Marie Bigham

Founder and Co-Leader, ACCEPT (LA)


Marie Bigham is the Founder and Executive Director of ACCEPT (Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today), an advocacy group and community that centers racial justice in the college admissions process and profession. Recently named a “Global Game Changer” by Facebook, Marie is a national leader in college admission redesign and reform. In 2018, ACCEPT received the Excellence in Education Award from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, awarded to “those who use their prominence to advance equity and access in education”.

With over 20 years in the profession, Marie has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC); as Vice Chair and Director of Communication for Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS); and on the Board of Directors of Texas Association of College Admissions Counseling (TACAC). Marie entered admissions at her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis (Class of 1995), where she earned a BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies and a minor in Glassblowing. She served as Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Washington U, as Associate Director of College Counseling at Riverdale Country School (NY), and as Director of College Counseling at The Bishop’s School (CA), Greenhill School (TX), and Isidore Newman School (LA). Whenever possible, Marie enjoys the culture, food, and sounds of New Orleans with her husband, Colin Pettus, and their two Boston Terriers, Chelsea and Peeperton.

Fun Fact: Marie is a glassblower.