SMU exiles


After the contingent at Oklahomna, and Billy Steuart at Michigan State, the next wave of South African swimmers to take up scholarships in the Unites States went to Southern Methodist University in Texas. Stephen Mulholland was one of the first to arrive. SMU All Americans include Steve Mulholland 1958-59 , Aubrey Burer 1960-61-62 , Alisdair 'Tiny' Barnetson 1962-63-64, Tudor Lacey 1964-65-66, Vernon Slovin 1966-67, John Thorburn 1971-72-73-74, Craig Jackson 1988-89-90, Cliff Lyne 1993, Nick Tozer 2002, as well former South  African champion Rhodesian Guy Goosen, who had formerly been at Texas, in 1980.  Vernon Slovin is to commit suicide in Australia on 10 May 1990.

SMU womens team All Americans : Toni Palmer, 1985-1986-1987, Olympic silver medalist Marianne Kriel, 1990 -1991 -1994, Christy-Leigh Lategan of Klerksdorp in 2009, Marizanne Grundlingh of Stellenbosch was an all American in 2002 - 2003, Marne Erasmus (below) of Grens Hoërskool in East London was an butterfly All American in 2014 and 2015. Other Springboks at SMU were Alice Escreet and Janine Steenkamp of Hoërskool Eunice in Bloemfontein, as well as Lezelle Peacock of Natal.


Born in Ireland, Mulholland grew up in South Africa where he was a swimming champion in high school. His success in the sport led him to SMU and the Mustang swim team, where he became a two-time All-American and Southwest Conference champion.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics, cum laude, in 1960.

In 1962, Mulholland returned to South Africa and became a journalist, contributing to The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek and Fortune. As managing editor and chief executive officer of Times Media Limited (formerly South African Associated Newspapers), he was an integral part of the apartheid talks between President F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. Later, when Mandela was president, Mulholland was an advocate and improved press freedom.

From 1992 to 1996, he served as CEO of one of Australia’s largest diversified media companies, John Fairfax Holdings, now known as Fairfax Media. He later returned home to South Africa to become chairman of the country’s largest computer retailer, Connection Group Holdings. He retired from the company in 2009.




15 March 1958




Aubrey Burer joined Stephen Mulholland at SMU in 1959. Burer was to compete at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.

20 February 1960


NCAA championships - 26 March 1960

Aubrey Burer places third in 440 yards freestyle


21 February 1961 - Tiny Barnetson from Pretoria had also joined the team



Aubrey Burer finals in 1500m freestyle at 1961 NCAA championships




The 1961/62 season started badly for Aubrey Burer, who was sick with toncilitis in December


23 february 1963


9 March 1963 South West Conference meet. Tiny Barnetson and Aubrey Burer set new SWC records





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