Darlington School: Grandparents Sylvia Lanier and Ansley Saville Share Why They Give
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Grandparents Sylvia Lanier and Ansley Saville Share Why They Give

Julia Douglas | February 28, 2019 | 604 views

This year’s appeals for The Darlington Fund were written by members of The Darlington Fund cabinet. Our grandparent co-chairs Sylvia Lanier and Ansley Saville ('68T, LD '18) shared personal testimonials of what Darlington and The Darlington Fund mean to them.

Sylvia Lanier grew up in Atlanta and is the mother of two Darlington graduates – Alana Lanier Cobb ’(96) and Alicia Lanier Shurley ’(03). She is also the grandparent of Alicia’s children – Bo ’(32), Brier (’28) and Will (‘22). Sylvia works at Advertising Dynamics and previously worked at Darlington as an Assistant Director of Admissions; she has been active in the Rome and Darlington communities and is the 2018-2019 Darlington Fund Grandparent Co-Chair. 

“Having moved from Atlanta to Rome, once my oldest daughter Alana began first grade at Darlington’s Lower School, I knew immediately that this school was a true blessing! The faculty and staff were so caring and they truly were like family.

A few years later, a need arose for a volunteer at the Upper School switchboard, and I jumped right in to help. Eventually, my youngest daughter, Alicia, began attending Darlington and there was an opportunity for an assistant director of admissions, mainly focused on growing the middle school. I immediately knew I wanted to apply for that position. With my education degree and love for the school, I was given that wonderful opportunity. I was able to spread the word about Darlington around Northwest Georgia, and I am still being rewarded by so many former students who remind me in person and on social media how they remember their first visit, my showing them the school, and their choosing to come.

Now, I am so very excited that my own three grandsons started Darlington this year – Bo in pre-K, Brier in the lower grades, and Will in Upper School. All three are so very happy in school and to hear the things they are learning and doing each and every day just continues to amaze me! To see the sparkle in their eyes and the excitement in their voices when they share what they have done for community service makes me know that they will grow up caring for this world.

The Darlington Fund, along with the support of grandparents, creates extra opportunities that continue to make Darlington a truly special place that I am excited to support this year. I ask that you join me in giving to The Darlington Fund and this wonderful Darlington Family!”

Ansley Saville is a Rome native and graduated from the Thornwood School for Girls in 1969 and attended Leadership Darlington in 2018. She is the mother of Darlington graduates Bert Saville (’95), Andrew Saville (’97) and Marinell Saville Coats (’01). Andrew’s daughter Mallory is class of 2028. Ansley currently serves as VP of Public Relations at Coosa Steele. She has a long history of service in the Rome and Darlington communities, including serving on Darlington’s Board of Visitors. 

“Just a few years ago (in my mind), I grew up right down the road from Thornwood School for Girls. Mother and Daddy made the choice for me to attend – what a wonderful decision it turned out to be! We learned to be leaders, as well as getting a great education to prepare us for college. 

When our first son, Bert, was old enough, Dean and I made the decision that Darlington’s Lower School on the Thornwood Campus was where he would go to elementary school. What a culture shock that was to me! When I graduated, there were 151 LITTLE WOMEN running around the campus! But, I felt right at home and began what became another generation of 'Briley now Savilles' at what was Darlington School. Andrew and Marinell followed Bert at Darlington, and I continued volunteering as my parents had done at Thornwood. My daddy, Al Briley, had been chairman of the Thornwood Board when Thornwood and Darlington had combined in 1973.

Just as he had done, I learned to raise money for Darlington to help close the gap between tuition revenue and the true cost of the wonderful teachers and extra classes available to our children. Helping raise money for Darlington to give to my kids and their friends and the rest of the student body was easy for me. I was seeing the results! I HAVE seen the results in all three of my children.

Now, I’m fortunate enough to see the ideas discussed while my children were attending Darlington are now actuality. What fun to see those ideas being used in the lower and middle grades for my granddaughter, Mallory, to enjoy! What a joy to see the laughter and learning going on with the child of my child.

Now, Dean and I are continuing the tradition of giving to The Darlington Fund because we have seen how it improves the opportunities for our children. Grandparents, we get to help with the extras – with The Darlington Fund – passing it forward so our grands will have the extras the annual giving provides!”

Click here to make a gift to The Darlington Fund online. You may also mail a check to the Advancement Office at 1014 Cave Spring Road Rome, GA 30161 or call 706-236-0417 with your credit card information. Stock transfer instructions are available on request. To see the ways gift to The Darlington Fund impacted the school last year click here.