In this interview, Susan A. Semonoff begins by talking about her family, her choice to attend Pembroke College, and the challenge of the academics once she arrived. She discusses her various classes and the tumultuous atmosphere at Brown/Pembroke in the sixties (The Vietnam War, the changing attitude towards women, and what inspired her to become president of the Student Government Association). Semonoff also discusses at length the social life on campus. After mentioning her professional life, career, and husband, she elaborates on the social issues on campus during the sixties, including the formation of the McGrath Committee, an illegal abortion in one of the dorm rooms, and the polarizing relationship between administration and students. Semonoff ends by talking about her role models at Pembroke, the reunions, and various protests in which she participated.
Recorded on March 31, 1988 at the Medical Center of the University of California, San Francisco, CA
Interviewed by Julia Hyun
Suggested Chicago style citation: Semonoff, Susan A. Interview. By Julia Hyun. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. March 31, 1988.
Both of Susan A. Semonoff’s parents were from Providence, Rhode Island and attended Pembroke College and Brown University. Semonoff grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and decided to apply to Pembroke where majored in American civilization and was president of the Student Government Association. Just after graduating, Semonoff married her husband and became a banker at Industrial National Bank (now Fleet Bank). She lived in Providence for two years while her husband finished medical school at Brown and then they moved to Boston where her husband finished out his medical degrees. In 1984, they moved to San Francisco and Semonoff changed her job from banker to working in finance for medical centers.