Interviews by Topic: Social Life

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.

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.

Anonymous, class of 1920

The narrator of this interview describes the Brown University campus; student activities; relations between male and female students and the women's and men's colleges; and Dean Lida Shaw King.

Alice Elizabeth O'Connor Chmielewski, class of 1928

Alice Chmielewski begins by discussing her life growing up in East Providence and assuming guardianship of her brothers and sisters after the early deaths of her parents. In Part 1, she also talks about changing careers to become a social worker, the state of public welfare services and her work for the Rhode Island Department of Children, her marriage and children, and earning a Master's degree later in life.

Ann Martha Chmielewski Anderson, class of 1959

The daughter of Alice O'Connor Chmielewski '28, Ann begins her own interview by relating childhood memories of accompanying her mother to Pembroke College reunions. She then describes her social and academic life as as a student herself, a "city girl" who later lived on campus.

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.

Beverly Anne Calderwood, class of 1952

Beverly begins the interview telling of her both her parents’ self-made careers—her father’s opening of an iron foundry and her mother’s self-education. A first-generation college student and only child, Beverly became valedictorian of her high school and then attended Pembroke. She describes her two-year experience as a City Girl, Pembroke’s regulations and “gracious living” practices, and organizing a dormitory for commuting students. Initially intending on majoring in math, she recounts her mid-college switch to English literature and the following satisfaction with her bold decision.

Beverly Irene Nanes, class of 1963

Beverly begins this interview with a discussion of her college selection process, gender expectations, roommates, distribution courses, curfew, Honor Council, and Convocation Committee. She goes on to discuss influential professors, married life, and the jobs she held in Boston. 

C. Elizabeth (Kenyon) Goodale, class of 1939

In the first part of this interview, Elizabeth (Kenyon) Goodale discusses her Aunt Nettie’s experience as a member of Pembroke’s first entering class in 1895. Elizabeth goes on to discuss her time at Brown living with her Aunt Nettie and Uncle John on Keene Street. She became the first woman alumna trustee of the Corporation in 1965, and both she and her aunt were Presidents of the Alumnae Association. She discusses Bessie Rudd and the “bubbler” installed in the athletic field behind Meehan Auditorium in her honor.

Carol Ann Markovitz, class of 1962

Carol initiates the interview describing her involvement at Pembroke outside the classroom, at Brown Youth Guidance—an outreach organization—at the Pendleton-Bradley Hospital, and at the Pembroke biweekly 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 girls to go abroad.

Carol Rita Dannenberg, class of 1966

Carol Dannenberg Frenier states that she was the one in her family who had big aspirations. She discusses her decision to attend Pembroke; dating life; student/professor relationships; her involvement with student government; the tension over curfews and Dean Pierrel; the lack of role models on campus; being involved in the Peace Corps during summer break; working in DC after graduation, meeting her husband; working as a teacher in Brookline; getting her graduate degree and opening an advertising agency in Boston with her husband.

Caroline Flanders, class of 1926

“Every girl should go to college,” Flanders recalls telling her parents as a sophomore in high school. Flanders reflects on her arrival at Pembroke, taking many sociology classes on Brown’s campus, and working as a babysitter to help pay tuition. She reflects on the newfound freedom and the individualistic attitude of the “Roaring Twenties.” She mentions the Charleston, Prohibition and drinking hot liquor from a flask.

Cecile Lena Kantrowitz, class of 1930

Cecile begins the 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 Pembroke. Regarding her education at Pembroke, Cecile describes her first days; joining Phi Beta Kappa; being a student of languages. She discusses founding the Debating Club and going against the grain by not doing homework and by rejecting certain dress codes.

Charlene Marion (Underhill) Ingraham, class of 1959

“If you graduate from Pembroke, you can do anything you want to do.” These were the words of Dean Lewis that Charlene Ingraham warmly recalls during her interview. This is demonstrated as Ingraham expands on her career after Pembroke, becoming a teacher and active alumna of Brown University. Throughout the interview, Ingraham focuses on the cultural aspects of being a Pembroke student: being a "city girl;" staying overnight in West House, lectures at Chapel, hair and clothing fads of the late 50s, posture pictures, and the relationship between Brown and Pembroke students.

Clarice d'Almeida Pitta, class of 1933

Clarice Pitta Chapman begins the interview by discussing her family background and the circumstances that led her to attend Pembroke College. In Part 1, she also addresses the effects of Great Depression on life at Brown, her ambitions to study medicine, pursuing a career as a woman, and drinking at Brown during Prohibition. 

Constance Worthington, class of 1968

Connie begins by talking about her family’s involvement in Brown University, and her eventual decision to transfer to Brown. 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. Connie continues on talking about her involvement the Josiah Carberry Book Fund and the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. She also mentions her female role models at Brown during both her time as a student and professional in Providence.

Constance Hurley Andrews, class of 1948

Constance begins the interview by discussing her life growing up in Providence and her family’s involvement with Brown, which she believes made her actual admission a mere formality. She then talks about her experience with WWII and its impact on the college climate, the trimester system as a product of the Navy presence on campus, extracurricular activities, fraternities, and influential speakers who came to Brown. Finally Constance tells us about working after college, raising children, the Brown/Pembroke merger, and graduate school. 

Cynthia Burdick, class of 1965

Cynthia Patterson grew up on a farm in Wilmington, Delaware and attended Westover boarding school in Connecticut. After graduation, she went to Bryn Mawr College for a year and half, during which she fell in love and got married. She then transferred to Pembroke to be closer to her husband, who was working at a law firm in Providence. Patterson notes the absence of a peer-oriented social life while at Pembroke, as she wasn’t living in dorms or spending her free time with fellow students, and the only students she came to know where her fellow teammates on the field hockey team.

Cynthia Lee Jenner, class of 1961

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

Deborah Greenberg, class of 1979

In this interview Debbie discusses her early life growing up, the lack of gender discrimination at Brown, acting in New York, raising children, working on Wall Street, pursuing voiceover work, and staying in touch with the Brown community after graduating.  

Doris Madeline Hopkins, class of 1928

Doris begins Part 1 by discussing her early education and family life in Rhode Island. Doris talks about the expectations for “nice girls” at Brown in the 1920s, and about the curriculum at Brown, 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. Doris talks about reading for classes and getting books from the public library when they were unavailable elsewhere. She mentions her friendship with Alice Chmielewski.

Dorothy Allen Hill, class of 1930

In this interview, Dorothy Allen Hill starts by discussing her aunt, Mary Hill who graduated from Pembroke in 1904 and her father’s early insistence that she attend Pembroke.

Dorothy Ann Haus, class of 1964

Dorothy Haus Testa begins this extensive interview by talking about her life before Pembroke, growing up as a “Pollyanna” in Brattleboro, VT. Haus discusses many different aspects of life as a Pembroker—the rules and regulations; the gym requirement; dorm life; dating; freshman orientation; formal dinners and demitasse; dress codes; penalties for missing curfew; playing varsity sports; posture pictures; father-daughter weekends; May Day; Campus Dance; and the Pembroke/Brown merger.

Edna Frances (Anness) Graham, class of 1950

In Part 1, Edna discusses her family background; 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.

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.

Elizabeth Pretzer Rall, class of 1944

At the start of this interview, Elizabeth Pretzer Rall describes what it was like to attend Pembroke College while living at home with her family in Providence. She explains her decision to major in Geology and remembers some of the geology field trips she took as an undergraduate. Later, she discusses earning her Ph.D., balancing her work life with the demands of three children, and moving to Texas to research the Midland Texas Basin. Towards the end of her interview, she transitions back to discussing Pembroke and contrasts her wartime college experience with Brown today.

Elizabeth Young (Jeffers) Winsor, class of 1924

Elizabeth Young Winsor begins the interview by discussing her family and the history of careers in education within her family. In Part 1, she talks about her courses at Brown; her disapproval of the Pembroke-Brown merger; extra-curricular activities including being class president, a member of the glee club, and a member of the pyramid squad; and other women’s colleges of the time.

Elsie Barbara Anderson Lewis, class of 1947

Elsie Anderson Lewis discusses her family's Swedish origins as well as their American experiences. She describes her nursing education and training, including her scholarship, courses at Pembroke, Brown professors, and her Biology instructor Virginia Granger. Mrs. Lewis also discusses the differences between Brown men and Pembroke women, the advantages of attending a women's college, social life and campus activities, and Pembroke traditions. She describes her dismay about he Pembroke-Brown merger and relates her experiences as a working mother.

Esther Amelia (Snell) Dick, class of 1934

Dick begins this interview by speaking of her childhood in Reading, PA; coming to Pembroke and struggling early on with Meniere’s syndrome.  She discusses campus rules & requirements; clothing standards; restrictions with alcohol and smoking; and access to the Brown campus.  She gives her opinions of several professors and discusses being deeply affected by the Great Depression which included cooking all her meals in the science labs. She speaks of being discriminated against as a woman by the University as a student and later as a woman doing research in the sciences.

Gail Yvonne Mitchell, class of 1973

Gail begins part 1 by discussing her sheltered upbringing in a very religious household, and her desire to attend a school where she could feel independent from that sheltered household and how that influenced her decision to attend Brown. Gail talks about working as a student assistant over the summer, and about living at Pembroke and in the dormitories there. 

Gladys Paine Johnson, class of 1913

Gladys Paine Johnson begins her interview by describing her family and how she came to Brown in 1909, the first member to attend college. She considers herself lucky to have lived in the mansion on Benefit Street, where she met Sarah Doyle and made lifelong friends. Describing her classes and professors, Gladys remembers public speaking with Professor Thomas Crosby and Deans Lida Shaw King and Margaret Shove Morriss. She majored in math and notes that she did not receive any career guidance while in school.

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. 

Grace Amelia McAuslan, class of 1928


Grace discusses her family life, dress codes, Pembroke student government, the Brown-Pembroke merger, Pembroke traditions, and the lack of discussion surrounding politics or the Women’s Movement during her time at Pembroke.


Helen Elizabeth Butts, class of 1928

In this interview Helen starts by discussing life at Pembroke, 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 Morriss, marriage ideals, and transition to computer usage. Helen finishes the interview by revealing her opinions on graduate school, housewives, and feminism.

Helena "Pat" Hogan Shea, class of 1930

Helena “Pat” Hogan Shea was born in Ireland and was a student in 1928 when the Women’s College 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, Pat describes buildings on the Pembroke campus; her choice to major in Psychology; physical education; people she knew at Pembroke (Professor John Spaeth, who created Josiah Carberry, married her roommate); and elements of her family history.

Hope (Brown) Ballinger, class of 1944

In Part 1 of this interview, Hope Ballinger Brown discusses her upbringing and how she came to attend Pembroke to study nursing; popular social spots, including the Avon Theatre; her volunteer experience; interactions between Brown and Pembroke students; the abbreviated academic year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; the Copacabana Fire in Boston; the expectation of women to marry soon after college; her admiration of Dean Morriss and Bessie Rudd; her opinions on the Pembroke-Brown merger; and her experiences with classes and student groups.

Joan Caryll Hoost McMaster, class of 1960

In this interview recorded the week of her 55th reunion, Joan McMaster describes her experiences at Pembroke College and her work as an advocate for women's causes. She shares stories about Freshman Week and her participation in the PDQs (Pembroke Double Quartet); teaching fourth grade in Greensboro, North Carolina after graduation; the Brown Alumnae Club of Kent County, RI; and several different efforts share memories of Pembroke College with younger students.

Joyce Loretta Richardson, class of 1963

Joyce begins her interview by discussing the experiences and people that led her to apply and attend Pembroke, 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.

Judith Vivienne Korey, class of 1946

Judith begins the interview by talking about her early life and family. She then talks about her time at Pembroke and the kinds of courses she took. She discusses the effects of World War II on her college experience and how women were expected to help in the war efforts. Judith goes on to tell us about her extracurricular involvements at Pembroke and the kinds of jobs she took after graduating. Finally Judith discusses the friendships she made during college and how Pembroke often felt like one, big family. 

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 Virginia (Niles) Faulkner, class of 1936

Katherine describes her early life in North Carolina; coming from a rural town with little emphasis on education; her initial hardship adjusting to life at Pembroke; her involvement in the Pembroke Christian Association (PCA); the Peace Movement between the two World Wars; fraternities; dorm life; and graduation. She discusses the death of her first husband; the decision to go back to work; and supporting her family. She outlines her career working for universities, museums, and corporations.

Lillian Dorothy Beals, class of 1918

In this dual interview, Presel and Beals speak extensively about their classes at Pembroke, and the different professors they had.  They discuss social life at the college especially the four dances held each year and the Pembroke traditions Sophomore Masque, May Day, and Ivy Day.   In section one, they describe the dynamic between Pembroke and Brown; that as underclassmen they were not allowed to walk across the Brown campus at any time.

Lillian Dorothy Beals, class of 1918

In this dual interview, Presel and Beals speak extensively about their classes at Pembroke, and the different professors they had.  They discuss social life at the college especially the four dances held each year and the Pembroke traditions of Sophomore Masque, May Day, and Ivy Day.   In section one, they describe the dynamic between Pembroke and Brown; that as underclassmen they were not allowed to walk across the Brown campus at any time.

Lucile Kay Wawzonek, class of 1972

In part 1 of her interview, Lucile Wawzonek Thompson 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 Frances Fagan Hance, class of 1944

In Part 1 of this interview with Marcella Fagan Hance, she 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. Marcella 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.

Marcia Lloyd, 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.

Marguerite Appleton, class of 1914

Appleton ’14 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 PhD in history, leading a Girl Scout troop.

Marjorie Phillips Wood Burroughs, class of 1911

Marjorie Burroughs entered Pembroke College in 1907. In Part 1 of this interview, she remembers being disciplined as a freshman for the fun she had with her friends; Lida Shaw King, Dean of the Women's College; expectations for dress and behavior at Pembroke; the language courses she took at Pembroke and at Brown; becoming a librarian at Harvard; basketball, bowling, dances, sororities, and other extracurricular activities; and being a tomboy. 

Mary Carpenter Emerson, class of 1927

In this interview 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.

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.

Rose Roberta Traurig, class of 1928

Rose Traurig starts her interview by stating that she has a long story to tell. She describes her family, from Waterbury, Connecticut, and the high value they placed on education. At Brown, 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 Rose had a tight group of friends: Joan Aschiem (Biel) and Eleanor Post.

Ruth Elizabeth Cooke, class of 1914

In Part 1, Ruth speaks about being the youngest of six children, her close relationship with her oldest brother, gathering garnets at Diamond Hill with her father, her love of nature and her natural ability to interpret color. After graduating from Classical High School in 1910, she attended Pembroke where she studied the Classics. Cooke speaks of Professor Manatt and Dean King. She remember playing center on the basketball team.

Ruth Lilian Wade Cerjanec, class of 1933

This interview begins with biographical and family information about Ruth, whose mother was a supporter of female suffrage and determined that her daughter should attend Pembroke College. In Part 1, Ruth also describes her experience at as a "city girl" from Central Falls and the attitudes of her classmates.

Sandra "Sandi" Richards, 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.

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.

Susan Graber, class of 1971

In this interview Susan Graber Slusky discusses her family and the role it played in shaping her academic life. She talks about the reasons she chose Pembroke College and the challenges of being a woman in physics.

Susan A. Semonoff, class of 1968

Susan begins by talking about her family, her choice to attend Pembroke, 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). Susan also discusses at length the social life on campus.

Zelda Fisher Gourse, class of 1936

Zelda Fisher Gourse starts by describing her decision to enter Pembroke,  Dean Margaret Shove Morriss, and her favorite professors.  She and the interviewer discuss travel in Israel and Ms. Gourse’s daughter, author Leslie Gourse; annual student events like Sophomore Masque and Junior Prom; her older sister’s decision to return to college; being elected SGA President (“why not a Jewish girl?”); and other campus activities.  Gourse then describes her marriage and her career as a librarian at Bristol Community College.