Charleston student loves Christian, family atmosphere
Beverly Gaillard is full of love.
She loves God, her family, her church and her coworkers at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. And she loves Southern Wesleyan University.
“The Christian atmosphere is here at Southern Wesleyan. I love that,” she said. “I love that with each class, the chaplain comes in and prays with us and the instructors lead the classes in devotions. I think it’s very important to be surrounded by Christians. That’s one thing I love about this school.”
Gaillard is earning a bachelor’s degree in management at the Charleston location of Southern Wesleyan University, in Faber Place, off the Mark Clark Expressway.
A graduate of Wando High School, Gaillard was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Rather than pursuing college, she focused on her career and raising her children. Today, she has two adult children and four grandchildren.
Gaillard is supervisor of patient registration in the ambulatory surgery department and the radiology department at the Medical University of South Carolina in downtown Charleston. She has worked there 17 years, beginning as a registration person and working her way up to supervisor.
She loves the staff she works with at MUSC.
“I have some really good people that I work with – very dedicated women,” Gaillard said. “I love my job. And it gave me a way to come to school, with the tuition assistance program at work.”
Her university courses so far have helped her at work, she said. She uses management and leadership skills to help her staff and she has polished her writing skills.
“I feel more comfortable now when I’m speaking to my director. I feel like I have more to offer,” she said. “I’m hoping that I will get the opportunity to advance to an even higher position.”
Gaillard is considering seeking a master’s degree in health administration after she completes her degree at Southern Wesleyan University. But it wasn’t career advancement alone that drove her into the classroom after a 30-year break, she said.
“It was more of a personal thing. I just wanted to be able to say that I’ve accomplished this goal that I’ve always wanted,” Gaillard said of her degree.
“When I was in high school, I was always a very good student – graduated with honors. But there was a 30-year lapse. I was wondering how well I was going to be able to do,” she said.
“It’s actually been great. The professors have been really good to make sure we accomplish the goals. Working in the study groups has been good because you have other people to give feedback. You have them as another resource to help you. It’s been a wonderful opportunity. I’m really glad I did it.”
The professors at Southern Wesleyan University were helpful and willing to give extra help after class or outside of class hours, she said. Her favorite classes were Bible classes and she appreciates the friendliness of the Southern Wesleyan University staff, as well as the bonds she has formed with her classmates.
“I definitely found many friends from being here – people that I will remember forever. Southern Wesleyan University gives you that atmosphere,” she said.
When she’s not studying, working or spending time with her family, Gaillard is active in her church. She is an ordained deacon, superintendent of her Sunday school and a singer in their praise and worship team.
The convenience of Southern Wesleyan University’s classes made all the difference for Gaillard. She lives in North Charleston and works in downtown Charleston, so it’s very easy for her to attend classes at Southern Wesleyan University’s Charleston location. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the university from downtown, she said.
“The one night of class and one night of study group works well for me,” Gaillard said. “I could not have done it if classes were four times a week.”
One goal that Gaillard has already achieved is writing a book. She is the author of “It is So – Fulfilling your God Given Destiny,” a book of poetry and encouragement designed to inspire readers based on God’s promises.
“It’s about getting to a place with God that you feel like you really have a purpose and a destiny in God,” she said. “That has been a dream of mine forever – being an author. It’s so exciting to be able to say I’ve fulfilled that goal.”
The courses at Southern Wesleyan University aren’t easy, but they’re not impossible if you’re willing to work hard, she said.
“I think Southern Wesleyan University is very competitive with any other school out there. I know when I’m done here, I’ll have a degree that I can use,” Gaillard said.
“If I can do it after all this time, then I think anyone can do it, but you have to be determined and you can’t allow anything to hinder you,” she said. “If you trust in God and don’t allow anything to stop you, anything’s possible.”