This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1993 documents the undergraduate experiences of Kenya F. Crumel, Holly Gordon, April Parker Hersh, Kathleen Lenihan, Anne Sudduth, and Sarah Vidal, at their 25th reunion.
The interviewees begin by sharing brief personal backgrounds, primarily with reference to geographical, parental, and academic factors that led them to Brown. Then they move on to discuss their earliest memories of their time on campus. Topics of these memories include architecture, family contention, Third World Transition Program, dormitories, extracurricular activities, and cultural differences.
After twenty minutes, conversation shifts to various protests and movements that occurred on campus. The interviewees specifically recall the “rape list” – a list of male students’ names that appeared on bathroom stalls in 1990 alleging that they sexually assaulted female students on campus. Within this context, they also consider the “Me Too” movement that began in 2017, and the ways in which their time at Brown led them to feminism. Interviewees also discuss the takeover of University Hall for need-blind admissions.
Among some of the difficult times the interviewees recall are uncertainty surrounding the best methods of managing mental health issues and deep fear connected to dependency on financial aid. This leads to a brief considering of the ways student debt affected their life choices. The discussions soon returns to sexual harassment and also race, particularly through the lens of the 1991 United States Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice nominee, Clarence Thomas. The group recall their reaction to the treatment of Anita Hill by the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee after Hill accused Thomas, her former boss at the United States Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, of sexually harassing her. Again, this allows for a parallel discussion of contemporary sexual harassment and race issues.
The interviewees conclude their interview by sharing their appreciation for this project and their time at Brown, and noting their professional career paths since graduation.
Recorded on May 26, 2018 in Pembroke Hall, Brown University, Providence, RI.
Interviewed by Mary Murphy, Nancy L. Buc ’65 LLD‘94 hon Pembroke Center Archivist
Suggested Chicago style citation: 25th Reunion, class of 1993. Interview. By Mary Murphy. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. May 26, 2018.
The Brown University class of 1993 graduated under President Vartan Gregorian. They saw the close of the Pembroke College library in 1992 as well as the end of the Lamphere Decree that required the University to actively recruit and hire women faculty. Students participated in protests over Title IX violations, Apartheid and divestment, and need-blind admissions, among many others. They did so with a backdrop of similar national events including the women’s march on Washington, the Los Angeles Riots, and Anita Hill’s accusations that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her.