Mary McHenry is a Professor Emeritus of English at Mount Holyoke, where she graduated in 1954 and taught from 1974 to 1999. She is credited with bringing African American literature to the College. The award-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ’85 was a student of hers and now names McHenry as a reason for her success.
The Mary McHenry papers detail much of her life at and after Mount Holyoke. They contain records of her academic work and social life while a student, and her later correspondences, essays, and speeches during her career.
McHenry’s personal history in the form of these documents has provided insight into student life at the College more than a half century ago, and her contributions as a professor continue to enrich many students’ experiences in studying literature.