Hannah Laipson

College Professor, President of the Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)

But what happened was, when I taught that [first] class, I enjoyed the experience so much that, do you know the term serendipity? Something happens unexpectedly and it changes things. I decided that I really enjoyed that. But, it didn’t come to fruition until quite a number of years later because in the meantime I started having a family. Are you familiar with the writings of Betty Friedan? She was the feminist, she was the first great [modern] writer of feminism, and she wrote a book that became immensely popular. And when I read it, I decided it was time for me to do something more. So that was when I enrolled at Assumption for my Master’s degree, and from that point on, I was a teacher.


Born in 1925 in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Hannah Ethel Karp Laipson has lived in Worcester since her marriage and currently resides with her husband, a former member of the Navy during World War II. Hannah graduated from Colby College in Maine with a major in English and a minor in History. Today, Hannah is as an active member of Common Cause Massachusetts and continues to stay involved with the WISE program at Assumption College, in which she previously served as the board President and course group leader. In this interview, Hannah discusses the immense role that education has played in her life as a former English college professor, as well as the impact her Jewish faith, certain historical events, various work experiences, and family have had on her. A mother of three children, a grandmother of four, and a great-grandmother of one, Hannah also holds strong family connections. She spoke extensively about her life experiences and credits her good health to staying active, both intellectually and socially.

Interview Date: 
November 14, 2008