The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has just announced that one of the pioneers in women’s athletics at College of the Ozarks, Dora Quinn (Arney) Meikle, will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at the third annual Women’s Sports Luncheon to be held in Springfield on March 23rd. Also being inducted will be Barbara Cowherd, a longtime senior women’s administrator from Drury University, Mizzou’s Wayne & Susan Kreklow, volleyball coaches, and Licking High School’s volleyball team of 1975-1976 the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Missouri Sports Hall of Fame President and Executive Director Jerald Andrews announced the honorees on Wednesday.
One of the Show-Me State’s pioneers in women’s athletics is undoubtedly Dora Meikle, who taught physical education for 41 years and made a tremendous impact at College of the Ozarks and beyond. Meikle, who taught at C of O from 1965 to 1994, was responsible for starting the women’s athletic program at the College in Point Lookout. She initiated the intercollegiate swimming, track and cross country programs in the late 1960s and, under her leadership, C of O hosted the first state collegiate swim meet in 1967 and the second state collegiate track meet in 1969. She also was the intramurals director for 14 years and the director of the aquatics program for 19 years before being inducted into the C of O Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
Meikle has long been a champion on women’s sports, promoting the importance of establishing and recognizing women's teams in colleges across the state and the country. She served as a national delegate of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), the main national organization for women’s sports before they moved under the umbrella of the NCAA. Her tireless work also led to the formation of the Missouri chapter of the AIAW, and she was active in its leadership as well as that of the Missouri Alliance of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD), plus the National Aquatics Committee. For decades, she held officer roles of each organization and eventually was one of 15 U.S. sports delegates to Russia in 1993.
Meikle taught physical education in high school from 1950 to 1963 (St. Charles, Greenwood Laboratory School, Camdenton, Bartow, Mountain Grove, Park Hill) as well as at Lindenwood University and UMKC. She coached numerous sports at both levels. Among her awards are the Teaching Excellence Award from C of O, the American Red Cross First Aid Water Safety 40-year Award, Who’s Who in American Education and the Taney County Retired Teacher of the Year. She also is in the Red Cross Hall of Fame.