Sherry Daley Jung

Passing the baton

Passing the baton

Sherry Daley Jung, Arts ’62, began twirling at age 3.

A babysitter taught the tiny girl how to do a flat spin, which ignited a twirling fire. Jung’s love for the sport reaped a world of fun that has lasted more than 60 years.

“When I started there were mostly men twirlers,” she says. “They had more power to do tosses. You release it and then you pray you can capture it. It takes discipline.”

At age 15, Jung founded the Daley Debutantes Baton and Drum Corps. Marquetters may remember her performing at football games and the Daley Debutantes performing at basketball games for 25 years. Jung and sister Marcy Daley Blaufuss, Arts ’65, often flipped batons together, including at Marquette’s musical varieties, where they synced batons to perform Me and My Shadow in 1962.

Jung reels off spectacular twirling memories: winning a national championship at age 12, twirling on The Ed Sullivan Show and marching at the head of President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration day parade. The Daley Debutantes marched in two St. Patrick’s Day parades in Dublin. The group even appeared briefly in the parade scene in the movie The Fugitive with Harrison Ford.

More than 1,000 young people have claimed the title of Daley Debutante through the years and collectively won more than 42 national champion-ships. The debutantes still set the twirling tone for local parades and community events. Jung continues directing twirlers, assisted by a third sister, Patti Daley Wertschnig. Today there are 80 Daley Debutantes flipping their batons sky high. — Joni Moths Mueller


  1. Wow, what a great memory refresher!! I was in Marquette’s Band under Mr. Bill Geishecker from 1958-1962. I played clarinet and remember Sherry twirling double batons lit, sometimes lit with fire. You look very much the same Sherry in the picture, and I recognized you immediately!
    I tried to contact a fellow band member this week in Phoenix while at the Alabama-Clemson national championship game(ROLL TIDE!!), but was unable to connect with Steve Jenkins.
    Real happy all is well with you!!!!
    Charlie Willcox, Arts ’62 NROTC, lived in the Band House (until MU tore it down), with Felix Mazure, David Klunk, and others.

  2. Spent most of my childhood in the Debs’ starting on cymbals and eventually playing every drum they had. My sisters were twirlers and a lot of my friends were members as well, some of who are now life long friends. Thank you. Daley sisters and all of you that helped raise us and mold us into who we have become!!!! I’m a Daley Debutante for life!!!!!

  3. Sherry, Marcie and Patti played a huge part in helping mold my children into the beautiful people that they are today and for that I will forever be greatful. Love you ladies and really miss seeing you.

    xxx ooo

  4. This article just begins to tell the story of how much this organization has done for so many young people. The incredible effect they have had by instilling the highest of moral standards, dedication to high quality work and performance, and imparting life’s most important lessons of truth, integrity, loyalty and teamwork cannot be overstated. As a very proud member of the group, I know I would not be who I am today were it not for my time spent as a Daley Deb. We need more people and more organizations like the Daley Debutantes to help teach our young people what real work and success look like, and how to be selfless and giving to others over and above yourself.
    Bravo to the Daleys – may they continue, thrive and grow!

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