Mary P. Burrill

Mary P. Burrill

In 1904, Mary P. Burrill broke barriers and made Emerson history by being the first woman of color to graduate from the College. She went on to become an established playwright, writing about the Black experience, advocating for women’s rights, and protesting against lynching and discrimination. In 2002, the Mary Burrill Scholarship for Diversity was established to support first-year diverse and/or economically disadvantaged students, in order to continue Burrill’s legacy.

Make a Gift


Donating to the Mary Burrill Scholarship for Diversity will continue to prioritize enriching conversations in the classroom and beyond, giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to learn from each other's lived experiences. Through the Mary Burrill Scholarship, among other funds, the College is committed to helping prospective students who are economically disadvantaged afford an Emerson education.

Trustee Doug Holloway ‘76

"In 2002, I established the Mary Burrill Scholarship at Emerson College to allow students from diverse backgrounds to enjoy an Emerson education. I have supported this scholarship from the beginning and welcome you to join me in donating to the Mary Burrill Scholarship. I would not be who I am without Emerson College, and I believe if we have the ability to, we must pay it forward.

Since its inception, we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, giving over 20 scholarships. To ensure this scholarship will continue making an impact on students of diverse backgrounds and our society, I have given an additional bequest of 300,000 dollars to get us closer to our goal of 1 million dollars.

I hope you can contribute to this scholarship and bolster the life-changing support this scholarship brings to students of diverse backgrounds. We must continue her legacy and ensure future generations will also enjoy the life-changing support we received." -- Trustee Doug Holloway '76