From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Holland, Mary Ford

(born: 1907  -  died: 1999) 

Born in Trigg County, KY, Holland was the first African American student at Murray State University. She received her first teaching certificate from West Kentucky Industrial School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College], where she graduated in 1935. She taught at the segregated, one room school in Lyon County, KY. Holland also attended Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] part-time, working toward a bachelor's degree; in 1955, at the age of 48, she transferred to Murray State University, where she was escorted by the police and the university president to her classes. She graduated in 1961. It would be a few years before she would teach at an integrated school. For more see the Kentucky Historical Marker Database: Desegregation of Murray State College (Marker Number 2191).

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Holland, Mary Ford,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 21, 2020,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:18