WOMEN SHAPING HISTORY 2014
Peggy A. Ogden:
(L-R) Peggy Ogden & His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
What has inspired your current career path?
I was an experimental psychology major at Brown University and then obtained a master’s degree in counseling psychology (one of the first women to do so) from Trinity College. In the early 50s, I was the first woman to go down in a submarine as part of a summer job at the submarine base. In the early 60s, I was the first woman to become the manager of a major department store in the East. I am pleased by these “firsts” in my life. About ten years later, I accepted a position at one of the CUNY colleges, in the personnel department, where I worked for over 25 years.
Challenges and What would you describe as a turning point in your life?
Among the challenges I faced, was being a woman and accomplishing goals that women had not reached before. I had a learning disability that made learning and reading very difficult. I was often called “stupid” and, indeed, felt stupid. With the help of a few devoted friends, I was able to get my BA from Brown. Another challenge was being on financial aid throughout high school. I worked to support myself while in undergraduate and graduate studies. My only brother, also a student at Brown, was in a fatal car accident while at Brown and died four years later. That was a turning point in my life. Stephen was interested in international relations so I established the Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lecture Series at Brown on International Affairs.
What are some of the accomplishments you are most proud of?
I am proud of the Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lecture Series at Brown on International Affairs. Thus far, we have held almost 90 lectures with illustrious international figures such as King Hussein of Jordan; Abba Eban, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN; His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet; and Mary Robinson, President of Ireland. I am also proud of establishing the Chaplaincy Fund at Brown that provides money for students in need who have emergencies, such as going home or hospital visits.
Who have been the most influential mentors in your life?
My mentors were my mother, my brother, my close friends and my cat!
What are your goals for the future?
My goals are to continue to help people resolve their problems and to continue on the Board of Eye to Eye, a nonprofit organization that helps students with learning disabilities.#