Darlington School Blog

Darlington School
Barton Lowrey ’05
Major Gifts Officer, Advancement

Barton Lowrey ('05, LD '14) serves as the major gifts officer in the Advancement Office. In this role, he manages the relationships with donors and oversees the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts. Lowrey holds a B.B.A. in Real Estate and a B.S.Ed. in Sport Management from the University of Georgia. In college, he also studied abroad in England and New Zealand. He is a graduate of Leadership Darlington, L.E.A.D. Athens and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. Before returning to his alma mater, Lowrey spent four years working as a field representative and constituent services representative in the Office of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. He also has experience in fundraising and sales. He and his wife, Betsy, live in Atlanta.

Alumni Spotlight: Chris Jefts ('84)

10/20/2017 3:02:00 PM, 383 views

Alumni Spotlight is an ongoing blog series that features interviews with a variety of Darlington alumni about their careers and the impact their Darlington experience had on their lives. This week, I am excited to share a Q&A with Chris Jefts ('84).
Chris lives and works in the Athens, Ga. area and currently serves as a Regional Director of Development and Alumni Relations with the University of Georgia. Chris holds a B.S. in education from the University of Georgia and a MBA from the University of Georgia. He played professional baseball for the Chicago White Sox organization from 1984-1988. Chris is married to the former Brook Pittman and they have three children. 

Hear directly from Chris below. 

Why is Darlington important to you? 
Through my Darlington experience, I have been able to form friendships that have lasted a lifetime. Many of these were formed in the 80’s while I was a student, but I have also established many friendships through my Darlington connections.  

What is your best memory from your time at Darlington? 
Taking advantage of extracurricular activities, mostly athletics. I was highly influenced by the coaches on staff throughout my Darlington experience, and hopefully can pass along many of those lessons I learned as I volunteer with youth sports.   

Which teacher(s) had a positive influence on your life? 
Coach Jim Van Es served many roles and still influences me today: he was a mentor, coach, teacher, etc. He always had an open door policy so I could run anything by him whenever I needed advice or just needed to talk.  Coach Van Es also had that innate ability to throw in tough love whenever needed.

How did your time at Darlington prepare you for college and the professional world? 
I honestly think I gained a maturity level which prepared me for the next stage of my life of playing baseball in the Chicago White Sox minor league system.  

What was your career path after graduating from Darlington?
I signed a professional baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox. After shoulder injuries shortened my playing career, I attended college at the University of Georgia, became a member of the baseball coaching staff, and subsequently spent about nine years scouting in the Cleveland Indians organization. I now work as a Regional Director in Alumni Relations and Development at The University of Georgia.  

What do you like most about the career you have chosen?
I love meeting new people, establishing relationships, and assisting people with their philanthropy; I feel like often times, I serve as a philanthropic advisor.

What impact has Darlington had on your career success? 
Because I was so involved with athletics at Darlington, having to balance extracurricular activities with academic rigor allowed me to gain organizational skills that I carry with me today.

Can you share a little bit more about your role working for UGA and working for a non-profit organization?
I travel primarily outside the state of Georgia, mostly Florida, representing UGA and establishing relationships with our alumni, parents, donors, and friends and assisting them with their philanthropic efforts.  

What is your greatest career accomplishment?  
Playing, coaching, and scouting baseball at high levels have been very fulfilling. I will always remember the 1982 region championship football team as well as the 1984 state championship we won in baseball.

Darlington’s Motto is “Wisdom more than Knowledge, Service beyond Self, and Honor above Everything.” What ways have you applied the motto to your life?
I have a framed Darlington Honor Code hanging on the wall of my office and see it daily. In terms of service, I volunteer with youth sports in the Athens area, and that provides me with a small way to give back to the community. I am able to pass along many of the lessons I learned from Darlington teachers and coaches. Hopefully, my children see Darlington’s Motto through the way I live my life.

What do you hope for the future of Darlington and its students?
I hope others will look back positively on their Darlington experience and realize how fortunate they are. I would love for any student, regardless of their financial circumstances, to be able to experience a Darlington education if they choose. 


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