Craig Edelbrock is the new associate dean of the Graduate School. He inhaled Coleridge after discovering The Road to Xanadu at age 12. He became a PhD at age 25. Writers and artists color his worldview, which may explain Edelbrock’s romance with vintage ink pens.
Stacks of weighty-looking doctoral dissertations arrive at his office, and Edelbrock is the designee who must plunge in and read. Read he does, for the obscure fascinates.
GS Magazine: What is something people might not suspect about you?
Edelbrock: I secretly wish I could be an artist, poet or composer because I value creativity above all. I would trade everything I have done—which is admittedly not much—for one brilliant creative stroke.
Edelbrock: A major turning point for me occurred when I began reading more broadly outside of my area. Three writers who opened my mind were Jacob Bronowski (Science and Human Values), Loren Eiseley (The Innocent Assassins) and Joseph Campbell (The Mythic Image).
GS Magazine: How many pens are in your collection? What is your favorite?
Edelbrock: About 20 vintage and collectible pens. My favorite is a “Cracked Ice” fountain pen and pencil set made about 1940 by Conway Stewart, an English company. Black with white veins running through it, it is a favorite of pen collectors worldwide.
GS Magazine: You also collect bronze medals? What and why?
Edelbrock: I have a collection of antique and vintage swimming medals (oldest dates to 1889) – both of our kids are swimmers, so you get the connection. I also collect Olympic medals (my favorite is a 1936 Berlin Olympics Participation medal: not an athlete award but given to all participants, officials, etc.)
GS Magazine: What appeals most about the UGA campus?
How does it compare?
Edelbrock: The UGA campus has remarkable beauty and history concentrated in a small geographic area. Unlike other university campuses, the newer buildings fit in to an elegant vision of what the campus of a great university should look like.
GS Magazine: Any southern idiosyncrasies that crack you up?
Edelbrock: There is sweetness in conversations, even with strangers, that is disarming at first, but rapidly becomes endearing. I have adjusted quickly to people calling me “Dear” or “Darling,” or the like, which I have never heard anywhere else I have lived.
GS Magazine: What’s on your iPod?
Edelbrock: Most frequently played: Miles Davis’ album “Kind of Blue,” and Coltrane’s incredible, 17 minute, “My Favorite Things” from the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival.