GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 8, 2020) – The Bob Jones University yearbook staff announced today the dedication of the 2020 Vintage to Dr. Carl Abrams, Dr. Linda Hayner and Dr. John Matzko. These dedicatees were honored for faithful, Christlike service over decades of teaching. Using their exceptional skills, they have touched numerous lives over four decades in the BJU history department.
Dr. Abrams, who is retiring at the conclusion of this academic year, joined the BJU faculty in 1974 and taught courses in American history and western Europe. In addition to a PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Abrams holds a certificate in French Studies from the Sorbonne in Paris and has received two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar grants for study at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Harvard Divinity School. He has published several books: Conservative Constraints, Old-Time Religion Embracing Modernist Culture and Selling the Old-Time Religion.
Dr. Hayner and Dr. Matzko teach subjects such as the Middle Ages, the history of England, the Middle East, historiography and historical research and writing. Both joined the history faculty in 1971.
Dr. Hayner has studied abroad at St. Anne’s College, Oxford and the University of Wales, Cardiff. She earned her PhD at Vanderbilt University. Her field of expertise is British history since Roman times to the present with a special focus on the care of orphans and foundlings in seventeenth century London. She has served as head of the University’s department of history and the department of social studies. In addition to teaching, Dr. Hayner has authored conference papers, book reviews and other professional publications as well as two historical novels: Ellanor’s Exchange and The Foundling.
With a PhD from the University of Virginia, Dr. Matzko served as chair of the Division of Social Science from 1998 to 2018. He is a member of the Organization of American Historians, the American Society for Legal History and the Greenville County Historical Society, where he serves on the publications committee. In addition to working at four historic sites, he has written a number of scholarly articles, book reviews and entries in historical encyclopedias, as well as two books: Best Men of the Bar: The Early History of the American Bar Association, 1878-1928 and Reconstructing Fort Union. He is currently revising a draft of the first scholarly biography of Bob Jones, Sr. (1883-1968), founder of BJU.
Students describe these professors as “brilliant,” “approachable,” “caring.” All of them possess an acute ability to assimilate an extensive amount of information and present it to students in an understandable, relatable manner.
“Our faculty are the heart of BJU. The continuity and depth these professors have provided for thousands of students is a testament to their dedication and love for their craft,” said BJU President Steve Pettit. “They routinely receive great reviews from our students due to their excellent instruction.”
All of these professors have been listed in Who’s Who in America and have a combined total of 135 years of teaching experience in the University’s department of history.