Catherine Hampton Ditmore '54

  • Jarren Santos
    Jarren: Okay, so.... first, I'm just gonna have you state your name and where you currently live, and what class you were.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Okay, now, my maiden name is the one I had when I was here. So, I'll give you that, too.Jarren: Alright.Catherine: So it's Catherine Hampton Ditmore.Jarren: Okay.Catherine: And I'm in the class of 1954.Jarren: Okay.Catherine: Yeah.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And where are you from?Catherine: I currently live in Greenfield, Massachusetts.Jarren: Oh, okay. You're actually the second Massachusetts per- I'm from Massachusetts, too.Catherine: Oh, are you really?Jarren: We just had somebody from Wrentham.Catherine: Uh-huh.Jarren: So, yeah. I'm from Belmont, Massachusetts, but...
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: So, I guess, we can start with saying- I'll ask you how- why did you come to Grinnell? How did you find out about it?Catherine: Well, I found out about it when I was in high school. And, I was a member of the Pilgrm Fellowship in the Congregational Chuch in Des Moines, and there was a state-wide organization of the high school youth groups and they would have an annual conference at Grinnell in the summertime.Jarren: Mm.Catherine: And so, I went to the annual conference I think... 2 or 3 summers and I had a good time there - here, and I found my way around the campus- wasn't as big then, but... It, y'know, it just had good memories for me. I met people that I enjoyed, and...
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And you lived in Greenfield back then as well?Catherine: No, no. Des Moines, Iowa.Jarren: Oh, you were- Okay, so you were from Des Moines originally. Okay, so... weren't that far away.Catherine: Mhm.Jarren: So, I guess, what is your- your first real memory of being at Grinnell?Catherine: Well, I was struck by how friendly it was.Jarren: Mm.Catherine: When we arrived by car, there were students waiting near the admissions office- or, outside of it, to point to where to park and where to go, and then when they got our room assignments they went to the dorm and helped us with our luggage and.. it was just a very warm greeting, anything they could do to be helpful. And later I- I went to the graduate school at Harvard, and there was nobody to greet me, and nobody to help me with my luggage and not a friendly face anywhere.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: I thought, "My goodness, what a contrast."
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: What did you major in at Grinnell?Catherine: Psychology.Jarren: And did you end up- what did you end up doing after Grinnell?Catherine: Well, it's been many years, you know. I've done some- a lot of different things.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: They include- it was a major fact of my life that's been formative is that I got married and had three children.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: The... I probably wouldn't have met my husband if I hadn't been in graduate school, 'cause I met him as he was finishing up his medical school.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: And we met, and he was doing his residency when I was doing an internship. So that's how- 'course, none of that would have happened if we hadn't both gone on to school, so...
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: Do you remember if- yeah, do you remember where you... where did you live when you first got to Grinnell? What dorm?Catherine: In the dorm?Jarren: Yeah, which dorm? Do you remember?Catherine: Cleveland. That-Jarren: Cleveland, yeah.Catherine: That was a freshman dorm.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: The dorms at that end of the South Campus, the three of them, Mears, Main and Cleveland, were all freshman.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: And then you had to move the next year.Jarren: Right.Catherine: And I- I moved in to James.Jarren: Wow.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And the South Campus was all women back then?Catherine: Oh, yes, and the dining hall.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And then all the men were in the North Campus and they had their own dining hall, too. So, the genders were pretty.... which, I thought was too bad, actually. I saw colleges at the same time that I thought arranged that better because even though dorms were usually divided by sex, to have the whole campus divided by sex-Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And one thing, when you came out from your classes, the women went one way and the men went the other way, you know? So...Jarren: Yeah.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And what are some of your most vivid memories, or your best memories, do you think, of your time? Here- has being back here, like, calling any up, do you think?Catherine: Oh, most vivid, my goodness... Well, one thing I did was I participated in the Debate Team.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: We had- they brought in..... Our senior- our men- We didn't have a debate coach here, or make much of debate on campus, but for some reason, I'm not quite sure why, two of our junior men were in the national debate tournament and won it- or, came close to winning, and they did so remarkably well without coaching that, I guess, the College decided, "Well, what would happen if we had coaching?"Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And they brought in the coach from Northeastern Uninversity who had coached the winning team nationally.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: So, I guess our boys must have been second or something, but nobody around here wanted to vote, so they had an intramural. They used to have all sorts of intramurals tha- besides- in addition to sports, they had singing, and they had.... dancing, and they had this-that and they had that thing, so they added debate to the roster, and then you got so many points, your cottage did, for participation. So, there was great pressure to participate whether you thought you were gonna win it or not, and so, when we went to the dorm meeting, it- they just.... Everybody decided that my friend Dee and I would participate in the debate, 'cause we- I guess they thought we were the most likely ones to win one.Jarren: Mhm.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Well, we did, too. The- that year, the state competition and the national competition were on the same weekend, and.... Dee and I were sophomores, and then we had a very good senior team. Well, the seniors went to the nationals, so they sent the sophomores to the state. And... just by- being sophomores, we won the state competition.Jarren: Oh, wow.Catherine: So that was.... That was certainly memorable.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Then just things for fun that I did, I remember very well, too, because we- there were lots of clubs you could join, although they pressured you as a freshman not to join more than two, because freshman typically haven't realized how much homework there's gonna be.Jarren: Right.Catherine: Anyway.... But anyway, I belonged to my two, and they were- one of them was the Canter Club. There was a man with a stable right across the street from the College, and you could... you could take horseback riding as a gym class. He- he didn't work directly for the College, but he contracted with the College so he coud do- do the...Jarren: Right.Catherine: And... you could also just rent horses and go riding. And we had also, in the Canter Club, we had... trail rides on weekends.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: And so I loved horseback riding, and so I had a good time, there.Jarren: Yeah.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: And then we also had- some students brought their own horses.Jarren: Wow.Catherine: Some of the Iowa students particularly owned a horse and wanted to take their horse to college with them, and so they did, and he would board horses.Jarren: Wow.Catherine: So then we- the other thing I belonged to was the.... uh, what was the name of it? My memory is tricky. Tricky memory... Let's see... Barnstormers! And that was the square dance club, and we square danced up a storm. We had fun doing that., so..
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: And then.. what else was memorable? Well, the academics were excellent.Jarren: Mm.Catherine: And I really, really enjoyed my classes.Jarren: Were there any classes or professors that you still think about, or that were especially important to you?Catherine: I- Dr. Mendoza was vary important to me. He was the Biology professor, and he was from Mexico, so he used to meet with the Spanish Club, too, to get- and I was studying Spanish, so, to help us, he'd bring his children with him, who would embarass us, because they could speak Spanish so much better than we could. But anyway, I loved his Biology course, and then later I took a course he taught in Genetics, and I loved that too, so.... So, he was a very enthusiastic teacher and he made things very clear.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: And what else did I like especially? Well, one thing that was pretty special, I think, was to go to the... Grinnell had an exchange program with Hampton Institute in Virginia, which is a... was at that time, a Black college.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: And that exchange program- we would send two students for a sememster, the second semester of the second year, down there, and they'd send two students up here. So, I did that, and... I was very concerned about the treatment of the... of Black students, Black people in this country, and also all the rumors that were being fed to Whites to make them prejudiced. I mean, I heard them all, you know, that 'Blacks aren't as intelligent as Whites' and so forth.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: So, I think it was very instructive to actually go there, and, of course, what you discover is that they're not much different than we are.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And in some ways, they're better than we are. They could certainly dance better at the time. One of them took me out to swing dance, and do- do that other thing besides the two-step. But, we had- I had a very good- I think that that was very important to me, to.... kind of confirm what I already thought, was that this was hocus-pocus going on about their being inferior. And, also, you lose your sense of difference if you're completely surrounded by Black people.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: You just start to think, though. You just forget about the difference.Jarren: Right.Catherine: You become one of them, yeah.Jarren: Yeah.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And.. I guess.... Do you have any memories of the town of Grinnell? I guess you said- you mentioned the horses, but- I mean- and the town has probably- Do you think it's changed a lot, the town? Or do you think it kinda seems the same?Catherine: I don't know. I almost never went downtown, so..Jarren: Yeah. And Grinnell itself is obviously... must be very strange coming back here because it seems- it looks totally different.Catherine: It does. There used to be a suede jacket factory here.Jarren: Hm.Catherine: So we all bought suede jackets, 'cause you could buy them at the factory for a discounted price.Jarren: Ah, right.Catherine: So I- for years, I wore my suede jacket. It was- And they... I- you could-
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: We also had volunteers that- to do something, you know, in the town, if we could think of anything, and they had an after-school recreational program.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: For students in grades 1 through 4, I think, something like that. So anyways, I used to volunteer for that and go down a couple of afternoons a week and play with the children, so...Jarren: Oh, nice.Catherine: It was fun.Jarren: Yeah.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And do you have any special, like, places on campus that are still around? Like any dorm or academic building that stands out?Catherine: Every time I drive past it, I have found the- the Psychology department used to be in a building that looks like a castle, and now I think that's an administration building and the psychologists have moved over to the new science building.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: But I like the old building. I thought it was kind of fun to have our own building...Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And I don't know, let's see, places on campus... It was a pretty campus.Jarren: Mm.Catherine: In general. Nice to work- I don't have a favorite place.Jarren: Yeah.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: What did you- what did your dorm- Do you have any memories of your dorm room, what it looked like?Catherine: Sure.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: We had.... We each had a bed and we each had a bureau, and then there was a table that was a double desk, and so my roommate and I would sit facing each other at this table and then....Jarren: Oh.Catherine: We could... We could pester each other while we studied, I guess.Jarren: Hm.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And you studied mostly in the dorm? Was the library there then? What was the library...?Catherine: We- the library isn't- it was in a different place. It was right next to ARH.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: There's a- I don't know what's in that building now, but there- it's- the buidling just south of ARH was the Library here.Jarren: Oh, wow.Catherine: It was pretty good sized.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Yes, I... I worked ten hours a week for all four years as a librarian.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: I put a test- you know, Ogden Nash, in his writing, said that men never make passes at girls that wear glasses, so I decided to test that. So, at the- after, if I worked in the evening, I sometimes did, the Library closed at 9, but the- or 8:30, 9, I guess, but the women's dormitory closed at 10.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And in between was the Student Union, and so the- when the Library closed, the boys would look around and then find- sometimes, if they wanted to, invite a girl to go with them to the Student Union to have a Coke or something, and then walk them on home before the dorms closed. It was sort of an easy way to get acquainted.Jarren: Yeah.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: So, I used to- some days, I'd wear my glasses, and some days I wouldn't, and I kept track of how many invitations I got. I would work behind the desk, although, it was 'cause I was there.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: I'd keep track of.. how many invitations I got, and the results of my study were that it's true,that- I got- about 2:1.Jarren: Wow.Catherine: And- I got about twice as many invitations without my glasses.Jarren: Wow.Catherine: And I've never worn glasses since.... Well, I mean, I've been pr- I'm supposed to wear glasses, so I do when I'm driving the car or something, but I...Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: I don't wear them all the time.Jarren: Mhm.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And... I guess, would you have done anything.. anything differently looking back at your Grinnell experience, or was it.. sort of satisfying as it stands?Catherine: Well, I... Would I have done anything differently? I don't think so.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: I... I was a good student, and.... did my homework on schedule, and...Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: The first year I was here I didn't get very good grades, and it was because of poor time management.Jarren: Hm.Catherine: So, as the second year started, I developed a system of studying.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Catherine: What I would do, when I was a freshman here, was to study the classes I liked the best, and then I wouldn't have time left over to study the class that I didn't like. So, what I did was- and I do that to this day, my circle method. I put- I- for each, like if I was taking five classes, and they were all three credit courses, then I would put however- maybe four circles a week for homework on.... on a line, on each of these five days, and I would make sure that I did- I didn't do anything else until I'd filled in my circles and given each class its due, whether I liked it or not. And then if I wanted to- needed to study more on one class, or wanted to study more, or wanted to forget the whole thing and go horseback riding, or-
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: But all my flexi- Before I could be flexible, I got that first fours hours in, and once I switched to that system when I was a sophomore, I started getting straight A's.Jarren: Wow.Catherine: So it was all just a matter of time management.Jarren: Hm.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: So the cl- would you say the classes were especially hard, or not hard, or what were the academics like?Catherine: Well, the ones I didn't like were very... were very hard. I didn't much like Spanish, all that memorizing of.. Interviewer|Yeah.Catherine: -How to use different words than you're used to using.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: And... foreign languages weren't- they seemed to be important to the College, but they weren't important to the students, 'cause they- you know, there's nobody around at the time that spoke Spanish. Now that's changed now..Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: But, at the time, most people from Iowa had never even met a person who spoke any other language, and didn't really expect to, so...
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: And you didn't meet anybody on campus who was from... I don't know, other parts of the country, or the world, or was it... more... I don't know, Iowa-centric, or..?Catherine: Well, about a third of the students were from the Chicago area.Jarren: Right.Catherine: And about a third of 'em were from Iowa, I think. Although, I just came from a talk that- where the professor said there were quite few from Minnesota, too. I hadn't noticed that. I think Minnesota has so many good schools- many good schools right in that state.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: Well, whatever reason, what I noticed was that- it seemed to me that there were about a third from Chicago, and a third from Iowa, and a third from someplace else.Jarren: Hm.Catherine: Almost all from the United States.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: So.... Yeah, so that was....
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: But you stop noticing things that way. After you've been here a while you just, you're more likely to know which dorm somebody lives in, or something.Jarren: Yeah, exactly.Catherine: Yeah.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: I thought Iowa- they put a great emphasis, at the time, the administration did, on the Grinnell experience, and I thought that was very useful to do that, because they look not only at the academic life of the students, but they wanted to be sure that we had... well, us freshman and new students especially, we had lots of mixers and stuff, so we could meet each other, and then, they were concerned with the total experience.Jarren: Hm.Catherine: And they were fun times.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: For - one of the times that was the most fun was- they had a spring brea- a Spring Day, and it was always a surprise what day that it would be. But they would... after the 8 AM classes had started, they would... ring the passing bells and announce that Spring Day was here, and on Spring Day, you did something for your professors in the morning, mow their lawn or something, or paint their garage, or whatever they wanted done, and then they always had a ferris wheel. And then they had this big ferris wheel going- for the- not only for the students, but also for anybody in the town who wanted to come ride it, and it was free. And they had... a picnic lunch, and... I kind of forget the details, but we ate- It was not going to classes anyway; it was just devoted to having fun.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: Yeah. So, the...
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: They started a Sailing Club where they flooded- the powers that be flooded a valley near here.Jarren: Huh.Catherine: There was a little stream that went down through the hills, and they dammed it up, and created a lake, and so.... We- so we had a Sailing Club. And then the College bought, for us, some boats, sailboats, and also some ice boats that go remarkably fast. The fact I remember about the ice boats is I was scared to death to get on. This lake had- was in a hilly area, and so it had lots of slender fingers of water. When that's not- if you're going with the wind very fast, it means you have to constantly keep turning. You can't go very long without turning. And... turning a sailboat can be rather tricky. Turning an ice boat can be even trickier. So, I was secretary of that group, and would pair people up with their boats, but I.. was scared to go on 'em myself, so.. Anyway, I don't recall, I think, of anything else. I don't....
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: I don't know, really. Spring was a nice time here because the winter was so awful.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And so, when sping came we had the blanket parties. Do they still blanket parties here?Jarren: What are those?Catherine: Oh, well... I shouldn't tell you, I suppose. Well, you take a blanket and a picninc and you walk north on the railroad track out into the cornfield someplace, and you create a little nest for yourself, and.. you and your boyfriend- or, you and your girlfriend spend the evening together.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And... the blanket parties became... you know, at the end of- when spring came, and nice weather came, there would be.... You- along the railroad tracks there'd be, you know, ten or twenty couples, on any given evening.Jarren: Wow... The blanket parties, wow.Catherine: Yes.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: During the winter time, my boyfriend and I discovered how to get into the Herrick Chapel basement where it was warm, and had a picnic there.Jarren: Yeah, that would be better.Catherine: I always thought that's better than freezing to death, yeah.Jarren: Yeah. Well...Catherine: So, in... Nobody ever caught us there, either.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Also, one thing, everyone's kind of got- I've never told anybody this, because I broke the rules, but the... They wouldn't tell us what the dinner menu was because there were some nights that we probably just wouldn't come if we knew what the dinner menu was. I- the usually- we knew they usually served fish on Friday, but we would- I- people wanted more details on the dinner menus, and so.... I used to work some in the infirmary and the nurse always had the dinner menus 'cause she had to feed anybody who was in the infirmaryand decide what foods to buy, what was OK to bring in- you know. So, I- we took to.... So I used to take one of the dinner menus from the nurse's office, or copy- I copied- and then give it to somebody else in my dorm who would ta- a couple of other girls who would type it up, and we used to go around post- posting 'em on the... bulletin boards.Jarren: Mhm.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Well, this was very upsetting. I don't know why the administration got so upset about this, but the idea that we knew what was for dinner really seemed to upset them, and they said if it didn't stop at once, and they found out who was doing it, they would certainly expell her, and I... I wasn't sure they would do that. I mean, how many straight-A students did they have anyway? But, anyway, they- Anyway, they threatened to. It was.... But, also they got so they- they would go around all the bulletin boards and take the menus off, so then we went around at night and put the menus in the... in the bathroom stalls, and then they.... And they- they could- I don't think they ever figured that one out, and nobody took 'em down. Anybody could've taken 'em down, of course, but people really liked knowing what was for dinner, so....Jarren: Yeah.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: So, anyway, that was my... I'm usually not very naughty, but I got a kick out of it. But, then they decided to look at where these, you know, where these were coming from... You know, how we were breaking their security system to get the menus, and the nurse started to put her- put the menus in a locked drawer, so then I couldn't get 'em anymore.Jarren: Huh. Wow.Catherine: But they never expelled me, so...Jarren: Here you are, the-Catherine: So here I am, yeah, graduated and 60 years later.Jarren: Yeah, wow.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: Do you think, like.... Do you think- I don't know if you can tell, but do you think the students or the culture of Grinnell has changed a lot in this - in that time, or when you're back do you still feel there's some sort of fundamental similarity?Catherine: Well, I think the students are still very friendly, least to us old visitors.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: And they... There are many more foreign students here, than-Jarren: That's true.Catherine: -yeah, than we had.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: But, no- I think the- much bigger. I toured the campus. I showed it to my granddaughter. I recommended Grinnell to two nieces, and one of them came here.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: That was Michelle Hampton, and then one of them, Ruth Hampton, it was her second choice school. She loved it, but she loved Colorado College in Colorado Springs even more in part 'cause she loved going horseback riding.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: We seem to be a sort of horsey family.Jarren: Yeah, yeah.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: But, anyway.... And then I showed it to another granddaughter, but.... and she loved- She was resistant to visiting it, 'cause I think I talked it up too much, but then she did, and.... you know. So... But- she loved it too, but I think she wanted to go to school closer to home. She was living- we were living in Amherst, Mass, then, and she went to Mount Holyoke.Jarren: Oh.Catherine: But.... So, it was....
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: There was one thing that annoyed me while at college here.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And that is that I had taken a very good course in vocations when I was- early in high school, and.... Like, I wanted to be a veterinarian and we had to interview so- the person- somebody in our field, and when I interviewed the veterinarian... when I- He told me that there wasn't a veterinary college in the country who would accept a woman, and then I'd visit Berkley. I just wasn't gonna be able to do it.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: And that- that really... sexism has been a problem for me most of my professional life.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: But anyway, that didn't.... I'm mad at myself, because this was partly my fault, that- what happened, but it was partly Grinnell's too. They- we- the freshman at Grinnell... Well, anyway, after my vocations course I thought I would be a high school English teacher.Jarren: Hm.Catherine: OK, so when we got here, they- and they didn't want us to declare a major until we were juniors, because they had a distribution requirement, and they wanted us to sample all the different departments, and see which one we liked, and then declare a major and pick something that we- that we liked.Jarren: Right.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Well, I liked Psychology, and so I picked Psychology instead of English, and that was a very serious mistake, because Psychology is not taught in high school as much, and the.... I didn't even think about it... I was so dumb. I dunno. I was so used to being taken care of, I don't think it had really sunk in that I might have to take care of myself sometime, you know? I mean, it just... So anyway.... Anyway, I took Psychology and then when I was a senior, I waited until halfway throught the senior year before I thought, "Gee, what am I gonna do next?"Jarren: Yeah.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: And so, I went to my professor, the department chair, and asked him, you know, "I'm about to graduate. Where should I look for a job?" And he said, "Well, if you're a man, you could go to any corporation and get hired in their personnel department. But, since you're a woman, do you type?" And, "'Cause you're going to have to pass on now as a secretary, and then when they realize how capable you are, they might let you do something more interesting."Jarren: Hm.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Well, I said, "Well, I'm not gonna do that." And so then the professor said, "Oh, well, in that case you'll need to go to graduate school." And I said, "But I don't have the money." So he said, "Oh, well, in that case, fill out these forms." which were applications for fellowships.Jarren: Oh.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: Well, I got the Danforth Foundation Fellowship, which is a real... They had given 50 fellowships a year to men, who wanted to become college professors, to go to graduate school. But that year, as an experiment, they decided to give 45 to men, and 5 to women. And... I got one.Jarren: Oh, wow.Catherine: So, that- and it was four years, all-expense to any school I wanted to go to. So, I went to... the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.Jarren: Hm.
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: So, that was.... Well, I suppose not telling me I wasn't going to be able to get a job was good for me in the long run because I got to go to Harvard on that. But, I- on the other hand, I think it was very irresponsible. I think they didn't want to warn the women about the job situation, because then they wouldn't have had as many Psychology majors.Jarren: Right.Catherine: And... You know, I think to not warn us about this, I'm- like I said, we- I should have thought about it myself anyway, but I didn't, and... so, I think both the College and I were at fault with that.Jarren: Mhm.Catherine: Which not- they should have been upfront about the majors sooner.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: Because, what was gonna happen with men, what was gonna happen with women were very different.Jarren: Mhm.... Hm.
  • Jarren Santos & Catherine Hampton Ditmore
    Jarren: So are there- is there anything else you have... to say about your time at Grinnell? Any memories, stories that you find... strike you now- right now, or...?Catherine: No, I think that's about it.Jarren: OK.Catherine: I had a good time here.Jarren: Yeah.Catherine: Yeah.Jarren: It sounds like it.Catherine: So, I wouldn't-
  • Catherine Hampton Ditmore & Jarren Santos
    Catherine: I never regretted having come to Grinnell.Jarren: Mm.Catherine: And have often been very glad I did, because I think that... this emphasis they had on the Grinnell experience was... that really- I think all of us in my class had a very good time here.Jarren: Mhm. Great.Catherine: Oh! I knew- oh, one other- did I tell you about the....yeah, I did, that I went to Hampton Institute.Jarren: Yeah, yeah.Catherine: Yeah, that was...Jarren: Interesting.Catherine: That was.Jarren: OK.
Alumni oral history interview with Catherine Hampton Ditmore '54. Recorded May 31, 2014.
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