The Stirrup Gallery at D&E Welcomes First Volunteer

Date Posted: 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

ELKINS - Museum records are on their way to being more neatly organized in electronic form, thanks to the efforts of the first-ever volunteer at The Stirrup Galley on the Davis & Elkins College campus. A special connection to the College recently prompted 20-year-old Hannah Hayes and her family to relocate to Elkins from Texas.

Hayes’ sister, Mia Ellison, is a member of the freshman class and the Senator swim team.

“Hannah wanted to be close to her sister,” said the girls’ mother, Gail Hayes. “They’re almost inseparable.”

With a love for history, a background in data entry and a desire to find something to do for the summer, Hayes was the perfect fit for The Stirrup Gallery.

“D&E is a family and when I found out that a new student had a sister who was looking for a volunteer position, I didn't hesitate to set up an interview,” said Mark Lanham, coordinator of special collections at D&E. “The combination of her smile and cheerful attitude left me no choice but to accept her as a volunteer. She is a welcome addition to the Gallery.”

Hayes’ chief duty is to enter artifact information for the museum registry, and she’s enjoyed her work so much that she’s continuing to help out as long as needed. That’s welcome news for Lanham who’s now able to heed the advice of two museum assessors who suggested he add volunteers.

“I’ve always liked world history and science, so this is interesting work,” Hayes said.

Making the move from Austin, Texas, the Hayes family has been impressed with the reception they’ve received from the Davis & Elkins College community and area residents.

“We’re amazed at what the College and this town have to offer,” Gail Hayes said. “We’re just thankful to everyone for embracing us with open arms.”

The Stirrup Gallery in Myles Center for the Arts houses nine collections representing more than 14,000 years of history and culture: The Darby Collection, The Lincoln Collection, Howard-Sudbrink Collection, Eleanor Gay Collection, Foster Collection, Senator Davis Collection, Swezy Collection, Gary North Collection and J. Richard and Dotty S. Kendig Collection. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and evenings and weekends by appointment. For additional information, call Lanham at 304-637-1980 or visit

Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at or call 304-637-1243.


Photo Caption: Hannah Hayes, the first-ever volunteer at The Stirrup Gallery, enters information into the museum’s data base. The Stirrup Gallery is located in Myles Center for the Arts on the campus of Davis & Elkins College.

Hannah Hayes, The Stirrup Gallery of Davis & Elkins College