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by Carl House

September 18, 2002

Earned Dorothy Donnelly service award

It's hard to imagine that we'd have developed the excellent USMS archives that we have today without Meegan Wilson. While Dorothy and I were playing with Top Ten files and just beginning to explore stories and photos, Meegan told us she had started digitizing our thirty years of All-American lists. Had someone asked me to do that, I'd have said that's more than we can do, but Meegan simply sat down and did it with help from Lynn Hazlewood and Sally Dillon for Long Distance All-Americans. She scanned pages of small print, often with handwritten corrections and additions, and then painstakingly corrected the mistakes made in the scanning process. She worked in Word Perfect; I converted it to a database, and 20 or so people participated in a careful proofreading of paper printouts comparing them with the original published lists. When this work was finished (3/26/98), we had by hand created a database of 9,538 swims by about 3,100 All-American swimmers. This was a major piece of work and is documented at The Process for Building an "All-Americans Since 1972" File, Status Summary, and at Verification Status. Through 2001 that database includes 11,828 swims by 3,801 swimmers and we take great pride in maintaining an accurate and complete list of everyone ever named All-American by USMS.

When that work was finished, Meegan turned to gathering stories and photos of USMS swimmers, using Swim magazine as a source and serving as a contact person for anyone wishing to contribute a newspaper story or story from any other source. This has required not only her taking administrative responsibility but also has required transcribing numerous stories.

In the past two years, she has produced the first brochure circulated from the History and Archives Committee (in 2001) and this year she produced an improved version and mailed 200 copies to all Executive Committee members, LMSC chairpersons and committee chairpersons with a cover letter from USMS President Jim Miller .

Meegan is from the Florida LMSC and I asked Margie Hutinger if there was anything she should add about Meegan's LMSC work. Margie reports "Meegan Wilson swims for the 300 Club, and regularly trains and competes in meets. She has received USMS All-American and Top Ten recognition for her efforts. Meegan has been the LMSC treasurer for the past four years. She has been very diligent, conscientious and fair in handling the responsibilities of budgeting, paying bills and writing reports. She gives her reports at the LMSC meetings. When the FL LMSC chairman unexpectedly resigned in 1993, she served as the temporary chairperson. When the LMSC newsletter editor didn't fulfill her responsibilities in 2000, Meegan put two or three newsletters together to fill the gap."

Tom Bliss, Florida LMSC Chairman, adds the following. For the two years that I have been the FL LMSC Chairman, Meegan has been a very positive support in my transition into this position. She has constructively pointed out areas that I needed to be on top of and did it a non-demeaning way. She is always willing to take on any task that will benefit the FL LMSC organization and always provides service with a smile. Whenever there is an issue or dilemma that we face, Meegan always provides special insight that seems to be just what we need to successfully get the job done. Meegan is faithful, diligent, honest, caring and relentless in her support of the USMS organization.

For my part, I can simply say that the USMS archives would definitely not be what they are today without the big boost of her All-American database that was created solely on her initiative and with an immense amount of her personal effort. Meegan, we owe you big time. Thanks.