25th Reunion, class of 1989


This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1989 summarizes the undergraduate experiences of Angela Thomas, Karen Brown, Marlena Schoenberg, Karen Jason, Brunilda Amarilis Lugo Pagan, Suzanne Ort, Carolyn Ou, Stephanie H. Sanchez, Karen Lisa Schiff, and Kimberly Weisul, at their 25th reunion.

The interviewees begin by introducing themselves, sharing their majors, and personal background information about their lives after graduating from Brown. They go on to describe their first experiences entering the campus and discuss some of the organizations that they participated in such as the WBRU radio station, work-study employment, and the Third World Transition Program – a program that welcomes new students of color to Brown and provides an introduction to the support structures and resources available to them.

The interviewees also recall difficult experiences such as unexpectedly poor grades, and the sudden allergy-related death of Kate Brodsky, class of 1990. Controversial issues on campus included AIDS awareness, apartheid, and the development of the acronym LGBTQ.

Throughout the interview, the alumnae consider the benefits and challenges of the open curriculum which does not include course requirements. The interview concludes with lamentations about the difficulty of being accepted to Brown today and appreciation for the long-lasting friendships that developed on campus.


Recorded on May 24, 2014 in Pembroke Hall, Brown University, Providence, RI.
Interviewed by Wendy Korwin

Suggested Chicago style citation: 25th Reunion, class of 1989. Interview. By Wendy Korwin. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. May 24, 2014.


The Brown University class of 1989 was the first class to graduate under President Vartan Gregorian. During their senior year, speakers included New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Richard Schifter, broadcast journalist Irving Levine, and poet Maya Angelou. Controversial issues on campus included CIA recruitment on campus, abortion rights, and race relations on campus. Nationally, George H. W. Bush takes his first oath of office as President of the United States, the Supreme Court took up a case that could have overturned Roe vs. Wade, the civil rights movie Mississippi Burning debuted, and the actress Lucille Ball died at the age of 78.