Mary Elliott Hill was an organic and analytical chemist, born in North Carolina. She attended the Virginia State College for Negroes, now Virginia State University (VSU) from 1925-1929. She taught at VSU and took graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania. She was one of the earliest African American women to acquire her master’s degree in chemistry (1941). Her work specified in ultraviolet light and using that to develop analytic methodology. While an associate professor and acting head of the chemistry department at Kentucky State University, she collaborated with her husband Carl McClellan Hill in researching ketene synthesis, which aided in the development of plastics.