USMS Award Recipient

Capt. Ransom J. Arthur M.D. Award


Recipient: Dorothy Donnelly
Year: 1983
LMSC: Connecticut

After a late start by today's standards, learning to swim at 14 and starting competition at 15, Dorothy Leonard Donnelly made up for lost time by being associated with the water since 1937. Winning Class B, Junior and Senior New England and Massachusetts State Championships, Dot’s swimming career was punctuated with her first National AAU Championship in the 220-yard freestyle in 1939 and again in 1941. At the 1940 U.S. Women’s Olympic trials, Dot won a berth in the 100, and 400-meter freestyle and the 4x100 relay. The Olympics were torpedoed by the imminent World War II.

Dorothy started teaching and coaching both competitive and synchronized swimming in 1947 and was Connecticut chairman of the sport for 18 years, developing many national champions. Dorothy was registration chairman for Connecticut AAU for 20 years, as well as for Connecticut Swimming and Track and Field. When Masters swimming was introduced by the AAU, Dot co-hosted the first Northeastern Masters meet in 1972 with Mike Laux. She contributed at the local and national level in USMS and was elected USMS Secretary in 1981. Dot was the “voice” of the National Office for many years and earned the Capt. Ransom J. Arthur M.D. Award in 1983.