Susan Friedman, class of 1970


In this interview, Susan Friedman, Brown University class of 1970, describes her role as a leader in the creation of the open curriculum and details her professional trajectory since Brown.

Friedman begins by briefly describing her childhood in Tennessee and talking about how she decided to attend Brown. She remembers being waitlisted at Brown and attending Northwestern University for her first year. She explains applying to Brown again, being waitlisted again, and finally getting in. While speaking of her time at Brown, Friedman reminisces about joining the Cammarian Club, the student government association, and working for two years to institute what is now known as the open curriculum. She explains the Magaziner Report and details the process of the Maeder Committee while setting it all in the context of other campus events such as protests against the Vietnam War.

Friedman goes on to discuss her life after Brown. She describes her time at the London School of Economics, organizing United States Airmen in Britain against the Vietnam War, and moving to Brockton, Massachusetts, to become a community organizer with a group of friends. She also talks about earning her master’s degree from Harvard University and working as a consultant for various organizations. Friedman closes by sharing her personal interests in dancing and drawing and talking about her family.


Recorded on October 30, 2020 in Friedman’s home
Interviewed by Mimi Pichey, class of 1972

Suggested Chicago style citation: Friedman, Susan. Interview. By Mimi Pichey. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. October 30, 2020.


Susan Friedman grew up in Tennessee and attended the Lausanne School in Memphis. She attended Northwestern University for one year before transferring to Brown University in 1967. During her time at Brown, Friedman was a member of the Cammarian Club and led the fight for the open curriculum. She graduated in 1970 with an AB in Economics. She went on to the London School of Economics and then Harvard University where she earned her master’s in business administration. She has enjoyed a career as a strategy consultant and has served as a trustee at the Boston Ballet, Accelerated Cure Project for MS, Lesley University, and the Boston Philharmonic.