Gail Y. Mitchell, class of 1973


Gail Y. Mitchell begins Part 1 of this interview by discussing her sheltered upbringing in a very religious household, her desire to attend a school where she could feel more independent, and her decision to attend Brown University. Mitchell talks about working as a student assistant over the summer, and about living at Pembroke and in the dormitories there.

In Parts 1 and 2, Mitchell talks about work and social life, including Work-Study jobs and attending sports games. She discusses the separate racial social circles at Brown and talks about her own interracial dormitory. She discusses panty raids and stereotypes of fraternities at Brown at the time. Mitchell recalls pressures against interracial dating, the effects of the Pembroke-Brown merger, and the economic divide between students at Brown. She also discusses her course of study and what she would have liked to include.

In Part 3, Mitchell talks about how the draft affected her friends, and about her work at Brown in Admissions. She remembers her experience as a student at Columbia, the racism that was present there, and the work she did in law firms while a student and afterwards. Mitchell concludes by discussing friendships and dating between other schools in New England and Brown, and talks about working over the summers in Pennsylvania, Boston, and Maine.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Recorded on March 25, 1995 in Buffalo, NY
Interviewed by Derria Byrd

Suggested Chicago style citation: Mitchell, Gail Y. Interview. By Derria Byrd. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. March 25, 1995.


Gail Y. Mitchell was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania. She received her A.B. from Brown University and her J.D. from Columbia School of Law. She began her career in admissions at Brown, and moved on to working in legislation mostly based out of New York where she has volunteered as a fundraiser and mentor at various youth associations.