In this interview, Hilda Antoinette Calabro begins by sharing some family background and explaining her reasons for attending Pembroke College. She recalls being supported by her family and having the freedom to choose what she wanted to do with her college education. She describes the difficult of being a city girl – a female day student who attended Pembroke but did not live on campus, particularly during World War II.
Calabro goes on to detail the various ways the war impacted Pembroke, including the emergence of first aid classes and the accelerated trimester system, and more broadly discusses single-sex and coeducational classes. She also shares her memories of Dean Margaret Shove Morriss, Dean Eva Mooar, and astronomy professor Charles Smiley.
Calabro says her best memories of Pembroke include celebrating May Day and participating in the theater group Brownbrokers while her worst ones surround finals time. She recalls the general goals of the graduating students, spanning graduate school to marriage, and attitudes towards dating. She goes on to discuss her life after graduation, teaching at North Providence High School, and pursuing graduate school. She briefly mentions obstacles she encountered as a woman professor.
Calabro concludes the interview by fondly remembering the Pembroke Library and librarians, questioning the Pembroke-Brown merger, and detailing her involvement with Brown as an alumna.
Recorded on January 16, 1985
Interviewed by Jane Kroll
Suggested Chicago style citation: Calabro, Hilda Antoinette. Interview. By Jane Kroll. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. January 16, 1985.
Hilda Antoinette Calabro was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island with her three sisters. She attended Elmhurst Academy before going to Pembroke College. She graduated in the class of 1945 with an A.B. in French and Italian. She briefly taught romance languages at North Providence High School, then received an A.M. from Brown and a Ph.d. from Boston College, before teaching education at the University of Rhode Island. She died September 30, 1994.