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The Scarlet & Black

True Grinnellian: Kelly Edgington

Everyone’s favorite Tithead judge Kelly Edgington has been part of the Grinnell community for 17 years. Photo by Jackson Schulte.
Everyone’s favorite Tithead judge Kelly Edgington has been part of the Grinnell community for 17 years. Photo by Jackson Schulte.

Kelly Edgington met her husband on the internet in December of 1999 and moved to Grinnell from Eastern Pennsylvania. She started working for the College in January 2000 and she’s been here ever since.

In the Dining Hall, Edgington is a Marketplace Supervisor who works with students every day, which is her favorite part of the job. When asked an open-ended question about what she thinks people should know about her, her coworker was quick to chime in and say, “She’s friendly and kind.”

Edgington feels like those descriptors may not be the first ones to come to students’ heads. At work, she prefers tough love. She often tells students, “I know I’m the tough one here, but I have a job to do. You guys have a job to do.” Edgington is being modest, though, because it’s evident that she leaves a lasting impact on students long after they leave Grinnell.

Though she has always worked for the College, she has also taken on a job at Fareway within the last year. “I didn’t realize how many people I knew until I started working there. Literally one night, everyone that came in, I knew them,” Edgington said. Though she’s definitely busy, she tries her best to make time for activities she loves.

When she’s away from work, Edgington can be found doing almost anything around town. Edgington’s interests range from gardening to tattoos to photography, and her love for dogs has been a means for her to get involved in the community.

“I love dogs, I have two dogs,” Edgington said. “I love to advocate for shelters.” In the past, she has volunteered at the Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS).

Although there aren’t boundless entertainment options in rural Iowa, Edgington makes her own fun. “I like to take a drink occasionally. I like to hang out with my husband, he’s my best friend,” Edginton said. “I try to get over on campus as much as I can for events.” In fact, there’s one event on campus Edgington never misses: Titular Head.

“I think I’ve been a Titular Head judge for maybe 10 years. This year was way better than last year. Last year, to me, was all about who can make the raunchiest of raunchiest [films],” Edgington said. She noted that she especially loves Titular Head because it always happens near her birthday, and she views it as a night to celebrate.

When asked what students should know about her, Edgington said she can help them with networking, a perk usually associated with the Center for Careers, Life, and Services. However, after nearly two decades of experience working with students, Edgington has contacts all over the country.

“If I know someone is in a city, I will make a connection for [graduating students]. That way they can find a little bit of a comfort zone there,” Edgington said.

When she’s traveling, she often meets up with Grinnell alums for dinner. “I like to keep connections going, and I like to do networking for students when I can,” she said

After over 17 years of working at the College, Edgington says her favorite part about Grinnell is the students. She is always willing to help out, even if it is to have a recorded interview with a reporter that takes up most of her dinner shift. She is warm-hearted and loves the Grinnell community, and expects people who get to know her to say hello.

“That’s what keep me here,” Edgington said, “A lot of townspeople have a misconception of the students of Grinnell. I tell them they’re a bunch of good kids.”

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