50th Reunion, class of 1972


This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1972 documents the undergraduate experiences of Joan McDonald DeFinis, Karen Leggett Abouraya, Sarah Lloyd Wolf, Lucy Meadows, Linda Papermaster, Eileen Rudden, and Ann Seelye, as they look back in honor of their 50th reunion.

The interviewees begin by introducing themselves and sharing information such as their career trajectories and the many activities they engage in during retirement. They also touch upon what drew them to Pembroke College in Brown University. They go on to discusses coeducational living and the difficulties faced by Pembrokers as the two schools began to merge in the late 1960s. Then they all share memories of old Pembroke traditions including gym uniforms, formal sit-down dinners, parietal rules, and sherry hours. They also briefly talk about posture pictures and pine boxes that were given to them for summer storage between academic years.

Additionally, the interviewees talk about the disproportionate ratio of women to men. Some remember feeling less supported by faculty who prioritized male students’ success. Others say lack of female representation in their subjects of interest deterred them from certain programs. They all laud the open curriculum which was then known as the new curriculum.

In closing, the interviewees discuss some of the sexism they faced in their adult lives and consider whether younger generations of women will be able to continue progress in the struggle for women’s rights.


Recorded on Recorded on May 10, 2022 via Zoom
Interviewed by Amanda Knox, Pembroke Center Assistant Archivist

Suggested Chicago style citation: 50th Reunion, class of 1972. Interview. By Amanda Knox. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. May 10, 2022.


The Brown University class of 1972 were among the first to experience coeducational housing as well as the open curriculum. Entering in 1968, they saw the Black Student Walkout and experienced the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy while on campus. They participated in protests against the Vietnam War and the shootings at Kent State University. This class also saw the last of Pembroke College traditions such as sherry hours and formal dinners as Pembroke merged with Brown in 1971. They graduated under Brown University President Donald Hornig.