Constance Andrews begins her interview by describing her father’s Harvard Law education and her mother’s boarding school education. She explains that her father and brother both graduated from Brown University, and that her mother would keep her and her brother out of school to watch commencement in May. She remarks that it was assumed that she would be accepted to Pembroke College.
Andrews explains the accelerated trimester system that Pembroke instituted at the beginning of World War II and fondly recalls a smoking room in the John Hay Library. She comments on being a city girl – a female day student who attended Pembroke but did not live on campus, and attributes her interest in a political science concentration to professor Guy Howard Dodge, while also reflecting on coeducational classes, and the lack of guidance from administrators. Andrews remembers participating in Sock and Buskin and WBRU, celebrating May Day and Ivy Day, and attending fraternity parties. She also comments on the campus’ reaction to Victory in Europe Day – noting that there was little celebration because with a Navy Yard nearby everyone felt little would change, and says that there was little anti-war sentiment on campus.
Andrews explains that she took a librarianship course after graduation because she did not want to teach and felt that graduate school was not an option. She comments that she would have liked to pursue law school but that there were few opportunities for women in law at the time. She also recounts her husband’s deployment during the Korean War and their move to Heidelberg, Germany, that allowed them to travel around Europe. She goes on to discuss her family life, her two children and four grandchildren, and remarks on returning to work part-time after her youngest child entered first grade. She notes that she attended library school after her husband graduated from library school, and that he was very supportive of her career.
Andrews concludes her interview by discussing life after retirement, and briefly returning to the topic of social life on campus – recalling parties and the intellectual rigor of Pembroke.
Recorded on April 25, 1986
Interviewed by Karen Schneider
Suggested Chicago style citation: Andrews, Constance. Interview. By Karen Schneider. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. April 25, 1986.
Constance Andrews was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. She always knew she would attend Pembroke College as it very much ran in her family. Her father graduated from Brown University in 1907 and her brother in 1941. After attending the Wheeler School in Providence, Andrews enrolled at Pembroke in the fall of 1944 and graduated in 1948 with an A.B. political science. Andrews met her husband at Brown during her sophomore year after he had returned from the war. They married one year after she graduated during which time she trained in library studies at the Providence Public Library before travelling overseas for her husband’s military obligations. Andrews finally went back to graduate school in the early 1970s.