When we graduated, we didn't realize we had options," says Connie Hurley Andrews, vice president of the Pembroke class of 1948. "Those of us who worked were teachers or librarians." Twenty-five years ago, at their twenty-fifth reunion, the class resolved to increase the options for future Brown women. "We wanted to do something that would both memorialize Pembroke," Hurley says, "and break the glass ceiling for women who were just graduating."
Gloria Markoff '48 prepares to photograph class of '48 scholarship recipient Elizabeth Corey and friends.
The class then raised $42,000 for a scholarship that would be given annually to a woman in the Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) program. Since 1973, the class has raised an additional $40,000 for the scholarship fund, money that has helped pay tuition for thirteen women, including Associate Dean of the College Lydia English '85. (Scholarships to individual women can be renewed.)
Two years ago, Elizabeth Corey '00 became a class of '48 scholar. Corey, who plans to concentrate in psychology, has been attending Brown part-time since 1992 while running the ballet school her parents founded in North Providence twenty years ago. A professional dancer, she has also been serving as artistic director of the Festival Ballet of Rhode Island, a position she will relinquish in the fall when she enrolls at Brown full-time.
Because the scholarship recipients become honorary members of the class of '48, Corey joined her sponsors for a reunion luncheon in May. Corey, who grew up with a single, working mother, says she has tremendous respect for working women and for the efforts of her honorary class to improve such women's chances for success. "I'm on my own," she says, "putting myself through school, so this scholarship is very important. It means so much to me that they support me as I try to support myself."