Mary Kime ’50 MA, currently 97 years old, remembers her experience at Yale in 1950. Then, women were admitted for the Master of Arts in Education degree, but there were very few women on campus. Nonetheless, she felt completely respected by the faculty at the time. She was invited to go on at Yale for her PhD, but at that time in her life she had other plans. She went on to receive a MMus and a PhD in English at the University of Denver, where she taught for 25 years.
In 1950, age 26, I wanted to teach public school but had no undergraduate work in education. Yale offered a masters in this subject and simultaneously supervised the program to become certified to teach in Connecticut. I was very happy about this — the program was absolutely tailored to my needs. I lived in Shelton, Connecticut, which was an easy bus commute to New Haven.
What is your most enduring memory of your time at Yale?
The incredible brilliance and competency of the faculty. My professors were all leaders in their fields. I lived off campus and did not really know other students, but I noticed there were several women in my classes. Some were nuns from local Catholic schools. In seminars the atmosphere was collegial and enjoyable. At Commencement I was a marshal and I thought it notable.
If you could relive your time at Yale, what would you do differently?
Really, nothing! Every moment was deeply satisfying. The library, the wisteria in spring, the campus, all pleased me to the full. I was married and had a life where I lived in Shelton, and my times at Yale were golden.
What would you do exactly the same?
I could happily relive the two years at Yale just as they were then. In the long saga of my life, my Yale experience was a charmed time.
What is your favorite place in New Haven, past or present?
What is your favorite spot on campus?