What does a tenacious, passionate and creative person do with her BJU history degree? Why not take charge of a museum? BJU history graduate Kenzie Galloway accepted this challenge as the director of the Fountain Inn Museum in Fountain Inn, South Carolina, which is named after a stopping place on a stagecoach route in the Upstate.
The town’s museum has “focused on preserving the history, heritage and culture of small-town Upcountry South Carolina.” However, Galloway said that her new job involves more than simply “passing along information.” She sees an opportunity to highlight the “culture that surrounds this small town” in a way that attracts local and out-of-town visitors alike.
Museum careers often start with a history major. Although Galloway acknowledges that when working in a small museum “it’s not about the money or prestige,” she’s nevertheless excited that “everything you do at a small museum is to promote history.”
When Galloway began as a history major at BJU, she didn’t have museums in mind as a career.
“The true reason I started my major in history was because I had a debate about the Bolshevik Revolution with an older gentleman who was not well informed,” she said. “He believed certain things he had read on the internet that were not historically accurate and that bothered me. So, when I presented genuine historical facts, he denied my claims because I wasn’t educated enough to be authoritative on the subject. I asked him, ‘If I had a degree in history, would you believe me?’ He said yes, so I immediately changed my major”—to history.
Besides, Galloway added, she wanted to “share with my generation the importance of the past and the significance it has on their lives, and their freedoms.”
BJU History Program
Developing a biblical perspective on history takes careful study, and Galloway credits the influence of her professors in helping her learn to look at the ways God works in all aspects of history. She found that BJU history professors also try to get to know students personally. The resulting relationships, she said, “helped me understand the world in a greater sense. I listened to their stories and wisdom, which helped me grow as a person.”
History professors at BJU, she said, don’t just teach facts, but also “show you how to apply the information to your life and to your faith.”
An admitted history nerd, Galloway always loved reading and writing, two skills demanded in every BJU history class. She also took a year after her bachelor’s degree to work as a graduate assistant in the BJU English department to further strengthen her communication skills. Galloway said what she learned at BJU about “leadership, communication, patience, reading and writing skills, the best ways to research a topic, and so many other things” are paying off every day in her new position.
Although Galloway interviewed for the position of assistant curator at the museum, she quickly showed she had more than the required skills for the assistant position. The museum board then asked her to apply for the directorship position. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Amid all the excitement of a new job, Galloway said she most aspires to be a “good steward of what God has given me, to love others, and to serve the Lord through my work.” She’s finding joy in recognizing that “all my professors taught me more than to just learn and recite history but to pour yourself into it. Because of that, I was able to get a job where every day I am learning more about Fountain Inn and the people here, and I get to share that passion with the people around me.”