Inside this Issue
Glimpse into the lives and passions of the diverse group of women who comprise today’s DAR membership.
Take a step inside the DAR Museum for a closer look at its fascinating collection.
Learn about the interesting historical articles from this issue.
To Come in Our Next Issue
Preview the exciting stories to be featured in the next issue of American Spirit.
Investing in the Future
By Lena Anthony
Photograph courtesy of Cathy Bihr
Volume 149, Number 4, July/August 2015, Page 4
As a lifelong educator, Kathy Bihr has experienced many proud moments, from seeing individual students succeed to being recognized for her leadership in education. But nothing could top the opening of the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif., in 2006.
Hired as the executive director of the Tiger Woods Foundation in 2004, shortly after finishing her doctorate in educational leadership, Dr. Bihr was given a broad directive from her new boss, legendary golfer Tiger Woods. He wanted the learning center to be a safe place for kids to come after school—a place where they would have access to learning opportunities, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math (often called STEM education).
“The development of the learning center was a big unknown because it hadn’t been done before,” says the member of John Greenleaf Whittier Chapter, Whittier, Calif. “That made the opening extremely emotional, even more so when we saw kids from all over the city talking and figuring out chemistry concepts together. It put a lump in my throat.”
The center took off quickly. Today, as the foundation’s vice president of programs and education, Dr. Bihr manages a team of more than 30 employees, plus hundreds of volunteers, who help serve more than 10,000 at-risk or underserved youth each year at learning center locations in Anaheim and Washington, D.C., as well as through school-based programming in Philadelphia, New York, Florida and at the United States Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va.
In addition, Dr. Bihr oversees the Earl Woods Scholarship Program, which provides financial support, as well as mentoring and internship opportunities, to approximately 20 new first-generation college students each year.
“We have seen over and over again that kids who are provided the right amount of resources and support can not only succeed, but also excel,” Dr. Bihr says. “We invest in them and help them understand their potential. Whether it’s the scholarship program or the learning centers, we’re here to facilitate their dreams.”
Dr. Bihr’s varied roles at the foundation include creating new partnerships, speaking to groups about the importance of STEM education, developing new programs, and meeting with mentors and past scholarship recipients across the country. Her favorite part of her job is staff development.
“I love helping teachers understand what it means to be all about kids,” she says. “I help them develop the right heart for the work, because it’s exhausting and hard. You can be the most brilliant math teacher, but it doesn’t matter at all if you don’t love kids.”
Dr. Bihr has known she would pursue a career in education since elementary school. “I was a shy fifth grader, and a teacher told me that I would make a good teacher someday,” she says. “That stuck with me, and I never deviated from it.” A job at the City of Long Beach parks and recreation department during college helped solidify her plans to work with young people.
A desire to pass along her love of learning also drew her to the DAR. “DAR is an organization that is all about things I already believe in, such as love of country, patriotism and, of course, education,” she says.
Dr. Bihr grew up playing golf, and it’s a hobby she continues to enjoy today. In her free time, she also enjoys wine tasting and spending time at the beach. “I just love being active,” she says. “You won’t often find me sitting inside.”
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Desserts on Demand
Photography by Leo Sylvester, DAR Museum
Volume 149, Number 4, July/August 2015, Page 5
This delicate-looking lead glass sweetmeat stand, acquired by the DAR Museum this year, was made in England between 1730 and 1760.
Sweetmeats are candied fruits and nuts usually served for dessert. They could be dry or wet, and either made at home or purchased from a merchant. For instance, in 1703 Boston merchant Henry Lloyd imported sweetmeats, raisins and currants from Europe and the West Indies. New Yorker Victor du Pont paid $10 for “glass urns for a dessert” presumably used to serve sweetmeats. The confections’ colors displayed particularly well when served in glass dishes and baskets. In this example, each hanging basket held an individual portion, while the top bowl contained additional portions.
For more National Treasures, please visit the DAR Museum's Featured Objects.
A Lasting Legacy: The Story of the DAR Schools by Emily McMackin
DAR members have been giving time and funds to DAR-supported schools since the early 1900s, helping to change children’s lives and expand communities’ futures through education.
Visions of America: Hail, Alma Mater by Lena Anthony
Colonial American colleges originally set out to train future religious and civic leaders. Despite early challenges, their legacies have endured, and these nine schools are now in the top tier of higher education.
The Origins of Dartmouth by Sharon McDonnell
Founded in 1769 as a school for American Indian youth, Dartmouth faced financial and political insecurity in the 18th and 19th centuries before earning a place as one of the nation’s Ivy League colleges.
A Place for Patriots: Revolutionary Museums by Bill Hudgins
New museums in Philadelphia and Yorktown, Va., are offering fresh perspectives on the Revolution and engaging visitors with the thrilling history of the nation’s founding.
Class Act: National History Club by Megan Hamby
Nationwide, nearly 14,000 students participate in the National History Club, immersing themselves in local history, cultural excursions and community service projects.
Spirited Adventures: Boise, Idaho by Jamie Roberts
Dubbed the City of Trees, Idaho’s beautiful capital city framed by mountains beckons visitors with a unique blend of outdoor and urban activities.
Historic Homes: Maull House by Courtney Peter
Facing the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal and near Delaware Bay, the circa-1739 Maull House in Lewes, Del., offers a glimpse into the life of a river pilot.
Our Patriots: George Clinton by Bill Hudgins
Known as the Father of the Empire State, Clinton has a long list of accomplishments, from Revolutionary War hero to 21 years as New York governor.
Plus: The President General’s Message, Whatnot and Bookshelf
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To Come in September/October 2015: A Special 125th-Anniversary Commemorative Issue
Becoming DAR: The Vision of the Founders
DAR as a Genealogical Resource
Celebrating America: The 12.5 Million Hours Challenge
The Americana Collection Celebrates 75 Years
A Sneak Peek at the DAR Museum’s Upcoming Exhibition