25th Reunion, class of 1986


This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1986 highlights the undergraduate experiences of Lisa M. Caputo, Linda M. Sanches, Marcy A. Sandler, Judith Anne Williams, Pamela B. Weiler, Janet L. Kroll, and Christa M. Champion, during their 25th reunion in May 2011.

First, the group discusses their reasons for attending Brown as well as some of their fondest and most difficult memories of their time there. They reminisce about playing on the basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey teams, getting involved in the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, and participating in theatre and the Chattertocks. They recall that the most looming social issues on campus surrounded apartheid and Brown University divestment from South Africa.

This interview is particularly strong in topics of race and women’s issues on campus. The interviewees describe noticeable social segregation based on race in places like the Sharpe Refectory dining hall. They also recall student protests against institutionalized racism. They go on to detail the 1985 speak out of women protesting sexual harassment and violence, and more generally discuss what it felt like to be women on campus with specific reference to a violent anti-woman protest by the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.

The interview concludes by each participant summarizing how Brown has affected their post-graduation decisions and career choices.


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

Suggested Chicago style citation: 25th Reunion, class of 1986. Interview. By Amy Greer. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. May 28, 2011.


The class of 1986 entered Brown University under President Howard Swearer. During their senior year, Tom Brokaw, G. Gordon Liddy, Geraldine Ferraro, and Jesse Jackson, each spoke on campus. Hurricane Gloria hit Brown University in September 1985, while the NBC Today Show highlighted the campus on October 18 of the same year.

Of particular importance to the class of 1986 was the effect of Apartheid on South Africa on the Brown University Campus. In November, Brown faculty voted in favor of divestiture from South Africa. After that and in witness to the injustice of the institutionalized system of racial segregation in South Africa, six graves were dug on the green in February of 1986, in an effort to raise awareness of the struggle and death caused by Apartheid. In April of 1986, the demonstrations continued when students built two shanties on the green protesting Apartheid’s homeland policies.

Years later, members of the class of 1986 became significant fundraisers for brown University. In honor of it’s 25th reunion, the class of 1986 set an all-time, all-class giving record raising $3,597,394 for the Annual Fund.