Willie Mae Donnelly was an English major and received her Bachelor's degree in 1943. As a student she was a member of Sigma Tau Delta; Alpha Chi, treasurer, 1942 and 1943; Kappa Delta Pi; and the Junior Current Literature Club. Ms. Donnelly earned her Master of Arts in English in 1949. Her thesis was titled "George Washington Cable as a Critic of the South." She married George Edward Burlage on May 27, 1950. She died on September 27, 1995.