Gloria Burgess - Pass it On

Pass It On! by Gloria J. McEwen Burgess and illustrated by Gerald Purnell is a children's picture book about the author's father, Earnest McEwen Jr., and his life-changing relationship with Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Faulkner.

As a young boy, Ernie (Earnest McEwen Jr.) dreamed of a better life for his family in the segregated South of the 1930s. More than anything, he wanted to go to college. 

While working as a janitor at Ol' Miss (the University of Mississippi), Ernie spoke to a professor about his burning desire to go to college, setting in motion a series of events that would change his and his family's life for all time. One of those significant events was meeting Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Faulkner. 

​Faulkner helped Ernie attend college, paying for his tuition and expenses with no strings attached. His generous financial gift allowed Ernie to go to college, move out of the South, and eventually emerge from poverty. Ernie made a better life for his family, wh

Gloria J. McEwen Burgess loves nothing more than inspiring others to create a bridge from what was… to what is... to what can be. And she’s dedicated her life to doing just that. In all aspects of her life, she celebrates the indomitable power of the human spirit. As author, poet, leadership educator and consultant, inspirational speaker, and community servant, she is passionate about empowering and equipping youth and adults to create a positive, vibrant future.  ​