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Thorpe takes reins at history museum

Dana Thorpe, who has more than 28 years of experience working in museums and historical societies, has been appointed executive director of the Upcountry History Museum-Furman.

Thorpe was previously executive director of the Building for Kids Children’s Museum in Appleton, Wis. She has also been director of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio, director of exhibits at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and deputy director of the Association of Children’s Museums, an international professional service organization.

Furman and the museum became partners in February of 2012, when the university assumed responsibility for the museum’s operation and management. The museum is located in downtown Greenville near the site of the Greenville Woman’s College; its board of directors owns the facilities and provides membership and fundraising support as well as programmatic guidance. Museum staff members are Furman employees.

Furman president Rod Smolla said, “We are pleased to have a person of Dana’s caliber in this position and are confident that the Upcountry History Museum under her leadership will strengthen its role as a cultural and educational resource in new and exciting ways.”

Smolla and Kathy McKinney, chair of the museum’s board, alo expressed appreciation for the work of Ken Johnson, who had served as interim executive director since July of 2011.

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