Charlene Marion Ingraham, class of 1959


In Part 1 of this interview, Charlene Marion Ingraham begins by sharing some family background information, noting that her parents were high school graduates and that she was expected to go to college. She remembers choosing to attend Pembroke College because of its excellent reputation, being a commuter student, and often gathering in West House.

Ingraham discusses the core curriculum and lack of guidance for course selection, and reminisces about Spring Weekend. She considers the number of male professors she had compared to female professors, as well as relations between Brown and Pembroke Students and occasions when the two would be kept separate. Ingraham also remembers dreading posture pictures – a practice that included taking photos of nude students ostensibly as part of a eugenics project assessing social hierarchy. She concludes Part 1 by recalling dress codes, cigarette smoking, May Day, and the Sophomore Masque.

In Part 2, Ingraham contemplates her next reunion luncheon, and her time on the Pops Concert Committee. In more detail, she remembers compulsory chapel and its lack of religiosity. Moving on, Ingraham claims that holding a degree from Pembroke afforded her more job opportunities, and she laments the Pembroke-Brown merger.

Also in Part 2, Ingraham discusses teaching until she gave birth, and commends teaching as a career that can be picked up after a child is grown. She briefly mentions her volunteer work, the Pembroke bookstore, and fashion trends. Ingraham concludes the interview by remembering one instance when she had to appear in student court for staying overnight at West House during a snow storm without having signed up ahead of time.

Part 1

Part 2


Recorded on May 8, 1988 in Buxton House, Brown University, Providence, RI
Interviewed by Limary Rios Camacho

Suggested Chicago style citation: Ingraham, Charlene Marion. Interview. By Limary Rios Camacho. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. May 8, 1988.


Charlene Marion Ingraham was born and raised in Cranston, Rhode Island and attended Pembroke College as part of the class of 1959. After graduating, Ingraham married and began teaching at a junior high in East Providence until her son was born. She left her job to raise her son, and once he was grown, she returned to teaching, and participating in several volunteer opportunities.