Roberts leaves Dickinson for Bryn Mawr during World War II

April 11, 1990

Dorothy L. Roberts describes her reasons for leaving Dickinson College in an interview. Roberts only attended Dickinson from 1941 until 1943. According to Roberts, the "war really hit our classes" on December 7, 1941. Until that point, Dickinson College had been a heavily male school. When most of the male students and some of the young, male professors entered the service, Dickinson was left with "a very minimal student body and a very minimal faculty." Roberts began to feel that she was not receiving the quality education that she wanted and wanted to live closer to home while her brother was in the service. She also opposed what she called "the caste system with the fraternities and sororities." Roberts transferred to a women's college, Bryn Mawr, during her sophomore year. Roberts reports that Bryn Mawr had the same student population as Dickinson College, but it was one comprised entirely of women. According to Roberts, "it just felt bigger, but it was the same numerical size." Roberts also felt that Bryn Mawr did not have the same kind of "caste system" she saw at Dickinson. She also thinks Bryn Mawr "was better intellectually." Although she found Bryn Mawr more competitive than Dickinson, she preferred competing against women because she could compete on an intellectual level through her studies. Roberts explains, "There were no males to tell me I couldn't do anything."

Location of Document in Archives
World War II Oral History, Roberts, Dorothy L.