Drury swimmer turned runner is now focused on a triathlon future


Erin Dolan came to Drury from her home state of Nebraska to swim, and she went to the NCAA Championships all four years where she took home at least one top finish every year, including winning the mile and 1,000 yard freestyle her freshman and senior years.

After earning her undergraduate degree in May 2012, Dolan took advantage of an NCAA rule that allows a student-athlete a fifth year of eligibility if that student changes sports. Dolan was offered a scholarship to run cross-country for Drury, which allowed her the chance to attain her master’s degree. “Cross country was something I had never done before,” she said. “I didn’t even know cross country was run on grass, I was so clueless.”

Dolan had great success in cross-country and qualified for nationals, finishing 43rd in the nation, just three spots shy of All-America status. She then started running track for Drury, earned the Great Lakes Valley Conference Track Athlete of the Year award, and qualified for the indoor and outdoor NCAA-II meets. In May, she finished 17th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA-II National Track and Field Championships in Pueblo, Colo.

Dolan spent 2012 and 2013 running and studying as she pursued a master’s in communication. Dolan enrolled in the accelerated master’s program and completed the degree in a little more than a year. In addition, Dolan started training to become a professional triathlete, adding to her already busy schedule. “I was running track, cross country, working and doing homework; that was my life. It was really hard,” Dolan said.

In August, Dolan placed third at the National Age Group Olympic Distance Championships (1,500 M swim, 40 K bike and 10 K run) in Milwaukee, Wis., which earned Dolan her professional triathlon license. Being a professional means Dolan can compete for Team USA and she hopes to earn prize money and attract sponsorships.

Dolan hasn’t given up on her desire to compete in the Olympics, but it won’t be in the pool—it will be in triathlon, “To represent the United States at the Olympics is something very few people get to do and it would be such a great honor to be part of an event like that. Just to be an athlete on that level would be an unbelievable experience.”


Let’s talk modern mythology and take a look at a common myth: Once you graduate, you are on your own. This is not true for the Drury graduate.

Drury alumni may audit one class for free every semester, providing there is an opening in the chosen class. Alumni have library privileges whether or not they are enrolled in classes at Drury. Scholarships are also available for our graduates’ children and grandchildren.

Another benefit: early access to concerts and events at the spectacular O’Reilly Family Event Center. So when Drury announces big names, like Kelly Clarkson or The Pointer Sisters, alumni have access to the best tickets before the general public.

If music isn’t your thing, maybe seeing a professional boxing event or checking out Drury’s national championship basketball team is more your speed. Either way, Drury makes sure to keep the benefits rolling well past your walk and handshake on graduation day.

What about help networking or landing a great job? As of 2012, 96% of Drury graduates are either employed or are furthering their education. How does such an incredibly high placement rate occur? Simple. In addition to the excellent education Drury graduates have received, the Martin Alumni Center has programs and events in cities throughout the Midwest, Drury to Drury, the Drury Alumni Council, career planning services, and countless other networking opportunities throughout the year. It’s no wonder Drury graduates are able to find jobs or avenues to further their education: ongoing support from our vast alumni network ensures those who have already walked at graduation will find their way.




Distinguished Alumnus Community Service

Mark L. Walker ‘79

Recognized for his devoted efforts throughout the years at Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of the Ozarks, and United Way of Silicon Valley. 



Distinguished Young Alumnus 

Sarah Lester Wilkerson ‘01

Awarded for her commitment and leadership efforts that led to regulatory change in the newborn screening system of Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment.



Distinguished Alumnus Career Achievement

Curtis L. Dinan ‘89 

Celebrated for his established career at ONEOK, a Fortune 500 company, and modeling ethical leadership for business professionals.



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