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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Rosamonde R. Boyd, October 29, 1973. Interview G-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

1930s brings change in women's ideas about their future as they start to look forward to entering workforce

By 1937, college-educated women believed that they were going to enter the workforce, Boyd recalls.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Rosamonde R. Boyd, October 29, 1973. Interview G-0011. 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

Did you find that the attitude at Converse toward inspiring their students to go forth in the world was similar to that which you encountered at Randolph-Macon? The expectation was marriage but then activity in the community?
No, it was really quite different. At Converse from the very beginning of the time that I was there, girls expected to work. At Randolph-Macon they thought that if they worked, they'd teach. Lots of them didn't have expectation of teaching long. At Converse from the very beginning in '37, girls were going to be sure that they had a profession or vocation.
The difference was the decade, wasn't it?
Yes, it was. Just the change in times in which we lived because the same thing was happening at Randolph-Macon at that time.
I wonder if these young women at Converse in the thirties realized these expectations and did indeed find a career in the professions or if they followed the traditional pattern and were married.
It's been said that Converse students marry within the first twelve months after graduation but it was surprising to see how many continued work. Even when they stopped to have a child or two, most of them that I see have returned to a job. They have not really just been protected and supported by husbands. They have done their part in providing for the family. Randolph-Macon alumnae have too, I'm sure of that. I'm also sure that there were some girls at Randolph-Macon who were thinking of a profession other than teaching. There were large numbers of students in science. They weren't all thinking of teaching. There were a good many in other fields that might have been leading them in the direction of being a journalist or a writer or maybe in government through political science. But, the general run of the students at Randolph-Macon when I was there thought that teaching was the only thing open.