Alice Elizabeth O’Connor, class of 1928


In Part 1 of this interview, Alice Elizabeth O’Connor begins by discussing her life growing up in East Providence and assuming guardianship of her brothers and sisters after the early deaths of her parents. She also talks about changing careers to become a social worker, the state of public welfare services, and her work for the Rhode Island Department of Children. She also discusses marriage, children, and earning a Master’s degree later in life.

O’Connor recounts several aspects of her life as a student at Pembroke College, including the different social experiences of boarders and day students, the separation of the Women’s and Men’s Colleges, her memories of Dean Margaret Shove Morriss and an inspiring female professor, gym class uniforms, social events, dancing the Charleston, Chapel and singing, and her thoughts on the Pembroke-Brown merger.

In Part 2 O’Connor discusses following the rules of Pembroke College, changing her goals after graduation, and her decision to pursue a graduate degree.

See also: Ann Martha Chmielewski, class of 1959

Part 1

Part 2


Recorded on April 21, 1982
Interviewed by Karen E. Linn

Suggested Chicago style citation: O’Connor, Alice Elizabeth. Interview. By Karen E. Linn. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. April 21, 1982.


Alice Elizabeth O’Connor was born in Providence in 1906, the oldest of six children to parents of Irish descent. Alice attended Hope High School before entering Pembroke College and graduated with an A.B. in history in 1928. She worked briefly as a teacher before becoming a social worker, and later attended graduate school at Boston University. She passed away on January 30, 1998.