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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Turner Lane, September 9 and 16, 1986; May 21, 1987; October 1 and 28, 1987. Interview L-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Mary Ellen Lane's time at UNC

Lane remembers how her daughter created a social life for herself while she was attending UNC.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Turner Lane, September 9 and 16, 1986; May 21, 1987; October 1 and 28, 1987. Interview L-0039. 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

Although my daughter was the same age as the group who were here at that time, one cannot always talk with one's daughter's peers and particularly with one's daughter's dates. So probably the most enlightening part of it for me was to have the discussions with the young men. While I had heard many young women speak about this, I simply had not heard the young men talk about it in the same way. So yes, it was enlightening to me. My daughter notes very carefully that the recommended changes came about after she graduated. [laughter]
PAMELA DEAN:
That was my second question. Did your daughter live at home?
MARY TURNER LANE:
No.
PAMELA DEAN:
Oh, she lived in a dorm.
MARY TURNER LANE:
She transferred here in 1967, I guess it was, as did all of her high school friends—all of whom had gone away, most of them, to girls' colleges for their first two years and then came back for their last two years and who graduated here. So I knew many of the young women and learned from them, too. I listened to them; listened to her. But she felt that I lingered too long on the decision and waited until she left.
PAMELA DEAN:
Did you talk to her during this process about what she thought the rules ought to be and how she felt about the changes?
MARY TURNER LANE:
Yes. She felt that they were long overdue. The unfairness quality was a very strong one for her. Also, she knew some of the young women who had been penalized by the penalties that had been placed on them by Women's Honor Court and had not been placed on men. So she felt that it was unfair. She felt that in a university setting, a women should be able to handle her own life with more freedom than this university had given women.
PAMELA DEAN:
And this was despite her earlier experience at a women's college, right? She went to St. Mary's?
MARY TURNER LANE:
Yes, and she had had many restrictions there. Although so many of the girls that went away to the girls' colleges, would come back home for weekends. So at home they lived under their own home constraints, whatever they might be. But they really still weren't living in a dormitory. But while she was here, she lived the whole time on campus or in a sorority house, not at home.