That’s where discrimination plays in some. When going through public high school I liked math, and I liked sciences, and everybody was equal and there was no issue of discrimination. Going to a women’s college at the time when I was going to college, there were a few schools that I looked at, and this was in an era when there were many more all-women colleges.… so I could have gone to numerous colleges if I wanted to major in education or nursing, but I didn’t and I wanted liberal arts, and I wanted physics or math. So that pretty much geared you towards women’s colleges in that era. I graduated from high school in 1958.
Ann Louise Flynn was born in 1940 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts and moved to Worcester in 1983. She is currently the Assistant Vice President at Worcester’s United Way and serves on the board of numerous voluntary organizations and community initiatives. In this interview, Ann talks about her experiences growing up as the youngest of seven children, emphasizing the importance of education, community service, and the Catholic religion in her family. She discusses the struggles of defining herself in the male-dominated field of math and physics, and speaks about her transition into counseling psychology. Ann shares stories of her work as a college administrator, and her successful legal battle against Boston College after she was unfairly removed from her post as Dean of Women. Working in the Counseling Center at the College of the Holy Cross beginning in 1973, Ann shares stories of her activist work in the college, including founding a program to address problems with eating disorders and inviting Gloria Steinem to give a controversial public lecture. She was awarded the 2006 YWCA Catherine Erskine Award for Community Service and speaks at length about her community involvement in the City of Worcester and the meaning that all of this work has in her life. Ann also touches upon her extensive experiences traveling abroad and the ways in which her family’s health issues influenced her life.