taft, Nina Wiita Krooss, and Laura T. Fishman, at their 50th reunion.

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.

Carol R. Dannenberg, class of 1966

In this interview, Carol R. Dannenberg begins by explaining her decision to attend Pembroke College. She discusses dating life, and student/professor relationships, as well as her involvement with student government, tension over curfews, the lack of role models on campus, and being involved in the Peace Corps during summer break.

Cecile Lena Kantrowitz, class of 1930

Cecile Lena Kantrowitz Israel begins this interview by explaining her Russian heritage and Jewish upbringing, her father's career as a Hebrew teacher and cantor, and tracing her roots to Baal Shem Tov. She discusses her education at Classical High School, her mother’s liberated beliefs, and why she chose to attend Pembroke College. Regarding her education at Pembroke, Israel describes her first days, joining Phi Beta Kappa, and being a student of languages.

Charlotte Ferguson, class of 1924

In this interview, Ferguson tells why she chose to attend Pembroke College over Wellesley College; how following a woman she admired, she wanted to become a Boston insurance agent; and that she never felt she needed to be liberated. She discusses the remnants of Victorianism; marching for suffrage before age ten, and always having had a female doctor. She recalls the rules and regulations of Pembroke; mandatory chapel and the speeches given by Deans Allinson and Morriss; and the Brown/Pembroke merger which she opposed.

Constance Worthington, class of 1968

In this interview, Constance Worthington begins by talking about her family’s involvement in Brown University, and her eventual decision to transfer to Pembroke College. 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.

Cynthia Lee Jenner, class of 1961

In Part 1 of this interview, Cynthia Lee Jenner 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 College, both of which sought (though failed) to prepare her for “gracious living.” She goes on to discuss deciding to attend Pembroke, her tour guide, living at 87 Prospect Street (now Machado House), and her advanced discussion-based coursework.

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.

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.

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.

Katharine Curtis Pierce, class of 1962

On the occasion of her 50th Reunion, Katharine Curtis Pierce looks back on the highlights of her time at Pembroke College. She begins by explaining her expectations for Pembroke and the “finishing school for Episcopal girls” that she found in its stead. Pierce talks about dorm life, her dissatisfaction with that atmosphere, her time pursuing social work, as well as her work resettling refugees in Vietnam at the National Council of Churches.

Maggie M. Wenig, class of 1978 - First Interview

In Part 1 of this interview, Maggie M. Wenig begins by sharing some family information including her parents’ careers as lawyers and her own high school education in Westport, Connecticut. Wenig explains that she knew she wanted to pursue Judaic Studies, despite her family’s lack of religiosity, and decided that Brown University was the best place to do that.

Maggie M. Wenig, class of 1978 - Second Interview

In her second interview, conducted in 2013, Maggie M. Wenig begins by discussing her admission to Brown University, where she was involved with the Brown University Women's Minyan. She discusses the rigor of the Religious Studies Department, the strength of its professors and their mentorship, specifically Professor Jacob Neusner, and her subsequent inspiration to go to the rabbinate at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Marjorie Whitcomb Sallie, class of 1927

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.

Martha Alice Ingham Dickie, class of 1926 - First Interview

Martha Alice Ingham Dickie begins her 1985 interview discussing both her religious and academic backgrounds, elaborating on her interests in social work and international politics. These religious and intellectual values converged in 1939, when Czechoslovakia was being threatened by the Nazis and the Unitarian Churches there had been occupied. As part of the American Relief for Czechoslovakia program, Dickie and her husband traveled to Czechoslovakia to help the refugees.

Martha Alice Ingham Dickie, class of 1926 - Second Interview

In the first part of her 1987 interview, Martha Alice Ingham Dickie discusses her family background, her life at Brown, and her social work during her time at Northwestern. Also in tracks 1 and 2, Dickie reflects on meeting her husband, Waitstill Sharp, and starting a family and ministry together while taking classes at Radcliffe at Harvard.

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.

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.

Meryl Smith, class of 1966

In this interview, Meryl Smith remembers life as an Orthodox Jewish Pembroker. She recounts how, even before she attended Pembroke, her mother would welcome to dinner any Pembroke or Brown students who were trying to keep kosher. She fondly remembers the friendships formed around playing bridge and smoking cigarettes, and participating in Question Club, Answer Club, and acting as Class Marshal.

Rita R. Schorr, class of 1953

Rita R. Schorr begins this interview by recounting her childhood in Poland, the outbreak of World War II, and her and her family’s placement in Auschwitz. She explains the trauma of this experience, as well as her determination to survive.  Schorr transitions to discuss her education in Munich after she was liberated, and her later move to the United States. She describes the gratitude she feels toward the Pembrokers who fundraised on her behalf, as well as the support she received from friends, professors, and members of the Brown University and Providence Jewish community.

Stavroula James Balomenos, class of 1953

In this interview, Stavroula James Balomenos begins by describing her childhood in Portland, Maine, 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.