Sophie Pearl Schaffer, class of 1941


In this interview, Sophie Pearl Schaffer begins with a description of Pembroke Hall including the history of its development and the support of President Elisha Andrews, the layout during the late 1930s, and the administrators who worked there. She provides similar descriptions of East House, East Hall, Alumnae Hall, and the John Hay Library. She recalls the characters of deans Margaret Shove Morriss and Eva Mooar, Physical Education Director Bessie Rudd, and generally mentions Dean Anne Crosby Emery Allinson. She describes compulsory Chapel, posture pictures, and working as a correspondent for the Pawtucket Times. Additionally, Schaffer remembers her time after graduation as president of the Alumnae Association and opposing the Pembroke-Brown merger alongside Rosemary Pierrel, Frederick Lippitt, and Newell Stultz. She also discusses fighting the destruction of the Sarah Doyle House along with Otto Neugebauer and her memories of the house when it was owned by Mary Hepburn Parson. The video ends abruptly as she begins to explain her involvement in theatre.


Interviewed by Jane Lancaster

Suggested Chicago style citation: Schaffer, Sophie Pearl. Interview. By Jane Lancaster. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University.


Sophie Pearl Schaffer was the youngest of four children, born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Romanian immigrant parents. After attending high school in Pawtucket she attended Pembroke College and graduated with an A.B. in English. She married Elmer Blistein who became a member of the English faculty at Brown University. After graduation she was active in the Alumnae Association, the Friends of the Library, the Corporation and the Library Corporation Committee, and the Pembroke Associates. She died on June 6, 2009.