Mary Manley, class of 1933


In this interview, Mary Manley discusses her family’s decision for her to attend Pembroke College despite entering at the beginning of the Great Depression. She mentions life as a City Girl and the assumed superiority of the girls who lived in the dorms and specifically recalls required courses and her decision to major in history. She reminisces about participating in the Elizabethans and being able to attend parties at her boyfriend’s fraternity as well as the dynamics of dating at the time. Manley generally remarks on the Sophomore Masque and crowning the May Queen. In addition to remembering the expectations of women during this time, she provides details about life, college, and work during the Depression throughout the interview.

Part 1

Part 2


Recorded on November 30, 1982 in North Kingstown, RI
Interviewed by Jennifer Hok

Suggested Chicago style citation: Manley, Mary. Interview. By Jennifer Hok. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. November 30, 1982.


Mary Manley grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, one of five children. She began studying at Pembroke College in 1929 and graduated with an A.B in history in 1933. After graduation, she attended secretarial school and worked for the Young Women’s Christian Association, the Progress Governmental Research Bureau, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where she worked until she had her first child. Manley married at the age of 25 and had four children.