on Brown University:
Peggy A. Ogden & Brown:
51 Years After Graduation
55 years, Peggy Ogden and Brown University have continued
to influence each other. Peggy fell in love with the school
in 1949, when she made the decision to attend Pembroke, then
the women’s college
She arrived at
the major of experimental psychology through exploring classes and living
the sciences. “I
was one of the few females in my physics class,” Peg recalled. When asked
how she felt about being in the minority, she recollected one incident where,
in a physics lecture, she was taunted by several boys squirting her with water
guns. Since the professor did nothing to stop them, Peggy took matters into
her own hands: “I came into class one day with two water guns—one
in each hand—and shot back. Since that day, they never bothered me again.”
Peg seemed to
have an aptitude for cleverly maneuvering through difficult school situations.
She concedes that reading comprehension was most difficult for her. “I was probably
the first dyslexic to pass the English proficiency exam,” she said. “Because
the requirements then were no punctuation or spelling errors. I used no sentence
with more than three words and no words with more than three letters. I passed
and then they changed the ground rules.”
did not stop her from continuing on to a Master’s at Trinity College
in Counseling Psychology, followed by a career in Human Resources and Labor
Relations. She is the scion of a family dedicated to public service. Her
mother was a Wellesley graduate, and although her father did not graduate
from high school, he was a successful businessman, working parent. Her grandfather,
Dr. Samuel Stern, as the first chief of the Radiology Department
at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Peggy had one
brother, who, in his junior year at Brown, was in a car accident. Since 1965,
the distinguished Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Memorial Lectures on International
Affairs at Brown have been living tributes to his memory. Through her involvement
with this program, almost 70 ambassadors, prime ministers, presidents and
distinguished professionals have been guest lecturers at Brown.
Peg loved working
with people throughout her career and volunteer positions. She worked in
both the private and public sectors: from being the first female store manager
at a major retail store in the East in the 60’s to working
with civil service unions and employees at City University continually maintains
an involvement with the Brown student body through alumnae interviewing.
The framed posters
on her wall are testament to Peg’s involvement in her career and at Brown University.
They include Who’s Who in America, and
framed Ogden Lecture posters, such as one from 1986: “Prospects for Peace
in the Middle East,” delivered by international statesman Abba Eban.
In the hallway are photographs of Peggy shaking hands with lecturers: in one
from 2003, she stands smiling with Mikhail Gorbechev. She fondly remembers
Tom Brokaw taking her and her mom back to New York City on his seaplane after
he gave a lecture for the series.
Fifty years after
graduating from Brown, Peg can look back on a wealth of accomplishments.
Today, she enjoys her days with “wonderful, cherished friends, who, along with my cat Twig,
are my family.”#