Holly Burgess

Attorney; Member of WISE

I’ve been fortunate to have lots of mentors and a number of women mentors in my career. So that’s something I think would be important to be noted, of how important that is and has been for my generation and I think would continue to be. Women helping women to learn the ropes.


Holly Burgess was born in Holden, Massachusetts in 1953 and grew up and attended primary school and high school in the Greater Worcester area. Upon completion of high school, she briefly attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but did not obtain a degree as she decided to get married. Later, she attended Quinsigamond Community College and received her associate degree in the dental hygiene program. She went on to continue her undergraduate education at Clark University in business administration. Holly’s love for learning triumphed and she went back to school at Western New England School of Law where she received her law degree. In this interview, Holly Burgess highlights a troubling conversation with her guidance counselor about possible careers. Holly surpasses her guidance counselor and everyone's expectations, going on to get many degrees and hold many sought after positions. These positions, though, did not come easy or without any gender discrimination. She juggled studying for school while raising a daughter, and men in inferior positions treating her like they knew more than her. Despite Holly’s challenges, she loved continuing her education and her many occupations. She is currently retired, living in Princeton, Massachusetts, where she is able to spend time with her grandchildren and partake in her new interest of presidential campaigns. Holly emphasizes the importance of having female mentors and learning from other women. 

Interview Date: 
October 3, 2019
Interview Focus: