WSU freshman displays grit, glamour, community spirit

Washington State University freshman Emily Durr will have little time this summer between donning her goalie’s helmet and gear to compete in the national lacrosse championships and donning her sparkling crown and gown to compete in the International Junior Miss (IJM) pageant.

The lively and lovely 19-year-old from Tacoma is Washington’s reigning IJM teen queen and a fierce defensive player on WSU’s women’s club lacrosse team. Durr is also a an energetic champion for curing type 1 diabetes, and on May 6 she will lead a team in the JDRF “Walk for a Cure” at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

Last week, she spoke at an event in the Tri-Cities for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which is supporting her efforts to bring awareness and technological advancement to fight the disease.

“As a proud representative of Washington state, I am dedicated to serving my community in a number of different philanthropic outreaches,” Durr said. In her role with IJM, she makes appearances across the Pacific Northwest and endeavors to use her title to benefit society, encouraging her audiences “to share and take pride in being part of something bigger than oneself.”

While maintaining her busy schedule in athletics and civic service, Durr earned a 3.74 grade point average in her first college semester, putting her on the President’s Honor Roll. She hopes to earn degrees in psychology and criminal justice at WSU and eventually earn a graduate degree.

Durr is also an active member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, leading as a Big Diamond Sister, and has been nominated to the WSU chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars for scholarship, leadership, and service.

Her parents, U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Patrick Durr and WSU alumna Tami (Ragan) Durr, support their daughter’s varied interests, noting “she has no plan to slow down.”

After completing her university studies, Durr intends to enroll in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy to continue working to help others through law enforcement, her father said.

Meanwhile, she’s bent on reaching the IJM finals.

“As an international queen, the outreach can be life-changing,” she said. “I want to use my talents to help other young girls overcome their obstacles and gain self-confidence like I did just a few short months ago. This is a job and responsibility that I take very seriously and I intend to make my state of Washington as proud as any parent could be.”


— By Adrian Aumen, College of Arts and Sciences