Dolly Staton

Location: 4th row of pillars north of Belden, just north of Meyer pillar.

Installed: Aug. 2016

Nicknamed ‘Dolly’ by her family, Mabel Landry was raised on the southside of Chicago. She started competing in Track and Field at the age of 16 for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). She won several national championships in the Long Jump and in the 50 and 60 yard dashes. (1949-1954)

Dolly’s CYO team was the only team that would let her compete at the time, as it was the only one in the Chicago area that was interracial. The first time she faced discrimination was when her CYO team was traveling to a meet in the south. Her coach had bought her a ticket that included a place in the sleeping car, but she was forced to sit in the section of the train reserved for negroes. The CYO, on behalf of Dolly, filed suit and won. The money from the settlement was used to help fund the team. (Later she would compete with the Chicago Hurricanes.) ​​

Miss Landry competed in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Her long jump of 19 ft. 3 in. set an Olympic record during the preliminaries. (She finished seventh in the competition.) She won gold in the 1955 Pan Am Games in Mexico City (400 meter relay).

Dolly Landry competed at time when DePaul did not have a Track and Field team. But in 2011 Dolly was elected to the DePaul Athletics Hall of Fame, and won her ‘letter’ from the team (in 2008). She graduated from DePaul in 1954 with a degree in education, and her career was spent teaching physical education.

She now lives in New Jersey and still officiates at track meets locally.