Fab Five: Alice Mercer

August 19, 2015

Part of a continuing series on the five women who established the East Tennessee Women's Fund.



Alice Mercer became involved in the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee with the realization that she survived her own early years because her very strong mother encouraged and insisted upon excellence no matter what obstacles existed.  Understanding that she was fortunate to have had her mother’s influence on her growth and development, she wanted to make an impact the lives of women and girls in our region who do not have strong role models, so that they too have a better chance to succeed.  Much of her adult volunteer work has been dedicated to helping those less fortunate.


Graduating with a liberal arts degree, she later decided to return to college and earned an MBA.  In the early 1970s, only 10% of her MBA class was female which made her feel like a trailblazer.  She became one of the very first women in Alabama to serve as a senior administrator in a public academic institution, and she often credited being “in the right pla