DAR member proud to have been regent

Honoring her heritage

At first, Nancy Parks didn’t really want to be Regent of the Augusta Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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Former Augusta Chapter DAR Regent Nancy Parks said 18 ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She has been a member since 1988.   SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Former Augusta Chapter DAR Regent Nancy Parks said 18 ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She has been a member since 1988.

The first couple of times she was approached about becoming regent, which is another name for the chapter president, she declined.

Then she found her grandmother’s ex-regent’s pin.

“The only way I could wear that was to become a regent,” she said. “You can’t wear an ex-regent pin unless you’re a regent.”

Each member, she explained, wears a ribbon and pins commemorating various accomplishments and bars for ancestors who served in the American Revolution.

Parks recently received a special pin for being chosen Outstanding Chapter Regent at the 115th state conference of the Georgia State Society of the DAR. She served as regent from 2010-2012. Current regents are ineligible for the award, she said.

Parks is only the second regent from the Augusta chapter to have won in the chapter’s 121-year history, said current regent Daphne Hopson.

“She taught me everything I know,” Hopson said. “A lot of ideas I use today have come because of Nancy.”

Parks, a member of the DAR since 1988, had been assembling the chapter’s yearbooks for about 10 years before she took office in 2010.

Because that gave her insight into much of the chapter’s inner workings, she felt she was able to analyze what was needed to make the chapter run more effectively.

She noticed that most of the work was being done by a handful of people. So she made it a point to get to know her members through such mechanisms as member spotlights in the newsletter she created, and she began interviewing new members as they joined.

She began learning where members’ strengths were and placed them in positions to use them. Then she recognized them for their work in her newsletter.

She found that members who had not previously been active became more interesting in participating, and that all of the chapter members worked together to make the chapter outstanding.

“I feel like this is more of a chapter accomplishment and I happened to be in charge,” she said.

Under her leadership, the chapter’s membership grew 6.3 percent her first year and 14.8 percent the second year.

Junior membership – members between the ages of 18 and 40 – increased by more than 77 percent.

“She just brought new life to our chapter,” Hopson said. “We were so proud of her.”

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/28/13 - 08:20 pm

Regent might be an appropriate name for the leader of a local chapter of an organization of women whose intent is to honor dead military men, but Regents is a hideous name for the newly-merged university in Augusta.

P.S. I salute you, Ms. Parks, for the energy with which you have rejuvenated the local chapter; and for bringing in enthusiastic young women who will keep the flame burning.

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