Chamberlain Girls by Dixie T Palmer

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Musings, Memories & Epiphanies Inspired by Place

Chamberlain Girls
By Dixie T Palmer

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.
Fashion is in the sky, in the street.
Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.
Coco Chanel, 1883–1971

Chamberlain School of Retailing in Boston groomed young women for fashion careers. My article is comprised of fond memories of my two years at Chamberlain starting in 1966 — that was just yesterday right?

The school, founded in 1927, during my matriculation still adhered to a classical dress code — tailored suits or dresses, hats, gloves, and high-heeled shoes. Yet, these years from the Silent Fifties to the Swinging Sixties were ones of pivotal change in ideals. Our boyfriends were in Vietnam, the hemlines rose six inches to mini sizes, and everyone had a movement to promote.

At Chamberlain we lived in two worlds: the academic, where we strove to achieve our goals and the Boston student world of camaraderie and fun. I invite you to read all about it from a Chamberlain Girl’s point of view.

Dixie Tabb Palmer


Chamberlain sealChamberlain School of Retailing in Boston, Massachusetts, was of a certain time and place in American life. While it no longer exists, it prepared me for my over-20 year career as a retail executive at first with Saks Fifth Avenue and then Neiman Marcus. But mostly it opened my eyes to the subtle, sometimes confusing and fantastic changes that were going on in the world of politics, society and how fashion reflected all that upheaval. After high school in 1966, I was accepted at Chamberlain School of Retailing. The school was founded in 1927 as a private two-year fashion/business college for women. But times they were a-changin: these were the early-revolution days of the Second-Wave Feminist Movement and it was important to me that the administrators of the school I attended were female. I wanted a woman-friendly career, one that allowed females to become managers, editors, or buyers and control the action, unlike the areas of law, engineering, and architecture.

My love of fashion began at an early age. As a six-year-old, I’d model my vacation frocks when visiting relatives. Everyone would o-o-o-h and a-a-a-h as I’d come out from the bedroom in my red plaid sundress and white hat and sandals — my mother was my behind-the-scenes beauty pageant dresser.

My admiration of style evolved from my parent’s approach to fashion. Dad wore brown wool-gabardine suits, white shirts with cuff links of gold Cadillac symbols (he sold Cadillac cars for a living), and a brown-beaver fedora. My mother channeled Jacqueline Kennedy with sheath dresses and pillbox hats. Now, I was ready to continue my fashion journey at Chamberlain where heels and gloves were de rigueur for girls matriculating the 1966–68 class.

After driving for hours from my hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, my father exited from the Massachusetts Turnpike to enter Boston’s Back Bay.

Boston skyline in 1966

Boston skyline in 1966 from other side of Charles River, 2 left at a distance the Prudential Building, second from right, old Hancock Building

We were distracted by the city’s tallest landmark at the time: the Prudential Building in the 800 block of Boylston Street. My father turned mistakenly onto Newberry Street. I went crazy, marking the boutiques there with the Mary Quant dresses and skirts — I would have never seen a hemline six-inches above the knee in Harrisburg!

My Back Bay guidebook informed me that this two hundred-acre area was created before the Civil War by filling in an estuary of the Charles River. Wealthy Victorians had built their stately mansions here in a variety of classical architectural styles unified with a brownstone façade that reflected their Puritan sensibilities — having money, but not standing out.

Finally, we arrived on campus. My dormitory, Gloucester House, was on 269 Commonwealth Avenue across from the Parisian-inspired Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The mall was comprised of 32 acres of trees and esplanade connecting the Boston Commons Gardens and Boston University and was part of a parks system developed by Frederick Olmstead Law known as “Boston’s Emerald Necklace.”

Student carrying boxesWe drove past the other girls carting boxes, their parents in tow doing the same. I quickly knew this would be the best city I could have chosen for my college experience. It was charming and there were over 30 colleges, including major universities and schools of engineering, arts, and music. I was in a young person’s heaven.

Inside of Gloucester House, traffic went two ways on Georgian stairways — fathers ascended with perspiration on their brows, heaving several suitcases and then descended, wiping their brows with monogrammed handkerchiefs. While they labored hauling their daughters’ overloaded suitcases, the mothers were directing from behind especially when there was a thump or mark left on the white wall below the stairs’ dado railings.

“How the Hell did this happen?” my father asked. “You’re on the top floor — that’s six flights up!”

“No, daddy it’s the seventh,” I corrected. “There are a few more steps up, this is Miss Driscoll’s room, she’s our assistant house-mother.”

“This is where the scullery-maids used to live,” he grumbled back.

We peered into our room and started to laugh. “It’s so small!” I said, “How are we going to move?” My new roommate, Marcia, helped me drag my luggage to the closet and hang my dresses while my mother took care of the drawers. We made my bed and I felt at home.

Floormates at Chamberlain

I’m second from left with a bad hair day

Soon, we were meeting my other floor-mates respectively (see photo L-R: Rosemary Lenahan, from West Springfield, Massachusetts; Marcia Kay Van Inwagen, Rushville, NY; JoAnn Willis, from Eliot, Maine; Gayle Esterberg, Ellisworth, Maine; Mary Elaine Monti, from Waterbury, New York; Judith Wrightman, from Woodstock, Connecticut; unidentified; and Donna Jellison, York Beach, Maine).

I heard them talking about where to ‘pahk the cah in Havad Squayuh’ or that someone was ‘wicked smaht’. I was in Yankee-land now and wouldn’t hear an ‘r’ or rounded ‘a’ for two years.

My parents took us all out for lunch at the Muffin House, on Boylston Street, which sold sandwiches and soup.

It was time to say goodbye. Standing next to the car, I gave both parents a hug, “I promise, I’ll call you and tell you everything, now, have a safe trip home. I have to get ready for classes tomorrow.”

Group of junior students

I’m second from left, sans gloves, oops!

Walking down the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, we girls resembled a regatta of Fifth Avenue fashion hats: Oleg Cassini pillboxes, cloches, and St Laurent berets. Our high heels were clicking; one white-gloved hand was swaying, and the other clinging to an edition of The History of Costume.

As we sailed along to our first day of classes, we were excited to see our school’s 90 Marlborough Street location.

Then another first: a Hippie! We’d heard about this type. He walked in slow motion toward us with his blond freak-flag-flying in the breeze from the bay. He wore denim bell-bottom jeans that swooshed on the concrete and caused fraying at the hems. A fitted-denim shirt stretched across a narrow chest. His blue eyes locked with our eyes. As he came to our port side, we sighed.

He proclaimed, “You know, you look just as strange to me as I do to you!”

Heart-struck, we turned to look at him, and I protested, “No, No! We love how you look; in fact, we’re hippies too! You just have to check us out on weekends — We’re Chamberlain Girls!”

Our sophisticated demeanor quite unraveled, we sprinted to the door of our school.

Of course, saying we were hippies on weekends wasn’t really true because that’s when we were invited to mixers at Harvard and Tufts.


I later realized that while we thought we were young and with-it, in truth, we were still living very mainstream, sheltered lives in the style of 1950’s, the silent 50’s. But the Sixties were starting to be felt in our lives and at our hemlines.

In 1966, fashion was on the cusp of changing. The ’66 fashions were still evolving from Christian Dior’s 1930’s Le Sack dresses into the designs of 1950-60, A-line, Y-line and H-line — all with hemlines at the knee or below.

But new innovations were gearing up. Manufacturers were making faux linens, boucles, and silk shantung from new synthesised petrochemicals: Nylon, Polyester, and Orlon. Imagine expensive polyester sold at Saks salons!

Pantsuitspolyester dressThe annual winter Senior Fashion Show of 1967 was titled, “What’s Opening.”

The show began with an adaptation of an St Laurent wool pantsuit with a double-breasted jacket, perfect for the business dealings of a fearless woman. The only problem was the fear emanating from the audience — so taboo!

fashion show

At Chamberlain, the changes were showing up everywhere. Seniors presented current fashions of fur-trimmed, swing coats, dirndl-skirts, or dresses with cropped jackets, a peignoir of lace-trimmed chiffon, hemline to the knees (of course).

Hairdressers who molded the bouffant styles with tons of hairspray were now inspired by the Sassoon stylist who began in 1966 to cut the Wedge, the hairstyle of choice at Chamberlain. We would add braided dynel-chignons for greater sophistication and to hold our pillbox hats in place.

Feminist politics were smoldering. Gloria Steinem had just exposed the treatment of Playboy Bunnies by exposing herself in a satin, push-up and strapless body suit with a big white bunny-tail. She posed as an undercover-Bunny at the New York club. Gloria reported that sexist treatment and little respect were being paid to these women — referred to as girls — unless you counted oogling and groping as perks.

Meanwhile, all politics is local, and I found out that Playboy Magazine was scouting Chamberlain women/girls to pose for the centerfold.

It was confusing living during all of those revolutions: fashion, feminism, hippie ideals, and the underground protests against the Vietnamese War, women’s rights like the right to work and to abortion, civil rights and changing mores.

Calling boyfriend in vietnamThese were heady days yet silent ones before the storm. The question of that era was “Whose side are you on?”

Still, amid all the serious questions we still had to dress appropriately.

At Chamberlain I studied histories of fashion, furniture and architecture. My architecture professor was Mrs. Johnson O’Connor — we never used her first name due to the Emily Post forms of etiquette for addressing our elders at the time.  She was the first woman to graduate from M.I.T. as an architect. We had a treasure trove of classical examples in the buildings of Boston.

The MeeksMr. William J. Meek was an editor at the Boston Globe and taught us what to read to become au courant. His wife Mrs. Meek taught us comportment and style: I remember that she was the only one ever to show me how socialites and debutants walked in the 1930’s. It was called the Debutant Slouch — imagine.

For my first practicum, I learned to fit French-made Kislav Gloves on ladies at Boston’s famous Jordan Marsh department story glove counter. It was an art! I learned to put my back into it: push the full length of the fingers into the curve of the hand, slide the paper thin kid-leather up to the elbow, and continually smoothing the leather into a supple, malleable texture.

The next Chamberlain event was the Junior Variety show. Since we were new to the world of fashion education, juniors were only expected to entertain the faculty with satire.

group juniors near pond

Our group skit got right to the point: a protest led by my classmate Mary Elaine Monty, now a professional actress, whose later roles included several Law and Order episodes. Our group of juniors adapted Barbra Streisand’s 1966 hit song from the Broadway play, I Can Get It For You Wholesale: Sam You Made The Pants Too Long! Instead we decided to spoof the song and also make fun of our headmistress: Miss NOONES You Made The Skirts Too Long!

However, at Chamberlain the hemline police insisted that the dress had to measured with rulers. After all, this was a conservative school for young girls, located in the conservative town of Boston. The hem must hit below the knee. It didn’t escape us that students of a fashion school should be more avant-gardes. But Miss Noones our director wasn’t going to change the rules; she believed, as did all the faculty, that the mini-skirt, the sky-high hemlines, were a fad, not a fashion revolution and a sign of the social upheaval. How wrong she was.

Skirts too long

I’m 4th from left looking afraid to cross the line.


The headmistress Miss Noones’ stoic smile.

On weekends, when not going to mixers with college boys, we made the rounds of the Boston bars between our dorm and the University of Boston. Of course, we had a curfew! Midnight. That caused a lot of dangerous driving if you were out on a date or with a group of other students. Cars would come flying around curfew, landing on sidewalks or in the mall. Usually, the routine was to go to Alexander’s’ with white tablecloths, a big red number and a telephone on each table. Boys would call us and say what their table number was if the conversation went anywhere.  The folk club Hungry I featured the early debut of Barbra Streisand, and the scene included the then-unknown Jefferson Airplane which I saw and admired Grace’s hippy chic. Boston had folk and jazz festivals, all very popular. The Beatles visited in 1966.

At Chamberlain I knew one student who would slip down to the Combat Zone, considered a place where nice girls did not go. Located downtown on Washington Street, it was known for adult entertainment and roving prostitutes. She told me tales of public indecency, but in retrospect it was all very innocent. Still, the Combat Zone to this day remains a hallmark of downtown Boston.

Then there was the “Musical Virgins” weekend.

My high school friend, Dick Pierce, called me from Rutgers. He suggested that I gather eight Chamberlain girls for a weekend with he and eight fellow Alpha-Sigma-Phi brothers for a weekend at Rutgers. So the Chamberlains flew the Boston Shuttle to New York JFK Airport to attend.

Our weekend started out pretty formally when the guys escorted us very ceremonially into their candle-lit and oaken dining room. A toga party followed, spilling beer everywhere. Then we changed dates. We all slept in one hotel room so nothing was happening in bed — most of us had passed out. The next day we went to the football game, changed partners again for the party afterwards, and spent the night in the same room.

Dick called later and told us our new nickname. We had many more invites and visits from them because they thought we were “cool.” The prim and proper Class of ’66 Chamberlain girls had arrived!


73 thoughts on “Chamberlain Girls by Dixie T Palmer”

  1. I can’t believe I found this today! Something in my mind told me to do a search on Chamberlain School of Retailing to see if there was anything at all on the web!

    Lo Behold!! I will send this site to all my chamber friends! It was indeed a lovely school. A bit snotty as I remember, but I still loved it!

    1. I am so glad that you found my Chamberlain story. I did some research before writing my essay but couldn’t find a website or a phone number — nada. So I’m writing a memoir and decided to tailor the essay as a time and place piece for Meg’s website.

      The teacher you are asking about wasn’t around when I was there, so sorry can’t help. Did you go into retailing or the fashion industry? Check out the website There are more Chamberlain alum on the site; maybe you graduated with one of them – I found several from my year.

      Thanks for writing me and keep in touch with any news.

      1. Great story/article Dixie. It was sent from a great friend of ours who still lives in the Boston area and he frequented our dorm and dated my roommate, Becky Barcus Rosberg who lives near me in Palm Beach County, Fl. One time, years ago we went to Miss Noones home in Sarasota for a reunion. Is she still living? Please keep me posted on any reunions, especially in Florida. Best wishes. I certainly had such a great time in Boston during those years 1965-67. Such turbulent times, such peace marches. I now wish I had marched with them!! Martie Wrock.

  2. WOW……………how trippy to see this. Bittersweet………but I sure wish that I could contact my roomies from that time. I still know two of them. I have a male friend that went there 15 years later!!

    This brought back SO many memories and my love for Mrs. Fieldman or Fielding (would someone let me know what her name was?)who taught color theory and was so very kind to me. I also cherish the honor of Mrs. O’Connor and the flashlights and architecture education.

    Thank you!

    Kind regards,

    Dianna Flight

  3. Thank goodness for those interior design classes, something I always loved and still do today.
    Dianna and I became friends in 1965 and still keep in touch. I never got past putting my hair up or wearing a wig to keep that short look. Still lucky to be close to Boston to stroll down memory lane.
    Fondest regards to all our fellow classmates.

  4. I am from Brazil and attended Chamberlain in 1987/1988. Is the school really closed ? Is Mrs. Saul still with us ? What about Mrs. Warren and Mr. Patience ? Dou you know how to contact anyone who worked there in recent years ?

  5. What memories – I graduated high school 1955 and headed to Chamberlain – I was so young and became homesick – but that passed – my two years at Chamberlain gave me the time I needed to grow up. I had a wonderful time and made life long friends. It was such a good experience for a young girl.

  6. although I did not graduate with the class of 1967 (a regret of my life) I have wonderful memories of my junior year at Gloucester house.. the hats.. the gloves.. the heels.. my roommates Donna Nardella, Martha Horsch and Becky Barcus.. also for a short time Sally from St.Louis with the fur coat.. there was one other that moved in midyear who I can not remember her name..Everything I learned at Chamberlain has stayed with me all these years.. I call it flair which separates us for other women.. We lived through the Great Northeast Blackout and the Boston Strangler.. in Boston on our own using public transportation and our feet to get around.. it was great fun and hard work.. Donna Houton I still live in the same house in Hingham.. contact me..

  7. What a wonderful article – brought back so many memories. I have many great friends from that era ( 64-66 ) and we have even had a 25th reunion. But it is hard to find some of the people that we went to school with, now that the school is gone. Wish a techie would start a website/or someway that we could all stay in touch/

    1. Hi Heather and thanks for the comments. Which years were
      U at Chmberlain? Was the 25 for chamberlain grads?
      It would be so cool to have one for all grads.
      Yes, the school per my research was either blended into another
      school or defunct. Website fun idea; any suggestions? I did find names and contacts of grads on

      1. Hi Dixie – sorry I didn’t see this before. Our year was 1966. We arranged a reunion for our 25th year in Kennebunk Maine, where we had a place at the time. It was great fun and lasted all weekend – we surprised some of the girls ( that was the best part!) Carolyn & Bill Meek came up from Boston for the dinner – that made it for us. Have no idea how to do a website – our son would, but way too busy right now – I would be more than happy to help – just let me know

    2. Hi Heather,

      I came across this site today. You may remember me as Elaine Lantz, I lived downstairs from you in Windsor.

    3. Heather, one of my daughters found this blog and I love the comments. It has been a long time since our lovely weekend in Maine and so much has happened since.

      Bill passed away in 2000 at the age of 85 and our three daughters are all married, each one with three children so I am the grandmother of nine.

      I still teach at the Boston Architectural College , a course in The History of Architecture and Furniture and am involved in the design community.

      Chamberlain was a world apart although a great experience.


      1. Hi Carolyn – lovely to read your reply! I check this site every so often, and see that a lot more people have responded – none from my year, which is too bad. Sorry to hear of Bill’s passing – boy did that man have a positive affect on me! He was absolutely charming.
        That was a fun reunion and it made it special that the two of you were there. I am sure you must keep in touch with some of the “girls” from those days. You should write on this blog and tell us things like, what happened to Hilda Noones! Seriously – everyone would love to get caught up. We came across some info on Mary Troy a few years ago, had some contact, but not a lot.
        After 38 years I am closing my Design business. Had a shop for 18 of those years and after that did it out of the greenhouse at the back of the property. Loved every minute of it and Chamberlain was always there with me. Amazing the affect that the school had on all of us.
        I remarried 42 years ago and we have 2 sons – both married. We have 3 gorgeous grand daughters
        no where near your nine! Loved to hear from you – hope you post some news on this blog
        Take care – Heather

      2. I have never posted to a blog…I love my privacy, but I was so thrilled to find this site and to see Carol Meeks posted! We don’t use Facebook or LinkedIn but do want to get in touch by email!!!

        Everything about Chamberlain…the intense, engaging coursework, the talented, expert instructors, the high standards, pushing the boundaries of abilities and skills, has mad my diverse, interesting life not only possible but challenging.

        I graduated in 1964, Miss Cox allowed me to be interviewed by Mr. Ohlwang (Swedish) from
        the Sears Cambridge store where I started the new innovation, Interior Decorating dept. After Graduation, Sears sent me to NYC for a week of training (I even went to the NY World’s Fair…alone, with my hat on, white gloves and heels…Miss Cox would have been so proud!!

        Sears Cambridge Personnel Director Miss Butler used to follow me around whenever I either
        wore my long hair “down” or wore my soft RED Evan Picone suit, saying, “WHAT would Miss Cox say?!!”

        My first Field Work was in Chestnut Hills, R.H. Stearn’s, demonstrating Kislov kid gloves!!
        So many of our clients had severe arthritis, so I was always worried that fitting these beautiful
        gloves would cause our “carriage trade ladies” pain. I still have my pairs of gloves, including the opera length which I wear on occasion.

        My second Field Work was at Jordan Marsh, 6th Floor, just below the Enchanted Village… children’s/school uniforms, etc….so many memories, especially of theshocking day JFK was assassinated. What a nightmare in the store. So many memories clear as today. Even when some of us Chamberlain women volunteered to organize JFK’s office. My dear Canadian classmates were so devastated! Opened my eyes.

        I remember the pounding at night as the construction workers drove piles for the John Hancock
        Building…and the Prudential Center in Copley Square. Wonderful memories of eating at Ken’s in Copley Square. What a treat. Copley Plaza…standing in the rain for 3 hours with roommates Oct. 1963 to see JFK on his way to a Harvard football game…3 weeks before his death.

        I remember loving life on Marlborough Street as a newly minted young professional! Didn’t love having to maintain and park a “boat” of a car…the men from the Algonquin Club would park illegally in my mid-block alley spot!! I was forced to park on the street…so many parking tickets!!

        With no sense of direction, I was constantly lost trying to find my clients all over Greater Boston but my boss loved how much business I brought in and KNEW my mileage reflected real miles (lost) I travelled. I kept accurate records!! I was always lost! I think about the Boston Strangler and my driving ALONE all over, at night, to the homes of strangers…God watches out for fools and children. Chamberlain taught us to believe and prepared us to do anything!!

        I married the love-of-my-life, AF2nd Lt. Clifford E. Richardson, III who retired (the first time) as a Lt/Col . We will be celebrating our 50th this Nov. 2015…gets better and better!!

        Cliff is in his 4th career at the BASE here in ABQ. I ended up having NINE careers with all the education and credentials for such diversity. Even(#8) manufacturing/finance/cost analyst/ auditor for General Electric Aircraft Engine Business Group!

        As a new bride 50 years ago, I painted a mural, designed furniture and the interior for the Communications Headquarters at Wright Patterson AFB for Cliff’s roommate. The young airmen (18-19 yr-olds) were waiting/processing for such places as Laos, Cambodia and the like. during the Vietnam War.

        Remembering Mr. Meeks wonderful World News/Economics Classes, I kept wondering…”What are we doing sending guys to these countries? I thought we had treaties that prevented our presence?!!”

        Years later while teaching Red Cross Advanced First Aid at UNM in ABQ, a major disturbance caused by student protestors over the Kent State shootings…had me puzzled since the US had been sending boys to these countries for 5 years!!! Why now?! Then I realized that the U.S. public were totally unaware of what the Pentagon had been doing…

        I’ve been grateful for the critical thinking skills Mr. Meeks helped me develop, to question, to think for myself about such things…I used his style and approach in my 9th career…teaching in public schools and educating educators at UNM.

        Because Mr. Meeks used the NY Times and Newsweek for our classes, I knew how important it was for my students to be able to read news critically. So, I paid for two newspapers (1 local and 1 national) for my students as part of Newspapers-in-Education. I also taught other teachers from all over NM how to use newspapers for teaching critical thinking and integrating all subjects, including the stock market. Did I mention that I got the students no one else would teach at our school? Great kids!!

        Among other experiences/education, as a military officer’s wife and as the Chair of Red Cross I ran the AF Well-Baby Clinic on Base. Loved it. Then, while still living on Base, with mysterious health issues, including being bedridden for 6 months, I opted to follow a dream AND to learn for myself what was wrong. With Cliff’s guaranteed tour in ABQ limited to 2 years more for his Master’s Construction Management, I enrolled in Pre-med Biology…completing 4 years in just 24 continuous months with honors…the glitch was that, if I went to Med School (wanted to be a
        surgeon) Cliff and I would be separated for at least 8 to 12 years.. transferring from one med school to another was NOT allowed at the time. I had even been able to overcome the AGE limit
        (25) I was 29 and the gender issue. But, with free choice, I never regretted my decision NOT to go to med school; To celebrate, I really went out on a limb…I took ballet classes!!

        I still read 5-6 Med Journals every month.

        When, in my 9th career, because I had such great teachers at Chamberlain…everything so relevant, I opted to become a public school teacher, I used everything I learned in Pre-Med with
        my students…boys primarily; engaged their interests by starting each system of the body with the goriest disease! Worked. I also used shipping realities (pirates and tough conditions) from the early days of Lloyd’s of London to engage my students…Ms. Skinner just made history so interesting for us at Chamberlain…so I used her story-telling style to make history come alive for my students.

        In my 4th year of teaching, I opted for the pilot National Board Certified Teacher in 1994-95; granted as one of 91 in the US out of 6,000 who completed this grueling process. I wanted to be the best I could be for my students…again, learned from Chamberlain’s amazing teachers! My
        NBCT included every subject for Elementary, Middle School and High school…including PE!!

        Best thing I did for myself, i.e., after going to Chamberlain and after marrying “My Guy!”

        I maintain my national credentials as a Risk Manager…keeps me on my toes…AND I am able to contribute this knowledge on behalf of the various non-profits on whose BODs I serve.

        Cliff is a Civil Engineer with 4 Masters…one of the first Energy Engineers in the country. He’s my best pal, my soul mate and my challenger. I must say that Chamberlain helped me to recognize and realize the importance of having good people in my life…not just professionally but also personally.

        Living in the Southwest after growing up in New England is still always a challenge…I especially wish my students had had the opportunity to a be a part of Chamberlain…such a unique, special experience. We were blessed in Boston to be immersed in one of the best educational centers in the country.

        We in Chamberlain had great teachers! I’m so grateful to have known and learned from Mr. Meeks. We were saddened in Fall 1963 to lose our Senior Year Interior Design teacher to a cerebral hemorrhage so young. but I learned so much from her in my Junior Year.

        Our parents where “shocked” when we called them to announce “Our Miss Noones is pregnant!” We quickly corrected with “Mrs. Saul…!”

        Hope to hear from anyone from the years 1962 through 1964…and to hear about our instructors too.

        PS I know…way too long, but just like a visit!

        ABQ, NM

      3. Wow! I am so excited to see this article and the comments. Mrs Meek! Sorry to say that I didn’t pay enough attention to you at the time (Boston was such an exciting town for this girl from Maine) but I remember you very well and you certainly had a positive impact on me. I can never see a reference to Time magazine without thinking of your husband!
        I am a gemologist in Florida, with 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Time passes quickly.
        Please take care.
        Blair Lovejoy
        Class of ’79
        aka last all female graduating class

  8. Loed this article! It brought back so many memories! I graduated in 1969. I got a late start in the fashion industry..(I owned a fruit and produce business for many years), but after selling my business six years ago I went to work at Lorraine Roy Collections and Bridal Boutique. I LOVE my new career even if it took over 40 year to get there!

  9. Hell-o ladies. I attended Chamber from the fall of 1971 to the spring of 1972. I lived with two other girls in the library of
    the Sears family home (then dorms) on Commonwealth Ave. How horrible that I remember stories, fun and lots of laughter but not the names. My yearbook was washed away in a flood. I went on to attend the University of NC-Chapel Hill. The year I attended was the second year woman could attend. As juniors/seniors only. It had been an all men’s college until the early 70’s. I also remember hats, heels and short dresses. We didn’t know it at the time but we truly looked quite grown up. Much better than my outfit of jeans at UNC-CH. Am now retired in Pinehurst, North Carolina. My 3 daughters are scattered across America. My husband and I enjoy boating and travel. I now look in the mirror and ask myself “who is the white haired lady?” …how the time has flown. But I do remember Boston. Any of you remember the cat calls we would get from any construction guy? We would smile and turn up our little noses and walk to class. My grandchildren can’t believe we had hours and would get locked in at night, not to mention the dress code. I remember doing the announcing for the fashion show the spring of ’72. I wore my hair in a bun and had wire rimmed glasses. One roommate was from Rhode Island …had a marvelous weekend at her house and the other from Maine. For the life of me I can’t remember which one was Kathy. I remember the room. My brain must be a sieve today. I was great friends with a girl from Canada who lived up the stairs off the front door on the left. She came to visit in NC and last I heard was doing well. She dressed beautifully and only would keep her cloths to a foot or was it two feet of hangers. Something I have always admired. During the years I have had both professional and job-et type jobs. My husband and I raised our three girls outside of Chicago in a little village called Glen Ellyn. And yes, I DO miss the snow!
    please answer if any of this rings a bell. I found this web site today because I’m going for a job and they wanted all my educational background. Can’t believe they wanted to go that far back. Was sad to see that Chamberlain is no longer.
    Hope everyone is having a happy productive life filled with laughter and joy.
    Susan Williamson…married name Fumea

    1. I attended Chamberlain the same years you did. I remember you guys. I was tall, skinny ( I lost that 35 years ago ) and I stuttered, ( abideeea abideeea abideeea I still do.) I’m Canadian, named Jane. My parents couldnt attend our graduation because my Dad got very ill, cancer and passed away shortly after that. I remember the Newberry Pizza slices, and the Daisy Buchanen bar owned partly by Derek Sanderson. I ended up a buyer, a Canadian Discount Chain, then I went back to University, got married and pregnant, 2 children Daughter, and a son.


  10. Hi, I attended Chamberlain School from 1971-1973. I lived in the dorms, 267 Commonwealth Avenue. I’m from Canada, Fort Erie. Susan Williamson, I think I knew you. I was tall, skinny, and stuttered. My first year I lived on the fourth floor, in a triple room, and the second year in a singleton on the second floor. There was a great bar, on Newberry, owned partly by Derek Sanderson – Boston Bruins. Anybody remember that or me, let me know.

    Jane McKenzie

    1. Jane, a blast from the past!! Sorry to hear Chamberlain closed!! I took my son to visit “Daisy Buchannons” (remembering good times) He went to college in Milton Massachusetts..

      I worked in the advertising industry and then more recent the Jewelery business.. Went to Chamberlain from 1972-1974..We were together for one yesr..
      I have three children and was married in 1977. Met up with Linda Kazanjian and I still communicate with Bip and Dianne Douglass.

    2. Hi Jane- I’m Kathy Stanton, (aka Gino- can’t quite remember how I got that nickname Lol), another Canadian who attended Chamberlain in fall of 1972- I think we were floor mates I remember Daisy’s, Derek Sanderson, Newbury St. Pizza and card game marathons- would love to hear from you – I’m likely nearby as I live in the GTA- hope to hear from you.

      1. Hi Donna- I think we were first year roommates and Jane and Linda were also on the same floor – just stumbled across this great website on a nostalgic whim – would love to hear from you!

        Kathy (aka Gino)

        1. Kathy Stanton I remember you quite well! I’m not sure how much time has passed since I left the first msg., today is January 31st 2015.. Hope you receive this soon?

  11. My daughter actually had the idea to search for Chamberlain on my behalf. What a surprise to find this blog and all of the comments, many of which I can relate to. I am from Maryland and now live in Pensacola, FL. I attended Chamberlain from ’69 to ’71. My daughter loves to hear about the hats, maxi-coats and no jeans allowed even outside of the dorms. It is hard to imagine even for me, even now! I had great friends, Jean Renkianen (sp?), Cape Cod and Ellen Guthrie, Harrisburg, PA. I remember Mr. & Mrs. Meek and also our 90+yr. old architecture teacher. I had such a difficult time understanding the New England accent especially when trying to learn the parts of a building. I would take notes with no r’s. I remember the Boston Pop’s, seeing “Hello Dolly” and the Harvard mixers. Oh, and the Greek food once a year prepared by our Greek kitchen workers at the dorm. I still benefit from what I learned at Chamberlain. I worked in fashion merchandising at Woodward & Lothrop, Washington, DC for several years prior to going into hotel furnishing design and sales. I loved it all! Now I do home staging and own rental properties. I love that too! I use many of the design, color theory, sales psychology and even the math I learned at Chamberlain to this day. I am so grateful that I took my mom’s suggestion and answered the ad for Chamberlain in the back of a fashion magazine!

    1. Hello Barbara-

      I graduated from high school with Jean Renkainen and Leslie Morgan. Did you know Leslie?

      Gini Cox Barr

  12. Hi, Dixie!

    I went to Chamberlain from 1975 to 1977 and LOVED reading your stories of what the school was like a decade or so earlier. While culture and fashion had changed considerably by the time I was there, there were still “old-fashioned” traditions that were part of the school. I LOVED Mr. and Mrs. Meek (she taught Interior Design when I was there and I still have the textbook!) and I still enjoy reading Time magazine 🙂 I also fondly remember Hilda Noones Saul and Mary Troy! I was awarded the Elsie K. Chamberlain award and received a beautiful silver charm from Shreve, Crump and Low. I also remember modeling in a fashion show at The Copley Plaza Hotel whic was great fun! Unfortunately, I have not stayed in touch with my classmates and hope they read this and know I am thinking of them.

    1. Chamberlain lives on in all of our comments, hopefully more Chamberlain women will check in with us.

      I’m really impressed about the Elsie K. Chamberlain award and hope you still have the charm.

  13. I cannot believe that there is finally a Chamberlain connection.This is wonderful! Though much describes the mid-sixties, so much is familiar as I was one of those hats-and-heels girls from 1958 to 1961 when we were first to graduate at the Copley Plaza. Miss Cox ruled then – through fear, primarily. Carolyn Baker Meek was still a student, Hilda Noones taught Advertising, Jane Carlson taught History of Furniture and the other histories blossomed as well. We had a male instructor who raptured over the textures of fabrics – a real course. Amazing to read that a student was selling Kislav gloves behind the counter at Jordan Marsh as I was doing the same at R.H.Stearns, Chestnut Hill, in fall of 1959. “Our” lounges had different names but the stories are so familiar. Bonwit’s had the bags with the violet spray signature, the Colonial had theater, and Shreve’s was a fantasy.. I eventually was with Jordan Marsh and moved with the opening of the Maine Mall store in Portland in 1968. Thanks for the memories of a time and place that few understand or recognize today. Chamberlain helped lay the groundwork for a full and interesting life. It was a wonderful time before the huge changes to follow but we had a ball and learned about life in the big city,( oh, yes we did!) learned so much and had untold, weekend adventures that were so mild and innocent, in retrospect.

    1. Hi Sandra,
      It’s very nice to hear from you, and I want to thank you for adding your experience at Chamberlain School of Retailing. If you check eBay you can find vintage Kislav gloves for sale. I wholeheartedly agree that the school prepared us for a full and interesting life. When I see a period-piece movie all of my senses come alive because I can see the elements of the style of the era learned at Chamberlain. It helped develop my sense of style and helped me throughout my retail career and beyond. Please check back regularly for new comments and spread the word!

    2. Hi Sandy:

      It was so nice to see your message. Yes we were the infamous class of 1961, but it was the greatest two years of my life and I wish I could go back there again. I have not kept in touch with hardly any of the class as no one seems interested. Sharon Mitchell and I looked up Bev Dwyer a few years ago on the Cape and that is all. I ran into Muffy Sampson in Damariscotta (Miss Cox’s niece) a few years ago and she told me Miss Cox had passed on and the details. It was nice to remember those wonderful memories of decades ago.

      1. Mary Ann, would love to connect with you. How do we do this?! Mitch was my first year roommate and I always wondered what various of us Chamberlain girls (?) were doing at this time in our lives… Where is she? What memories,eh? (as Mitch used to say)
        Muffy I did not know.

        Am in Vt.

  14. Hello Dixie-

    I was so surprised to find your blog. I had search for Chamberlain School of Retailing previously but had missed your site.

    I was at Chamberlain for a very short time from February to May of 1971. I have very fond (but sometimes distant) memories of being there and have tried to contact several of my former classmates without much success-problem is I have forgotten most of their last names. Do you know if there is a website that lists graduates?

    I studied Interior Design but of course took the same classes everyone else did-History of Costume, Color Line and Design as well as English and Math. I lived on Commonwealth Ave. (close to the corner of Fairfield)- on the second floor with 3 roomates Carol, Ruth and ? (I think her name began with a D) and with nine of us sharing a bathroom. How any of us got out in time for breakfast I will never know! I believe our class was the first not required to wear hats and gloves-just pantihose, 2″ heals and no slacks unless they were part of a “pantsuit”.

    I have great memories of Sundays at the deli on Boylston, walks to the Commons and the Garden. That was in the day when retail was closed on Sundays. One of the girls in my dorm was dating Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins-we all found reason to be downstairs whenever he came to pick her up and were very impressed when he would loan her his Cadillac.

    My parents, my brother and I were all born in Cambridge so Boston was very familiar to me. We had actually relocated to Cape Cod by the time I was at Chamberlain. You may recall that Miss Noones came from Provincetown-something that I could not completely fathom! She was so prim & proper-completely opposite of any P-town experience I have had!

    I have worked from time to time in retail over the years but never in Interior Design. I still have a great interest in anything “home” and am currently doing some renovations on my home on the Cape.

    It’s nice to have contact with a fellow “Chambie”.

    Gini Cox Barr

    1. Hi Gini,
      Have no idea what made me go on the Chamberlain website tonight, but it has been so mech fun going down memory lane.Chamberlain was such a wonderful time in my life. Barbara Hammel was my roommate and we had a lot of fun together. Ellen Guthrie was also a good friend. I enjoyed reading what everyone had to say.What really is funny is that I have no memory of anyone dating Bobby Orr and his wife is one of my best friends. We see each other and play golf 3 or 4 times a week. What a small world.
      I now am in Florida for 7 months and am still on the Cape in Osterville from May to November.
      Thank all you girls for bringing back so many wonderful memories.

    2. Vickie Shamus was dating Bobby Orr. My room was right across the hall from hers. She was from Sioux St. Marie, if I recall. I also remember going to Logan with her to meet Bobby before we all took off for a holiday.

      I attended Chamberlain from 1970-1972. Someone I know in my town just friended me on Facebook, and I noticed that she had Chamberlain listed on her profile page. That is what brought me to this page because I couldn’t remember Miss Noones name.

      Thank goodness Saks opened the second year of co-op. My first year was spent in the basement of Jordan Marsh selling hosiery. Can’t believe I had to get all dressed up for that. What a dirty job!!

  15. There is something uncanny about this, I pulled my yearbook from Chamberlain just last week and had many laughs and great memories of my years 1970-1972. I am from Canada, and my two roomates the first year at 267 Comm. were also. The beautiful Vicky Shamess, who on arrival, said she would date Boston Bruin hottie, Bobby Orr. Which she did. Those who recall the staircase at 267 can imagine all of us lining the stairway as Bobby came to pick her up for a date in his cadillac. We were still teenagers and he was all of 24 years. My other roommie was Diane Hood. I laugh too at the memories some of you have brought back, rolling the jeans up under the maxi coat before walking out the door so as not to be caught in jeans on a Saturday night. Miss Noones was our “leader”, and Mrs. Meek, Mrs Johnson ( architecture, she must have been close to 90 when she taught us, but beautiful, funny and extremely knowledgeable ) It was a wonderful experience being in the city of Boston in such formative years. Some may remember really formative times at Daisy Buchannan’s, the bar at the corner of Fairfield and Newbury, which was owned by Derek Sanderson and a couple of other Boston Bruins. If any of my class of 1970-72 read this I would love to hear from you as I have lost touch. My wonderful roomate in second year, Joan Lally, Patty Anthony, Diane Hood, Ruthie Bell, Jill Finnie ( Moir ) My time at Chamberlain was very special and the professionalism I was taught took me through a successful 30 year career in the hotel business.
    thanks for bringing all of these memories back. I could go on forever.
    Kathy Bainbridge, originally from Oakville Ontario Canada, now living in Collingwood Ontario.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      My Chamberlain alum, what a great story about Bobby Orr; your friend exemplifies the spirit of a Chamberlain Girl. We set our sights on our goals and off we go. I hope your classmates see that you are still a vibrant and successful working pro — thank you Ms. Noones.

      Best wishes and continued success.

      1. Dixie – you are right, we Chamberlain Girls did have a spirit! I loved my experience there, if only for the one year that I went. I remember failing typing-four times! I remember learning to ‘speak’ properly and learning the proper tone of our voice! I loved Hilda Noones…some say she had a ‘stoic’ smile, when I saw her smile, I found it a warm smile. She was a wonderful woman and a good example; strong, smart and a woman of her word!

        I will keep checking this site in hopes that more Chamberlain girls find it.

        1. Karen-Do you remember the names of any of the girls you roomed with? As I recall, I lived on the second floor. My roomates were named Carol, Ruth and ?. I lived across the hall from Terry (?) from Patterson New Jersey-I think her roomates name was Susan. Last time I knew she was living in Whethersfield CT. and her last name was Monaco. I remember faces better than names.

    2. Kathy Bainbridge, it is Karen Ericson!!! OMG, i am so excited to see you on this website! When I ever saw your name…then to read your note, remembering Vickie, Ruthie, Diane, Jill, Patty(from Providence, RI!)Jane Rooney, Holly from Hawaii(always looking picture perfect!) I had the best year there and then I went to Perry College on Boylston Street for Elementary Education. I ended up going to fly for Eastern Airlines and never went back to retailing or teaching! I work for Mercer now in Sales – married, divorced with 2 children – well, now grown adults! I live in Franklin, MA.
      Where are you and what are you doing? SO you have not been in touch with anyone either? What a shame, really is. I am sad that the years have passed and no contact. I have tried Facebook and did find Gini Cox Barr. I do remember her, she started our first year late…she left after the first year. She has posted on here as well. Wished that FB would have been the tol to find them.

      Please keep in touch – would love that!

      1. Karen-

        Do you remember any of my roomates? You mentioned Ruthie in your reply to Kathy. I know my roomate was named Ruth and she was the daughter of a doctor. My other roomates were Carol (?) long blond hair and glasses. The other was tall with long dark hair and I think her name may have begun with at D. Terry (?) lived across the hall from me (on the second floor). She was from Patterson, NJ. Last I knew, she was living in Whethersfield CT and her married namae was Monaco. She had a daughter Kristin who would k=now be in her 30’s. I think her roomates name was Sue. I also rememer Jill from Canada and Jane. Do you remember the name of the girl who was dating Bobbie Orr. As I recall, she lived on the top floor in the only single room in the dorm and had one of the few private phones in the building. I was only there for 3 months but I still remember so many faces-just not names! I’d love to get hold of a year book to see who went on to graduate. I am sure it would spark some memories.

    3. Hi Kathy Bainbridge – every few months – I come on this site to see if anyone from my year(s)64-66 have written – no such luck – but I loved seeing your name there. I knew your parents when I was in my 20’s and 30’s in Oakville, and you and I had met during that time.Have very fond memories of your Mom & Dad. Have lots of friends in Collingwood, including my first husband! Love to hear what you’re up to

  16. Hi Dixie, I attended Chamberlain 1967-1969. My residence in year 1 was on Newbury Street. In year two I was on the second floor on Comm Ave but I don’t remember which one -269 I think, in what was a ballroom, with 3 roommates. I think I knew Margot Morgan as a senior in my junior year but not well. You bring back so many memories. Martin Luther King was shot in April of 1968 and I recall vividly standing in the hallway at Newbury Street when we were told about it. We couldn’t go out at night for awhile then. I’m from Canada so my accent amused just as much as “pak ya cah” along with our expressions for things like sneakers (running shoes). You are right – it was a different era. In my junior year a lesbian was expelled because she was found out. One of my roommates was a gorgeous African American who was the first runner up for Miss Black America in ’65 or ’66. I recall when another roommate’s parent was coming for a visit – she gladly hit in the closet so the parent wouldn’t know her daughter was rooming with a black kid. Jeez. Those were the days, eh? (Yeah, I am Canadian). After I finished and came back to Canada I discovered the mystery writer, Robert B Parker (Spenser etc.) whose characters lived in the area. I loved reading those books set in Boston (and for his great writing style). One place Spenser often went to for a drink was the Ritz (now called something else). I walked by that place so often as a student in my hat and heels and wondered what it was like inside. A few years ago I was there for a Unitarian meeting at the UUA on Beacon Street and had the privilege of wandering all around the area (Yes, I did go inside the Ritz). It was a wonderful walk in time. 90 Marlborough is now a condo and my dorm on Newbury is an exclusive shop. Thanks for starting this blog. We’ll always be Chamberlain Girls eh? I’m the Executive Director of an Arts Centre and will retire in the fall. Chamberlain gave me so much and I have never regretted being a student there.

    1. Hi Jean,
      I was one of those Boston girls who could not pronounce her “r”s. I remember taking speech class and not being able to pronounce my home town of Danvers properly! I lived on Comm Ave with you. I am still in touch with my roommates Sue Lackie and Suzanne McCausland. I still live in my home town and go into Boston often for dinner or shopping. I never appreciated the city while I was in school, as much as I do now.

  17. Dear Jean,

    Thank you for taking the time to write about your time at Chamberlain with the great story about Miss Black America. It’s quaint and sad.; I am proud that Chamberlain accepted students from diverse backgrounds but sometimes individuals lacked equanimity until much later.

  18. I was in the class of 1967-1969. The first African-American to attend the school. I loved everything about the classes, teachers and Boston. I worked at G. Fox & Co. Ct, May Co., Rich’s Dept. Store Atlanta, all as Buyer or Fashion Coordinator to name a few of my fashion career. The school and its principals influence not only my career choices but my love of textiles, color and art.

    I found this site by accident when trying to get a transcript, only to find it is gone.

    Hi Jean from Su Saint-Marie, I have great memories of our time as roommates and especially the trip to Europe after graduation! Thank you for making a minority feel a part of the school without reservation! To this day I love Canadians! I never regretted being a Chamberlain girl!

    1. Hi Audrey,
      I lived on Comm Ave. In the same dorm as you. I still have memories of how beautiful you were. When I tell my grandchildren how we had to dress to go to school they are truly amazed! So much of what I learned at Chamberlain I use in my career. I am so glad I went there?

  19. Thank you Audrey for you post, belatedly. I am thrilled to hear of a first at Chamberlain! You are a unique trail-blazer in a time when doors were slowly opening for a diverse group of young ladies. During those early years, I was not even conscious enough to ask the question about inclusiveness — we were all focused on ourselves. After my retail career (25 years), I became a master’s level social worker, licensed in Pennsylvania. I now live in Philadelphia and have used my Chamberlain skills in another form of customer service — being a care advocate and also as a fundraiser for our society’s most vulnerable citizens. From the bit I learned from Jean and your own message you have made your way and can look back and be proud of it. As is the way of all Chamberlain Girls.

  20. Dixie,

    You have done us all a great service by creating this memory and meeting place. I attended in 1965, arriving from Canada and lived on Newbury St. rooming with Ann Graham. Robin Neuhasser & Barbara Berry on the top floor.. Another room mate was expelled, I believe, for wearing jeans on the first floor. Imagine!

    During our field training I met a very handsome exec trainee and married him the next summer so I did not return for the senior year. My career revolved around selling, training and sales management, not buying, but the Chamberlain trainiing was still invaluable . My brother-in-law leased offices about 20 years ago in our old dorm on the two new floors they added above my old room. That was a 6 degree experience.

    Our winter home is in Sarasota so I did a search for Ms Noones and found no listing. Is it possible someone knows if she is living?

    Thank you again for a very well written recollection.


  21. Wonderful to read about Chamberlain and all the different comments. I graduated with the class of 1950 and loved every minute of the school and Boston. We lived in a house on Beacon St. Our address was 519 and it was across the stree where there were several MIT fraternity houses at that time. My friend and I went to Chicago after graduation to work. She ended up at Marshall Fields, but I opted to work for an insurance to earn more money. We lived in Evanston in a private home with two other students each of us having our own bedrooms.
    Long story short I went back to Bradfor, Pa., met and married a wonderful guy. My last job was a secretary to an oil executive. I was then a complete homemaker, used my decorating skills learned at Chamberlain and have always been fashion conscious. I did attend 2 years of college before Chamberlain. Great Life!!

  22. It was so good reading all about Chamberlain. I believe we were in the same dorm. I really miss the days of being a Chamberlain girl. I still love retailing. I live in Cleveland, Ohio my home town. I manufacture and sell preservative free all natural dog biscuits to retalers such as Whole Foods Market. The name of my business is Sun Of A Biscuit. My web-site is I miss everyone from Chamberlain. I wish the best to you and all of our former Chamberlain girls.

  23. I can’t believe that I found this facebook site..and what a surprise to see my picture modeling the pant suit…I remember that day with a smile..I did go into retailing and loved it..Chamberlain was a wonderful experience for Mother graduated when Miss Cox was the head of the school! I miss Boston yet, ended up marrying a man from Beacon Hill that I met in Telluride Colorado..if any of you ski..let me know and come and visit..I wish all the best to the Chamberlain..”Be Flexible” girls..send me a message on facebook..NSH

  24. Thanks Dixie for your wonderful article — It brought back so many memories! I was in the class of 1958-1960 & have lost track of my classmates. Hopefully, we’ll be reconnected via your site. When my husband & I visited Boston several times while one of our daughters was doing post doctoral work at the Whitehead Institute I was sorry to find that Chamberlain had closed.

    1. Hi Gail, remember me Marie Boyajian…I now live in San Francisco area and would love to hear from you…a daughter doing post doctoral work…unreal how time goes by…best to you.Marie Johnston

  25. I attended Chamberlain in the fall of 1972 and I lived at 269 Commonwealth Ave. I have great memories of those years!! I have kept in touch with Dianne Douglas and Bip Haley also found Linda Kazanjian!!

    I remember Jayne McKenzie from Cananda…Hello Jane! I would like to hear from you also.

  26. Wow. What fond memories. I came across this site while doing a search to find my former roommates – Bobbi comstock, karyn umphry and Dianna terpening. I was a 1964 graduate. I smiled the entire time I read your blog. Thank you!

  27. This has been wonderful to read. It has brought so many memories of Chamberlain back to me. Seeing the photo of the Meeks was very special. I have connected with two of my three roommates from our first year on Newberry St. thanks to facebook. We were class of 1966. I did not have a career in retailing, but everything I learned at Chamberlain has stood me in good stead over the years. Thank you for writing this.

  28. I attended the school in 1961 and 62. I did not graduate because of illness. This article brought by many many fond memories of my college days.

  29. I graduated from Chamberlain in 1985. I loved that school. I went to work at Filene’s at downtown crossing, then on to be a Buyer for Marshall’s corp, then TJX. Next stint was Stride Rite shoe company and on up the ladder. The school was outstanding both in education, placement and cammaraderie among the fantastic small school atmosphere! I met people from all over the country. I have gone on to other colleges for my Bachelors and them Masters, but Chamberlain is by far my favorite! It exposed a small town girl to a cultural city and all it holds! Love your blog!

  30. My wife and I served as house parents at the Newbury Street dormitory from 1962-1964. This was my last 2 years as a medical student at Tufts Univ. School of Medicine. Our eldest daughter, Vicky, was born during that time and greatly enjoyed having a flock of ready, willing and capable baby sitters right in the building.

    Jerry DiBona

  31. I can’t believe I just saw this blog. I was just reading about a death in our hometown newspaper and the women’s obituary mentioned that she graduated from Chamberlain school of retailing. You don’t see that very often. Her name is BettyAnn Smyth Hosmer. It doesn’t say her age or year of graduating. I would love to get in touch with the girls that I graduated with in 1982. Chamberlain holds so many GREAT memories for me. I was a commuter and remember No school on Fridays, feeding the meter every two hours and moving my car between morning and afternoon to beat the parking tickets on Marlbough St. and the very best Thursday after school hanging with everyone at TGIF’s for dinks and free appetizers. What a time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would love to hear from my class.

  32. I am Betty Ann Hosmer’s daughter and I was amazed to see the comment about my mother’s obituary. My mother passed away at 93 after an amazing, beautiful life. She attended Chamberlain fro m 1942-44 and went to work for Filenes in Boston directly after she graduated. She had many wonderful stories of life in Boston.
    One question I have… What degree was awarded from Chamberlain? Was it an associates degree? Thank you for any information you can provide.

    1. When I graduated in 79 it was a certificate only- I refer to it as a business degree, similar to an associates but not the same.


  34. Came across this blog while searching my high school reunion. WHAT MEMORIES.
    Class of 67. Very close with my 2nd year roommate Nancy Edminster. We are having lunch tomorrow, so just know if your ears are burning, we are for sure talking about you.
    We always, always refer to ourselves as
    Chamberlain girls.
    Nancy St. Augustine,Fl

  35. Dixie
    Thank you for writing about the Chamberlain girls
    I had a great career with John Wanamaker and now work for Pinnaclehealth system in Harrisburg as a Business Manager.
    I am spending the July 4 th holiday with Marylou Kline Tranos at her place in Salem Mass.
    We both have condos in Stuart Florida and and wonder if anyone of the alums travel to Florida for the winter.
    Would love to hook up.

  36. Class of 1980 is having a reunion on September 9,2016. After 36 years we’ve been able to gather 12 of us for dinner.

  37. Class of 1978 – 1980
    Loved my two years at Chamberlian School of Retail and Fashion design. I still use the saying ishcabibble, some things never will leave your influences of life. Met one of my very best friends at school and to this day we are still in touch. Posted our grad pictures on Facebook some time ago but the are in my album. I need to go ba C to photos of that time. I have pictures of other students in the basement kitchen. Monday through Thursday working hard trying to get past all the work. First class to have boys in the school. Great memories

  38. Hello! I was in the class of 1969 and LOVED CSR and what it provided me in terms of memories, friendships. life lessons and a strong foundation of skills that I was able to use for many years in the corporate world of retail! Ms. Manning forwarded me this article and I have spent the better part of the last two hours reading and reminiscing about the ‘hats and heels’ days in Boston. Coming from Canada, Boston gave me an insight into a whole different world from the war in Viet Nam to the race relationships in the USA. I arrived a young naive girl and left a woman with knowledge which I was able to use as a powerful tool to help me grow and develop as a person. Thanks to all of my classmates who shared the journey with me. I owe you all a great deal in helping me develop and grow as a person. We should start a Facebook page for CSR so we have a ‘gathering place’ to share memories! Best wishes to one and all and thanks to Dixie Palmer for the memories of the article!

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