Reflecting on the Dillon Administration

Written by: Ann Dillon, President General
June 7, 2019

As we are now at the end of these three years of the Dillon Administration it is encouraging to see all we accomplished. We were able to achieve even more than I imagined and it is because of our members’ incredible dedication to this Society.

We still have a few more weeks of work and an exciting Congress to look forward to, but today I wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on our administration.

Last year at Congress we were able to showcase the projects made possible by the President General’s Project funding such as the Constitution Hall stage restoration with the four historic street scene panels, the DAR Museum Gallery and Study Gallery renovation and the museum space of the Children of the American Revolution. However, many other successful projects were not as visible. The installation of new HVAC systems, a new security system, new flooring in the O’Byrne Gallery, an improved loading dock and new carpet tiles on the first floor of the Administration Building were all less flashy, but equally important updates to our Headquarters.

It is hard to catalog all of the successful projects completed in this administration but I will try to list a few highlights in my opinion. We updated the landscaping around our Headquarters and restored the Banquet Hall. Chapters now have the ability to pay their dues online and scholarship applicants can submit their applications through a new specially designed web portal. A contract with the National Archives to digitize Revolutionary War pension final payment applications was signed. In anticipation of the nation’s 250th birthday we began two training programs to introduce new members to the organization and to strengthen chapter leadership: the America 250! Membership Task Force to help with difficult membership applications and the State Application Teams, not to bypass chapter registrars, but to provide a team approach to membership concerns.  A gift of 76 trees was donated to Independence National Historical Park and the DAR Pathway of the Patriots was established. We began a Community Classroom Committee to broaden our outreach to schools throughout the country.

There are many other accomplishments big and small, and while I can’t list them all please know how much I appreciate all of the support given to each of these very important initiatives.

Whenever one begins to thank every person who has contributed to the success of a project, there is always the possibility of forgetting someone. I could not have done this job (nor would I have wanted to) without the outstanding support of the Executive Officers, the members of the National Board of Management, the National Chairs, Vice Chairs and Division Vice Chairs and committee members. Chapter Regents and Officers, State Officers and the membership have accomplished so much and have been so very generous in their work and encouragement.

And finally, the professional staff at DAR Headquarters has done enormous work to put into action what often has been only an idea and to originate projects that further our mission. I have had the privilege of serving as an Executive Officer on two administrations and leading one as President General. Throughout my many years having the pleasure to work closely with our Headquarters staff, every employee has been exceptional and without them very little would have been done.

At one of the Heritage Club events held at state conferences, someone asked what my favorite room was in our DAR building. I began describing how I loved the atrium outside the offices of the Chaplain General and the First Vice President General and how stunning the space housing the C.A.R. Museum is. Then I asked her what her favorite office is and she said, “Well, I’ve always liked your office.” I have to agree that it has become my favorite place - not because of the room itself, but its history, what it represents and the wonderful memories I have of being able to call it “my office.”

Thank you for the privilege of serving these three years as your President General. It has truly been a remarkable experience.

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