Family obligations present an obstacle to attending graduate school
Cone discusses her decision to not get her doctoral degree. After completing her master's degree in 1940 at Duke University, Cone explains that family obligations prevented her from pursuing further education. As the only unmarried person among her siblings, Cone felt that she was responsible to provide care for her aging parents. Although Cone's achievement in earning a master's degree was perhaps somewhat atypical for women at the time, her decision to not pursue the doctorate degree she desired demonstrates the difficulties women faced in pursuing higher education.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Bonnie E. Cone, January 7, 1986. Interview C-0048. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- LYNN HAESSLY:
Why had you begun to work on a master's degree?
- BONNIE E. CONE:
I wanted to go ahead and do a doctorate. But you see, I didn't have the time. I didn't have the money to do that, and I wanted to get a broader background. So from the early '30s I started in on my master's degree and kept working. I had responsibilities. My parents were getting older. I was the only single child, and I felt that I wanted to be near them. I didn't want to be away doing doctoral work when I felt I needed to be close to them. And you know, that takes you away if you are going to really do it the way you should. I've never regretted, though, doing what I did do after my father's death in '49. My
mother, a few months later, said, "If you would get an apartment, I think I'd come to Charlotte and see." It was amazing to me that she would even consider it. And I didn't push her at all. And she came and was very happy. She lived here from '49 until '58. You see, when you have responsibilities, you just do what you do.