Arlene Burnice Rome, class of 1943


In this interview, Arlene Burnice Rome discusses being a City Girl and the difficulties that posed for her. She remembers the inability to form deep relationships and the detached experience she had at Pembroke because she lived off campus. She laments passing the French proficiency test because she was eager to learn more about the language and fondly recalls librarian Dorothy Spofford who excused her from a required library course. Additionally, she reminisces about director of physical education, Bessie Rudd, and the challenging gym requirements. She broadly mentions how school life was affected by World War II. Rome also considers her feelings on the Pembroke-Brown merger. Most of the interview is spent discussing her life after graduation including her work as a social worker, teacher, and mail clerk, and the time she spent getting her master’s degree in education from Boston University.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Recorded on May 10, 1988
Interviewed by Audrey Leland Fogels

Suggested Chicago style citation: Rome, Arlene Burnice. Interview. By Audrey Leland Fogels. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. May 10, 1988.


Arlene Burnice Rome moved to Rhode Island when she was very young. She graduated from Pembroke College in 1943 with an A.B. in sociology. She went on to social work for a short time and then worked as a teaching guide at Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital and later as director of education at Bradley Home. She taught at the New England Home for Little Wanderers and at Moses Brown. She received a master’s degree in education from Boston University. She belonged to the American Association of University Women and the Citizens’ League in East Providence. She maintained a connection to Brown University as secretary and treasurer of her class and a member of the reunion committee.