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Lander Grad Ivey Gibbs Found Perfect Career at Charleston’s Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Ivey GibbsManaging the daily operations of an historic plantation dating back to 1679 is a notable responsibility, but one that Lander University alumna Ivey Gibbs embraces enthusiastically.

Gibbs is the operations manager for the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens located 12 miles north of historic downtown Charleston and situated on the banks of the Ashley River. Prior to becoming the operations manager, Gibbs served as a special projects manager, as well as house manager.

Gibbs was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, where she attended First Baptist School, a small private school in downtown Charleston. After graduating high school, she enrolled in the Honors College at Lander University. Initially a nursing major, she switched to history during her sophomore year, a decision Gibbs said, “significantly shaped her career path.” Gibbs spent the entirety of her junior year studying abroad at the University of Winchester in England.

Upon her return to Lander, Gibbs was encouraged to apply for the Washington Semester Program through the University of South Carolina's Honors College for the spring semester of her senior year. Upon acceptance into the prestigious program, she completed an internship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

She graduated with honors from Lander in the spring of 2019 and returned to the University of Winchester to pursue a Master’s in Cultural Heritage and Resource Management.

“I am fortunate Lander gave me the opportunity to study abroad,” Gibbs said. “I met with Dr. McMillan numerous times to fill out the paperwork and others were instrumental in encouraging me to do the Washington Program.”

The pandemic brought the Charleston native back home from England, where she began an internship with Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. After completing her dissertation, which focused on racial inequality in the South, she joined Magnolia Plantation as a tour guide in 2021. Over the next three years, Gibbs worked in various departments across the property, culminating in her promotion to operations manager in 2023.

“This is truly my dream job,” Gibbs said, “I love every aspect of it. It is a great feeling to come to work every day at a job you love.”

“When I finished my degree, I didn’t know where to go.” Gibbs recalled. “Happily, I came here and found my career.”

In discussing her current role, Gibbs said, “It is not common for someone my age to have this responsibility and I am grateful for the opportunity.”

For more information about Magnolia Plantation and Gardens visit