50th Reunion, class of 1961


This interview with members of the Pembroke College class of 1961 captures the undergraduate experiences of Emily Arnold, Margaret Katherine Ellickson, Elizabeth Francis Diggs, Sandy Barnell, Wendy Friedman Brest, Chelsea Remington, Ann Dolores Matteodo, Carol Gotes Moreland, Beth Arlene Burwell, and Ellen Jane Shaffer, at their 50th reunion.

The interviewees begin by explaining why they chose to attend Pembroke College and sharing some of their fondest memories. Freshman dormitory life is a decided favorite aspect of Pembroke among the interviewees and, similarly, Juan Lopez-Morillas, professor of English, is a lauded professor.

They share some difficult times on campus, as well, including overtly sexist comments made my history professor James Hedges, the condescending notion of gracious living accompanied by dress codes and strict curfews for women, and feeling like second class students compared to the male Brown University students. They also remember an epidemic of security issues on campus, particularly with intruders getting into the female dormitories.

The interviewees dedicate a substantial portion of the interview to discussing the expectations of women after college and how they were prospective employers treated them. They also recall significant national events such as the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro, North Carolina against racial segregation, and the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy.

The interview concludes with each interviewee summarizing how Pembroke influenced her life choices after graduation.

See also: New York Times article with more information about posture pictures


Recorded on May 28, 2011 in Pembroke Hall, Brown University, Providence, RI.
Interviewed by Amy Greer

Suggested Chicago style citation: 50th Reunion, class of 1961. Interview. By Amy Greer. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. May 28, 2011.


The Pembroke College class of 1961 graduated under Brown University President Barnaby Keeney and Pembroke College Dean Nancy Duke Lewis. Notable speakers during their time at Pembroke included Mirra Komarovsky from Columbia University, William Pollard from the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, and Martin Luther King Jr. They celebrated such events as Freshman Week, Father-Daughter Weekend, Christmas Weekend, and May Weekend. Brown men protested the existence of Pembroke women by wearing buttons declaring, “Help stamp out Pembrokers.” Developments on campus ranged from the opening of the computer building to approval to wear Bermuda shorts on Saturday nights. Every female student was subjected to posture pictures – the practice of taking pictures of them naked to supposedly look for signs of scoliosis. Women students also had to pass a swimming test to graduate.