2007-03-02 / News

USC Chapter DAR members honor founder

Contributed by USC Chapter DAR

Contributed byUSC Chapter DAR

Dr. Irene Dillard ElliottDr. Irene Dillard Elliott No doubt, Dr. Irene Dillard Elliott smiled down from her lofty cloud in heaven as she was honored by the USC Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution for the idea she conceived 50 years ago to charter a DAR chapter. In 1924, she became the first woman to earn a doctorate from UNC at Chapel Hill and several months later was hired as the first female faculty member of USC where she served as both the dean of women and an English professor.

To honor her memory and celebrate 50 years of service, the ceremonies began at the chapel of First Presbyterian Church where Dr. Elliott is buried. Regent Mary Caldwell welcomed the dignitaries and guests, which included Dr. Elliott's great niece Julie Keadle and other family members, Mary Glenn Keadle and Margo Young.

Fifty- three year member, past regent and charter member of the USC Chapter Julia Kraft Robinson- Langford said, "In 1956, Dr. Elliott's favorite things were, the University of South Carolina, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and her much- loved "Mister," her black Scotty dog."

Charter Members of USCNSDAR at the gravesite of Dr. Irene Dillard Elliott at First  Presbyterian Church, Julia Kraft Robinson Langford and Julie Petosky Smoak. Charter Members of USCNSDAR at the gravesite of Dr. Irene Dillard Elliott at First Presbyterian Church, Julia Kraft Robinson Langford and Julie Petosky Smoak. "In 1955, Dr. Elliott started recruiting 65 members for a University chapter charter. The recruits had to have some connection with the University. Some were professors' wives, a dean's mother, administrators and their wives, and the administration staff. One was the daughter of a football coach, Julie Petoskey Smoak who was present for the ceremony.

The charter was signed in the Russell House. The officers were Mrs. Orville Robinson (Judy Kraft '59 Ed) treasurer; Mrs. W. D. Melton, widow of University President Melton, regent; Mrs. Allen Donelan (Martha Stigall '33A), secretary. Mrs. Jack S. Graybill (Susan McElveen '51C; second vice- regent; Miss Cecile Huggins 21A '25 G, 53 G; registrar; and Mrs. Olin S. Pugh, first vice regent. Mrs. Donald Russell (Virginia Utsey '27 A) was honorary organizing regent who held the meetings in the President's home and later in the Governor's mansion.

At the celebration, First Regent Mrs. Olin (Louise Ewell) Pugh, wife of distinguished professor of business administration, was recognized. Charter members absent were Mrs. Wade T. (Josephine McDaniel) Batson Jr.; Mrs. Barnard A. (Martha Leonard) Daetwyler; Dr. Mary Crow Anderson; and Mrs. Alvin (Mary K.) Strasburger.

Former State Regent Ann Crider paid loving tribute to the USC Chapter .

Vice President General, SCNSDAR Sheila Davis commended the chapter for its long- standing work in the community to promote historic preservation and "for striving to further the goals of State and National Society DAR. She recognized two state chairmen Catherine Byrd McBroom and Mary P. Caldwell. Davis praised the USC Chapter for "initiating the Veterans' Day Celebration at William Jennings Bryan Dorn Hospital on November 11, 1988" when 1000 red roses were presented to our veterans as The Palmetto Mastersingers sang The Stars and Stripes Forever . It was that year that Congressman Floyd Spence, recovering from a double- lung transplant, slipped onto the stage to honor our veterans. In 1995 the Chapter unveiled a granite monument to WWII Veterans inscribed with the words, "A Grateful Nation Remembers."

In 1992 SCDAR celebrated the Quincentennial of the Discovery of America with a statue of Christopher Columbus sculpted by the chapter's former Regent Estelle Hampton Frierson. USC former Regent Edie Purvis was the chairman.

After the memorial wreath was laid at the grave of Dr. Elliott, the guests were shuttled to the Campus Room of Capstone House where the dignitaries processed in to the melody of The Richardson Waltz played by pianist Mary Beth McSwain. Historian General, NSDAR, gave the keynote address. She told about the acquisition of the DAR Americana Collection, the national treasures, and their preservation. Mary Cruce, Sue Pitts, Mittie McLean, Sylvia Waldron were thanked for their part in planning the event.

Others attending were Marilyn Altman, Jean Arrants, Sallie Benton, Margaret Binette, Kathleen R. Herald, Gloria Bouchard, Betty Capers, Beth Donelan, Carol Duggan, Hazel Fitzsimons, Joan Gibbs, Betty Guerry, Lenora Haas, Alexia Helsley, Nancy Hughes, Warren Hughes, Betty Jones, Beth Lambert, Jessie Dale McCollough, Gina McCuen, Mary Beth McSwain, Joan Moon, Caroline Morris, Constance Myers, Faye Pender, Sue Pitts, Sarah Powell, Ann Shields, Mary Tobin, Nita Tompkins, JoAnn Van Seters, Bonnie Wheeler, Betty Wilds, Lucy Willis, Cathy Byers, and Karen Petit.

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