Ruth May Bugbee, class of 1923


In this interview, Ruth May Bugbee, remembers her father encouraging her to attend Pembroke College after high school. She recalls segregation of men and women on campus, the Maypole dance, formal gatherings in Sayles Hall, and Dean Anne Crosby Emery Allinson. She mentions her first job as a psychiatric social worker at Howard State Hospital in Cranston, Rhode Island, and details her twenty-year career at the Rhode Island Birth Control League (later Rhode Island Maternal Health Association, then Planned Parenthood) in Providence, Rhode Island. Lubrano also offers some general memories of food and housing during the Great Depression.


Recorded in Providence, RI.
Interviewed by Jane Lancaster

Suggested Chicago style citation: Bugbee, Ruth May. Interview. By Jane Lancaster. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University.


Ruth May Bugbee was born in 1901 and attended Cranston High School in Rhode Island. She graduated from Pembroke College in 1923 with an A.B. in social sciences. She married a fellow Brown University graduate in 1925 and had one son. Bugbee went on to work at Howard State Hospital in Cranston as a psychiatric social worker, and the Rhode Island Birth Control League educating women on reproductive health. She had five grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. She died on August 9, 2009 at age 107.