The youngest of seven children, she grew up playing many sports, but basketball was her passion. Dresser was a valuable addition to the team, winning the Bronze Baby in three of her four years.
Upon graduation in 1959, she received the FWP Jones Trophy for outstanding female athlete of the year and the White Blanket. In 1960, she began teaching at Western as well as taking on coaching duties with the women’s basketball and track and field teams.
“In the beginning, as I wasn’t much older than the players and had actually played basketball with some of them, it was both a frightening and exhilarating experience,” Dresser says.
Jane Peckham, BA ’69, a forward on the women’s basketball team from 1967-69, says Dresser was an excellent coach. “I always appreciated Mary Lou’s knowledge, enthusiasm, commitment and encouragement, which helped us be successful,” Peckham says. “She was a role model for our generation, creating inroads for women who wanted to play or coach at the university level.”
After 10 years on Western’s faculty, Dresser began working in the healthcare field as an occupational therapy assistant until her retirement in 2003.
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