Interviews by Topic: Sexism

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.

Speaking 61 years after graduating from Pembroke College, Mary Jane Mikuriya, class of 1956, shares an exceptionally rich account of her experience as an American student and woman of Japanese and Czechoslovakian descent in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

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.

50th Reunion, class of 1956

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1956, highlights the under graduate experiences of Gretchen Gross, Jane Elton Hamlett, Jennifer Davis Morgan, Marjorie Jane Jenckes, Geneva Carol Whitney, Margaret Ann Devoe, and Barbara Ann Perrino, 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.

50th Reunion, class of 1964

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1964 highlights the undergraduate experiences of Linda Sue Mason, Ann Newhouse Welsh, Susan Frances Sinykin, Susan Margaret Bloch, Berit Christina Spant, Susan Rosenfeld, Ingrid Ellen Winther, Mara Gailitis, and Rhoda Pearlman Nagin, at their 50th reunion.

50th Reunion, class of 1965

This interview with twenty members of the Pembroke College class of 1965 captures the political, social, and academic issues on campus as remembered by Nancy E. Kilpatrick, Pamela B. Edwards, Elinor B. Bachrach, Pamela Thompson, Nancy L. Buc, Kay Berthold, Anne Doswell, Molly Perkins, Jean C. Hay, Claudia T. Nash, Elizabeth A. Glass, Jessica Loring, Diana L. Newton, Virginia A. Newton, Nancy R. Rockwell, Marian H. Weaver, Sylvia A. Welch, Anne E. Rodems, Judith E. Woll, and Nancy H. Steinhaus, at their 50th reunion.

50th Reunion, class of 1966

This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1966 captures the undergraduate experiences of Kristie E. Miller, Ulle Viiroja, Carol R. Dannenberg, Phyllis A. Kollmer, Lisa S. Manfull, Beverly Heafitz, and Leah W. Sprague, at their 50th reunion.

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.

Ancelin M. Vogt, class of 1968

In this interview, Ancelin M. Vogt discusses her parents’ backgrounds as intellectuals and graduates of Harvard University and Radcliffe College. She notes that Radcliffe was her first-choice school but after being denied there it was a scholarship to Pembroke College that influenced her decision to attend. She explains the lack of support she felt from Pembroke administrators when her mother died during her sophomore year, and the general inequality she witnessed between services and activities offered to female versus male students.

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.

Arlene Elizabeth Gorton, class of 1952 - First Interview

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.

Beverly Irene Nanes, class of 1963

Beverly Irene Nanes begins Part 1 of her interview by sharing some general family background, her reasons for attending Pembroke College, and her first impressions of the campus. She explains that she had no preconceptions about what she wanted to do after graduation and that her economics concentration was enlightening.

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.

Charlotte Lowney, class of 1957

In this interview, Charlotte Lowney, looking back on a 40-year career with Pembroke College and Brown University, details her upward trajectory through the ranks of the institution’s administration, beginning with her position as the secretary to Brown President Henry Merrit Wriston. In 1962, she became the director of career placement at Brown, during both an exciting and tumultuous period on the Pembroke-Brown campus.

Charlotte Nell Cook, class of 1964

In Part 1 of this interview, Charlotte Nell Cook discusses her upbringing, her decision to attend Pembroke College 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 Rosemary Pierrel.

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.

Diane Eileen Scola, class of 1959

Diane Eileen Scola’s oral history is an example of autonomy and feminist conviction despite gender discrimination. She begins her interview discussing her Italian-American family background, applying to college, academics at Pembroke, and commuting to school.

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 Myrtle Kay, class of 1945

In this interview, Dorothy Myrtle Kay begins Part 1 by describing how she started her first job at her parents’ business while she was an undergraduate student at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She then recalls transferring to Pembroke College and the difficulty of working and taking courses in the new trimester program that was instituted because of World War II. Kay remembers taking courses with professors William Hastings, George Anderson, and Randy Stewart, and explains that she never went to the Brown University campus.

Edna Ruth MacDonald, class of 1919

In a joint interview, classmates Edna Ruth MacDonald and Ruth Dorothea Peterson speak on the academic atmosphere at Pembroke College and the heavy constraints placed on women’s conduct and careers in the early 1900s. They begin by discussing their decisions to attend Pembroke, describing the expectation of college education their families had for them. MacDonald imagines that perhaps their mothers regretted getting married early and not going to college, and wanted something different for them.

Esther Amelia Dick, class of 1934

Esther Amelia Dick begins this interview by speaking of her childhood in Reading, PA and struggling with Meniere's Syndrome. She recalls her reasons for attneing Pembroke College and discusses campus rules, requirements, clothing standards, alcohol and smoking restrictions, and access to the Brown campus. She gives her opinions of several professors and talks about being deeply affected by the Great Depression and, as a result, cooking all her meals in the science labs.

Ferelene Bailey, class of 1974

Ferelene "Nan" Bailey begins by discussing her childhood, the benefits of living overseas during her childhood, her experience applying to Brown University, and her expectations of her experience. She spends a significant amount of time discussing the various and bountiful activist groups she participated in, and more broadly, social turmoil during the seventies surrounding issues such as the Vietnam War and birth control.

Gwyneth V. Walker, class of 1968

This interview comes from a career forum for music students held at the Orwig Music Building with Gwyneth Walker in Providence, Rhode Island on December 5, 1997. Walker speaks primarily of her life in Vermont, her successful career as a composer, and the challenges of the art form, but does reflect occasionally on her impactful time spent at Pembroke College. She notes that she initially entered Pembroke with the intention of studying physics and following in her physicist father’s footsteps, but then quickly changed to pursue her love of music.

Helen Elizabeth Butts, class of 1928

In this interview, Helen Elizabeth Butts starts by discussing life at Pembroke College, the academic arena, Silver Bay (a Christian summer conference), higher-level science classes, post-graduate life, and the career/family dichotomy. She goes on to talk about her experience with Dean Margaret Shove Morriss, marriage ideals, and transition to computer usage. Butts finishes the interview by sharing her opinions on graduate school, housewives, and feminism.

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.

Jeanette Dora Black, class of 1930

In this interview, Jeannette Dora Black discusses her family, her education at Providence's Classical High School, and her reasons for attending Pebroke College. She remembers her requirements and classes at Pembroke, her feelings about coeducation, the Pembroke administration, and Dean Margaret Shove Morriss. Black recalls working at the John Hay Library and the effects of the stock market crash of 1929 and World War II on Pembroke.

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.

Judith Vivienne Korey, class of 1946

Judith Vivienne Korey begins Part 1 of her interview by describing her family background, her and her father’s negative attitude toward her mother’s advertising job, and Providence during her early years. She goes on to explain her reasons for deciding to attend Pembroke College and the career aspirations she went in with. Korey remembers receiving mixed messages about women’s roles in society but says she did not feel obligated to get married.

Lois Black, class of 1953

In Part 1 of this interview, Lois Black begins by explaining what it felt like to attend Pembroke College with a working class background. She describes her first experiences of Pembroke, including living in East House, and the differences between private and public high school students. Black goes on to disucss racism at Pembroke, the exclusion of women from the Brown Marching Band and Brown Sailing Association, and her participation in student movements for desegregation and reformation of gracious living regulations.

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.

Margery Chittenden Leonard, class of 1929

Margery Chittenden Leonard’s 1982 interview reflects her tireless passion for the Equal Rights Amendment. While she discusses her classes at Brown and her dormitories, the majority of her oral history is dedicated to discussing the fierce discrimination women faced because of their gender, and the necessity of the Equal Rights Amendment as the only way to reverse all of the gender discrimination encoded in the law.

Marjorie Alice Jones, class of 1954

Marjorie Alice Jones speaks as a member of the silent generation and considers the busy, active life she’s lead despite the fact that nobody expected anything from the women of her generation. She begins Part 1 of her interview by discussing her family background and reasons for attending Pembroke College. She describes her experience as a transfer student and speaks on professors and academics, considering the closed attitude towards women in academia.

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 Hill Swope, class of 1955

Mary Hill Swope begins her interview discussing her childhood and family background, especially her family’s emphasis on education. She explains her decision to transfer to Pembroke College from the Women’s College at the University of North Carolina for her junior and senior year of college, making her decision largely due to Brown’s art program. Swope also speaks on her mother’s expectation that she would marry, while she preferred to pursue academic and professional interests.

Mary Jane Mikuriya, class of 1956

Speaking 61 years after graduating from Pembroke College, Mary Jane Mikuriya, class of 1956, shares an exceptionally rich account of her experience as an American student and woman of Japanese and Austro-Hungarian descent in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

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.

Penelope Claire Hartland, class of 1940

Penelope Claire Hartland begins this interview by focusing on her education. She describes her academic achievements at Pembroke College, as well as the significance of being the only Pembroke student to concentrate in economics. She details her educational and social experiences at both Pembroke and Radcliffe, where she received her Ph.D. The interview then transitions to Hartland's career, which began with a teaching appointment in Brown's Department of Economics. She describes her interview with Brown University President Henry Wriston.

Romaine Ahlstrom, class of 1962

In Part 1 of this interview, Romaine Ahlstrom discusses the many moves her family made as child, her reasons for choosing  to attend Pembroke College, the difficulties living in the sexist culture of the 1950s, her personal challenges at Pembroke, and the academic curriculum.

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 Dorothea Peterson, class of 1919

In a joint interview, classmates Edna Ruth MacDonald and Ruth Dorothea Peterson speak on the academic atmosphere at Pembroke College and the heavy constraints placed on women’s conduct and careers in the early 1900s. They begin by discussing their decisions to attend Pembroke, describing the expectation of college education their families had for them. MacDonald imagines that perhaps their mothers regretted getting married early and not going to college, and wanted something different for them.

Sarah Elizabeth Minchin, class of 1913

In this interview, Sarah Elizabeth Minchin discusses the proliferation of theatre at Brown and in the greater Providence community. She tells us of the Talma Theatre, The Players Theatre, Henry Ames Barker, and elocution among other theatre-related endeavors.

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.

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.

Susan E. Graber, class of 1971

Susan E. Graber begins Part 1 her interview by sharing some family background information such as her mother’s college education and the expectation that her children would also attend college. She explains why she chose to attend Pembroke College and recalls some difficulties she faced as a woman pursuing science. Graber remembers her ambivalence about pursuing graduate school and the overall assumption that Pembroke graduates would go on to a career or graduate work.