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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Simmons chapter.

A little over a year ago, a large group of Simmons students were being friended on Facebook by a woman named Mary Burke. Now, we’ve all been there: you get a Facebook friend request from someone you don’t know, but you have mutual friends with them, so they can’t be a catfishing serial killer, right? So you accept. That’s what a lot of people did.


Finally, someone asked, “Who is this woman?” Everyone seemed to be looking around and saying, “Well, I figured you knew her.” After all, her profile said she was a Simmons student. People began to take notice of her because she was posting some… interesting information. It started with this:


It was quickly made clear that Mary Burke was probably not her name, as there is no student or faculty at Simmons with that name. Also, her cover photo was just a stock photo of bridesmaids; she wasn’t in it at all.

Her cryptic posts continued…

The general gist of these posts is that money is being used improperly at Simmons, and that Helen Drinan, our president, is being overpaid. That is not untrue, as Boston.com published an article last year stating that of all the universities in the Boston area, Simmons’s president is the highest paid, and she is one of the highest paid in the country.


She seemed to take a break from posting for the summer of 2018, but come September, classes and Mary Burke were back in full swing.


Most recently, just a few days before a giant announcement about restructuring the school came from the Simmons administration, she posted this:


The private Facebook group, #WhoIsMaryBurke, has dedicated a lot of time and energy into answering their titular question. A poll in the group provided the following theories:

38 members voted that Mary is some sort of bot.

19 members voted that Mary is a Simmons student in disguise.

9 members voted that Mary is a Simmons professor.

6 voted that they had another theory.


I was really hoping we would get some answers by graduation, though the chances are beginning to look slim. But perhaps the real Mary Burke is the friends we’ve made along the way.


Leave your theories as to who Mary Burke is in the comments– there’s still time to solve the mystery before graduation!


Senior Editor at Her Campus Simmons
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Kelly Biondo

Simmons '19

Hi! I'm Kelly and I'm a senior at Simmons University studying PR/MarComm. I am the social media director for Her Campus Simmons and couldn't be happier. In my free time, I walk dogs for Wag, procrastinate or I'm out exploring Boston. Follow me on Instagram @kelllybiondo to see what I'm up to!