Drayton Hall In The News


AFA Summer 2016 Cover

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Written by Drayton Hall’s President and CEO Carter C. Hudgins, Ph.D.,  a 2006 Wood Family Fellow, the article describes the significant impact that one committed donor can have on an institution. It also shows how each of the Fellow’s work has informed the next and has led to many remarkable discoveries over the past ten years–helping to shape a new era of acquisitions, expansion of our museum collections, and site interpretation. Read the entire article here.


Lowcountry Giving Day – May 3rd

Lowcountry Giving Day is coming soon! When you select Drayton Hall as the recipient of your donation, you will help support critical preservation projects and educational programming.  Please help us preserve Drayton Hall for the future and schedule your donation today: http://bit.ly/24hO2lp

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Job Announcement: Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations


Drayton Hall images - Tony Sweet Photographycropped

With limited supervision, the Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations will oversee the administration and planning associated with securing financial support from corporate and foundation partners, tracking progress toward meeting organizational fundraising goals. Duties include monitoring grant deadlines, drafting proposals and reports, and conducting research on potential funders who are committed to historic preservation, museum programming and education.

The position requires a thorough understanding of donor management and the ability to manage relationships with internal staff as well as foundation and corporate contacts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Implement strategies and activities designed to increase support from existing foundation or corporate funders and identify new potential foundation and corporate support.
  • Manage information database of grant requirements; track contact between Drayton Hall and funders; track all foundation and corporate giving deadlines.
  • Create institutional database of potential new support.
  • Prepare foundation and corporate giving materials, including but not limited to proposals, letters of inquiry, grant reports, agreements, email, presentations, acknowledgment letters, and stewardship materials. This includes drafting original copy, editing copy, formatting, and printing.
  • Research the giving interests of foundation and corporate funders, stay abreast of philanthropic trends and recent foundation and corporate giving, and identify new opportunities for funding that align with Drayton Hall programs and priorities.
  • Assist program staff with their fundraising efforts, as appropriate.
  • Liaise with program staff and Finance staff to monitor grant expectations and spending.
  • Attend foundation meetings and events, cultivating relationships with current and prospective donors as appropriate.
  • Prepare senior staff for meetings and phone calls with foundation or corporate staff. This includes research and writing briefings.
  • May perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • B.A. or B.S. required.
  • Three to five years of foundation and corporate relations experience or comparable work with foundations and corporations, preferably within a not-for-profit setting.
  • Experience writing grant proposals and reports.
  • Experience reviewing budgets and financial reports.
  • Ability to work evenings, weekends, and travel occasionally.
  • Familiarity with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) regulations.
  • Knowledge of Altru development and CRM software.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong analytical and research skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated willingness to learn.
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work independently and work as a member of a team.
  • Genuine belief in the mission of Drayton Hall.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee may have exposure to moderate noise, crowds at functions or events, and at times variances in weather.  The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and the ability to adjust focus.

Position Details:

  • Department:  Development
  • Reports To:  Director of Philanthropy
  • FLSA Status:  Exempt
  • Employment Status:  Full-Time

The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust provides a competitive compensation and benefits package

Please send a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to:

Drayton Hall Preservation Trust
ATTN: Steve Mount
3380 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414
or electronically at smount@draytonhall.org.

The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

A Tribute to Miss Sally

At the close of Women’s History Month, we would like to pay tribute to Sally Reahard, an important benefactress of Drayton Hall. Miss Sally, as she preferred to be called, passed away a decade ago, but her love and support for Drayton Hall can still be seen on the site today. The following tribute is written by Drayton Hall Executive Director George W. McDaniel, who knew and admired Miss Sally and worked with her closely.

By George W. McDaniel, Executive Director

How to characterize Miss Sally? She was her own person, to be sure. She was an original, sui generis. I think most would agree that she was astute and lively. She cut to the chase, and always presented herself well. She didn’t suffer fools or idle chit-chat. She loved to talk, but it was about things of substance, whether history, preservation, conservation, or about forks in the road and which one to take.

A young Miss Sally conveying her love for the outdoors and her joie de vivre spirit.

A young Miss Sally conveying her love for the outdoors and her joie de vivre attitude.

Miss Sally grew up in Indianapolis and went to Sweet Briar College in Virginia. In the small world that this is, she was two years behind my mother, who’d grown up in Atlanta. She remembered Mother well and sent me pictures from the Sweet Briar annual of Mother and also of herself and of my mother’s friends who’d gone to Sweet Briar. Some were classmates of Miss Sally, one, in fact, being my next door neighbor growing up in Atlanta and two others, my “aunts” by affection, one in Atlanta, the other in Augusta, Ga.

The pictures capture Miss Sally’s personality. I wish you could have known her. When I visited her, I encouraged her to visit Charleston since she had so many friends here and had done so much for the city and its museums, historic sites, and conservation organizations, but she refused. She had a number of friends here from her visits in the 1930s and had made new ones, thanks to the fact that she was a wonderful and frequent letter writer and telephone caller. She corresponded with many Charlestonians, subscribed to The Post and Courier, and even wallpapered one of her rooms with scenes from Charleston. She talked to different people and got different points of view on topics related to Drayton Hall. As a result, you had better be well grounded when you talked to her. She really liked Chris and Booie Chappell, who live here on the property, and they were constant correspondents. She also thought highly of Bob Barker and George Neil, the assistant director when I arrived, and my predecessor Letisha Galbraith. She loved our preservation mission, especially in regard to the main house, as well as our efforts to conserve the Ashley River.

Miss Sally

Her devoted and skillful attorney, Gene Wilkins, gave her excellent advice, and together they crafted a strategy for philanthropy. They thought things through, and just as she sought to invest her financial assets wisely to reap a good return, so too she sought to invest her philanthropy wisely. Gene was her right hand man, her candid and thoughtful sounding board, who was not afraid to speak his mind, which she appreciated. During her lifetime, she gave away millions of dollars to non-profits, small and large, especially in Indiana, Michigan, and South Carolina, to organizations whose work she believed in. Upon her death, she left an estate totaling c. $180 million, and she gave it all away.

As you walk around Drayton Hall, you can see things today that are a product, as a whole or in part, of her and Gene’s strategy of philanthropy—things one might take for granted. They include, but are not limited to the following:

• Drayton Hall itself (she gave the leadership private gift)
• water from North Charleston supplying our fire hydrants, the site having had no fire hydrants in the event of fire
• the replacement terne metal roof on the main house, which saved Drayton Hall during Hurricane Hugo
• stabilization of the historical paint and plaster in the main house
• the current administration building
• the Miss Sally Cottage, where the Chappells live
• the preservation department building, tractor/equipment shed, and related site work
• two sets of rip rap on the Ashley River: one at the end of the allée and the other being longer in length and upstream
• the land across the river
• the re-engineered road and parking lot with its sand/shell/gravel mixture (not just sand and gravel, as earlier, which had consistently wash boarded and rutted deeply)
• annual donations each year of c. $50-60K for general operating support
• an endowment bequest of $16M

Miss Sally and George McDaniel

As you can see, all of these things were essential. No frou-frou. When I gave a eulogy at her funeral, I talked about these essential things, and in the interests of time, chose to accent the rip rap, the pile of rocks, seemingly non-descript, but absolutely essential to the preservation of the mid-18th century garden house, one of the oldest sites of a garden house in the South, if not the nation. Each year we’d been losing about 1 foot of the soft riverbank due to erosion caused by wakes from speed boats. We’d won support from the US Corps of Engineers for the installation of rip rap, but had to have a 25% match for the total cost of $280,000. George Neil, assistant director at the time, and I presented the case, and Miss Sally stepped up and provided $70,000 for the match. What a difference she made! To get a sense of just how close the threat was to the garden house, walk out to the live oak behind it. You would have been standing above the river, for the root ball was barely supported by the earth beneath it, so deeply undercut had the riverbank become. Thanks to Miss Sally, that site, so important to garden design, social history, and horticulture, has now been preserved and exemplifies what she has done for us today and for future generations.

That’s the kind of person she was—she wanted action that made a difference to the good. So next time you get a chance, please take a walk to the garden house and out to the live oak, look down and around at the entirety of this remarkable site, and say a word of thanks to Miss Sally.

Elizabeth Drayton Taylor’s Long Love of Drayton Hall

Please welcome to the blog Alison Rea, Drayton descendant and longtime supporter of Drayton Hall. Alison’s mother Elizabeth  chose to honor her father, Charles deVere Drayton, with a bench at Drayton Hall to show her support and passion for the preservation of the house and her family’s love of this place. Since her mother was one of the original participants in our memorial bench program, we asked Alison to write up a quick blog on her family’s connection to Drayton Hall. Enjoy! 

Elizabeth Drayton Taylor, Drayton Hall descendant and mother of the author.

Elizabeth Drayton Taylor, Drayton Hall descendant and mother of the author.

For as long as I can remember, my mother, Elizabeth Drayton Taylor, has spoken about the love that her father and she felt for Drayton Hall. Indeed, I was always told that my grandfather died in his sleep in 1960 the night he returned from a last trip with Mother to Charleston and Drayton Hall. That is why it is so fitting that there should be a bench at Drayton Hall, facing the river, commemorating the love of both my mother and grandfather for the home built by their ancestor.

Charles deVere Drayton was born in Aiken, SC in 1882 and moved up to Washington  D.C. with his family as a child. There he practiced law, working for the Southern Railroad, and was an involved civic leader. He married Irma Biscoe Eliason and had three children—Charles, Elizabeth, and Dorothea.

Charles deVere Drayton, grandfather of the author.

Charles deVere Drayton, grandfather of the author.

My mother, Elizabeth Drayton Taylor, was born in DC, and lives there still. Before marrying, she was a fashion model, a researcher for Time Magazine and, during the war, an analyst for OSS.  Later, during a 14-year interlude in Denver, Colorado, she raised three children:  John Drayton Rea, Malcolm Dunbar Rea and me, Alison Bruce Rea.  In Denver, she also was active in politics—serving for many years as a Democratic district captain training several future Colorado governors and lobbying in some of the most progressive mental health laws and facilities in the country. She has one grandchild, Nicholas Edwards, who also currently lives in DC and is a filmmaker.

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Charles Elliott Rowand Drayton, great grandfather of the author.

So, the question is, how are we related to John Drayton, the builder of Drayton Hall?  We are descended from his oldest son, William Henry Drayton (m Dorothy Golightly). Our line then went through their son, Governor John Drayton (m Hester Rose Tidyman), their son Alfred Rose Drayton (m Martha Rowand Summers), and their son, Charles Elliott Rowand Drayton (m Jessie Elvira Mackay), who was my grandfather’s father.

Interested in the memorial bench program at Drayton Hall? Please contact our Development Assistant Leslie Newman, at leslie_newman@draytonhall.org or give her a call at 843-769-2600. 

A Tribute to Bob Barker

More than 60 friends gathered in Drayton Hall’s raised English basement and on the lawn outside on Sunday, October 21, to pay tribute to the man who for more than three decades was Drayton Hall’s senior interpretive guide.   Fortune favored A Tribute to Bob Barker with sublimely beautiful fall weather.  Halfway through the two-hour event, guests were invited into the basement for the singing of Happy Birthday to Bob (his birthday is October 20), a welcome by Drayton Hall Executive Director George McDaniel, and a series of brief, but heartfelt tributes from McDaniel, Charlie Drayton, Janie Clayton, Jill Foster, Merrill Benfield, and Gene Brown, who served as master of ceremonies.  Regrettably, Booie Chappell, one of Bob’s longtime colleagues in the ranks of interpretive guides at Drayton Hall, was unable to attend due to ill health.  Besides Drayton Hall, sponsors for A Tribute to Bob Barker included Carriage Properties LLC, Drayton Real Estate, Lois Lane Properties, and Thomas and Denzinger Architects, all of Charleston.

During his remarks, George McDaniel announced that Drayton Hall has created The Robert E. Lee Barker Endowment Fund for Interpretation.  The event program explained the purpose of the fund as follows:

In recognition of and gratitude for his remarkable service to Drayton Hall and the greater Charleston community, and wishing to establish a lasting tribute, Drayton Hall created the Robert E. Lee Barker Endowment Fund for Interpretation in the fall of 2012.  Annual income from this named endowment fund will honor Bob and help facilitate and enhance the interpretation of Drayton Hall throughout all future years.  Tribute gifts to this fund may be made out to Drayton Hall marked Barker Endowment Fund and mailed to 3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29414.

Scroll below for some pictures that captured the spirit of this very special afternoon:

Linda Bennett greets Drayton patriarch Charlie Drayton.

From L-R, the man of the hour Bob Barker, Kit Bennett, and Merrill Benfield smile for the camera.

From L-R, Robert Bruner, Linda Bennett, Mike Shewan, Judi Purches, Bob Barker, Pat Patrick, Sharon Bruner, and Ian Purches.

Drayton Hall interim museum shop supervisor Janie Clayton and longtime supporter and volunteer Ian Purches.

Janie Clayton makes some remarks during the ceremony about friend and colleague Bob Barker.

What is this newfangled ‘monthly giving’ all about?

In the summer of 2009, Drayton Hall introduced monthly giving, a new membership payment option for Friends of Drayton Hall. Two years since its launch, Drayton Hall has welcomed a total of 51 monthly giving converts, three of which happen to be Drayton Hall employees!

Monthly giving is a payment option that allows Friends to easily increase their annual membership gift by breaking it into twelve small installments.  You select the amount you’re comfortable with and it is automatically and securely withdrawn from your credit or debit card each month.  As a monthly giver you continue to receive all the wonderful Friends of Drayton Hall membership benefits, but you never have to worry about a lapsed membership, messing with renewal envelopes, or hunting for your checkbook.

At the close of 2010, Drayton Hall had 42 monthly givers and as a group they had increased their giving from the year before by $3,000.  Imagine that! $3,000 that was directed to Drayton Hall’s most pressing preservation issues.

It’s easy, it’s secure, and it provides sustainable support for Drayton Hall year in and year out.  Don’t believe me?  Ask some of our new monthly giving Friends. George and Mary Sue McDaniel, our executive director and his wife, were the first to join Drayton Hall’s monthly giving program and have found it to be “a financially painless way to increase support of Drayton Hall.” Kristine Morris, our communications director, appreciates the “seamless process” that lets her make a big difference in a small way every month.

Say goodbye to remittance envelopes, checkbooks and stamps, and say hello to monthly giving!  Join today by visiting our new monthly giving webpage.

Thank You Friends, for your generosity and inspiration

A big thanks to all of Drayton Hall’s Friends who helped to make our 2010 yearend appeal a record-breaking success.  We couldn’t have done it without you!!  In the past two months we have raised more than $39,000 – that is $9,000 above our $30,000 goal and an amazing $13,000 above what we raised last year.  These dollars will help fund Drayton Hall’s 2011 initiatives for:

  • A structural assessment of the main house to identify weaknesses and guide us in how we use the house for the over 55,000 people who visit every year;
  • Continued efforts to protect Drayton Hall’s aged live oaks from lightening and insect infestation;
  • Work to repair decades-old damage to the marshes across the river from Drayton Hall;
  • Research and training for the interpreters who bring Drayton Hall to life and who might just have inspired you to become a member in the first place.

Be sure to check out our website, Facebook , and future blogs because it’s going to be an exciting and productive year!

-Courtney Bates, Development Coordinator

What inspires me the most about Drayton Hall is…  As part of the yearend appeal we created two videos  asking Drayton Hall staff, volunteers, and Site Council to share what inspires them the most about Drayton Hall.  We then turned the question around and asked Friends shared their inspirational stories about Drayton Hall.  We have posted a number of wonderful responses on our Facebook page and below are a few recent responses:

“That it remained in the Drayton Family for so many years” -Barrow, IA

“I grew up in the South – Drayton Hall represents a period in history I love” -Craiglow-Clayton, FL

“My small contribution is helping to keep Drayton Hall restoration ongoing” -Forbes, AL

“How beautiful and well-preserved it is after all these years” -Humphrey, IN

“Empty, Drayton Hall speaks volumes”  -Grix and Israel, MI

“The architecture and beautiful landscape.  It’s a thrilling experience each time I visit”  -Morton, SC

“The fact of its continued existence, thanks to the caring and hard work of so many of the centuries” -Naguib, IL

“That it continues to be preserved in its original state while being able to fight off encroaching development”  -Waldron, OH

“The feeling that comes over me of the history and the wonderful unfolding of more to come” -Chapman, OH

“Historical significance” -Fee, IN

“Keeping it changeless amid so much change; preserving it for future generations”  -Negles, GA