Suzanne Murphy Short '00 of Mt. Zion, Ill., was a standout volleyball player for the Big Blue, playing 498 games and winning letters all four years of her college career.
As a freshman, she was not only a regular starter, but was also ranked second in the nation among NCAA Division III players in assists, with 12.43 per game.
A co-captain of the team during both her junior and senior years, she was named most valuable player (along with Bethany Davis) her junior year. The entire team was named MVP her senior year, when they won the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) championship. The 1999 team also holds the Millikin record for best winning percentage in a season, with .897 (35-4). In 2004, Short organized the fifth anniversary reunion of that championship volleyball team at Homecoming.
Short holds three of the top five spots for all-time season assists: No. 1 in 1999 with 1,658; No. 2 in 1998 with 1,555 and No. 5 in 1997 with 1,347. She also holds the record for career assists, with 5,582 and is tied in the No. 2 spot for career service aces, with 185.
The CCIW took note of her volleyball skills, naming her “player of the week” on several occasions. She was also named to the All-CCIW first team during her junior and senior years. In her sophomore year, she received honorable mention, and she was named to the second team in her freshman year. Short received the CCIW MVP award in 1999. During the NCAA Division III Midwest regional tournament in 1999, Short was named to the Midwest All-Region team.
Short coached volleyball at Johns Hill Magnet School in Decatur during her junior and senior years at Millikin, and for an additional two years after graduation. She also coached the fifth through eighth grade volleyball team at St. Patrick’s School during the first year of their volleyball program. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and also received a master’s degree in elementary reading education from Eastern Illinois University in 2003.
Short is a patroness member of the Junior Welfare Association, where she has held the office of corresponding secretary and chaired the education and arrangements and membership/requirements committees.
A national board certified teacher, Short teaches sixth grade at Mt. Zion Intermediate School. She and her husband, Ben, have two children: Eleanor, 4, and Everett, 18 months.