Alumna Demonstrates the Utility of Lifelong Scholarship


Half century after her graduation from Radcliffe, Rosalyn L. Hunneman '47 is still a student at heart.

Hunneman has made her education a lifelong endeavor. After graduating from Radcliffe, she continued to further her education. Hunneman received a master's in education and psychology, and to this day, she continues to take classes at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement.

"I've been learning all my life," she says.

While she has spent much of her lifetime expanding her education, Hunneman has not lost the opportunity to apply her knowledge. Throughout her life she has served in many diverse jobs: from a volunteer in the Peace Corps to a manager of nuclear waste.

She retired three years ago from her post as the chair of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Authority in Vermont.


In my view, an educated woman has a compelling obligation to use her education," she wrote in her 25th reunion profile, published in 1972.

Coming from an age in which women were urged to become only homemakers and not pursue a higher education, Hunneman's attitude is rare.

Despite being in a class in which 58 percent of the married women describe their current occupation as being "at home," Hunneman says she wants more from her education.

"We surely didn't put in all those years in college simply to prepare to mop floors, cook meals, buy food, drive a car, etc." she wrote in the class report. "I feel that our families both need and respect independent, self-sustaining women, especially the husbands."

Hunneman says she believes that women have come a long way since her College days.

"I think we've accomplished a lot, and we just have to keep pressing on," she said in a recent interview. "We should support women who are achieving and trying to achieving and trying to achieve."

Hunneman says she is particularly pleased with the recent appointment of Madeleine K. Albright as secretary of state.

"When I was in college, would I have ever dreamed that a woman could become the secretary of state? Never!" she says.

Hunneman says that the advances in equality between men and women in the past few decades have been beneficial because, she believes, most men prefer to have equality between the sexes.

"Few men, I suspect, like carrying the full support of the family, and it's hard for men to imagine that many women enjoy being dependent on someone else for their total sustenance," she says.