“Today marks an era in the education of women in the State. No longer need they stand at the door of the temple of knowledge, but may enter and be ministered unto at its shrines.”
–Sarah Doyle, at the dedication of Pembroke Hall (1897)
The first official home of the Women’s College opened in 1897, six years after the first female students began their study at Brown. Its construction was made possible through the fundraising efforts of the Rhode Island Society for the Collegiate Education of Women, under the leadership of the organization's president, Sarah Doyle. At the dedication, Doyle explained the significance of the name “Pembroke Hall,” after the college that Roger Williams attended at Cambridge, which was founded by a woman, Marie de St Pol, the Countess of Pembroke. After Alumnae Hall was built in 1927, Pembroke Hall was converted to purely academic uses with the top floor serving as a library. Today, the building houses the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.