10 to Watch: Aaron Kepley

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 2, 2017

SALISBURY — In March, following a nationwide search, Salisbury native Aaron Kepley was named the Rowan Museum’s new director. Kepley, 29, took over the head position following the retirement of longtime director Kaye Brown Hirst.

He began his career at the Rowan Museum as an intern. Kepley, who graduated from Pfeiffer College with a bachelor of arts degree in history, has also interned at the Stanly County Museum. He continues to be the local historian for Grace Lower Stone Church.

Kepley has completed 30 hours of history and museum studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he won the National Council on Public History Graduate Student Project Award and an N.C. Humanities Council grant for his studies on “Past the Pipes: Stories of the Terra Cotta Community.”

Kepley was a historic interpreter for the Charlotte Museum of History and Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site. He most recently served as the assistant site manager at Reed Gold Mine state historic site before being chosen in March as the new Rowan Museum director.

  Shavonne Walker



Aaron Kepley, Rowan Museum director.  photo by Wayne Hinshaw, for the Salisbury Post

Aaron Kepley, Rowan Museum director. photo by Wayne Hinshaw, for the Salisbury Post

Age: 29
Address: Rockwell
Job: Director of the Rowan Museum
Where born: Salisbury
Favorite book: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
Who would play you in a movie: People have told me I look like Leonardo DiCaprio. So Leonardo.
What would you want for your last meal: My grandmother’s chicken and dumplings and some good collard greens.
Biggest challenge for year ahead: Continuing the momentum that the museum has had the last few years and building it to something bigger than what it’s been before.
Biggest hope for 2017: To move forward on make the Old Stone House a living history farm.
Who you’ll be watching in 2017: The Robertson Foundation and the park. I’m very interested in what’s going to happen and in anyway we can play a position in that.
Reaction to being named as one to watch: I wasn’t expecting it.