Ruth Elizabeth Cooke, class of 1914



In Part 1, Ruth Elizabeth Cooke 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. She describes her courses at Pembroke, her early affinity for teaching, her reasons for attending Pembroke, going to Class Night, athletics, academic rigor and heavy social restrictions.

In Part 2, Cooke reflects on the city of Providence, the reputation of Pembroke, her continued connection to her classmates and Brown University and what she might have changed about her college experience.

Part 1

Part 2


Suggested Chicago style citation: Cooke, Ruth Elizabeth. Interview. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University.


Ruth Elizabeth Cooke graduated from Brown University as a Classics major in 1914. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she taught at Classical High School, where she graduated in 1910. As a teacher she became an unofficial dance instructor to the Juniors and Seniors before Prom. She stayed at Classical until 1925, when she married. Later in life she opened her own decorating studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1939. As a hobby, she collected toll ware, including 41-inch trays and canisters. As a child she accompanied her father on mineral gathering expeditions throughout Rhode Island including collecting garnets on Diamond Hill. She was an active member of the Brown Club of Providence. The Brown Medical School offers a scholarship and a lectureship named in her honor.