Director Gary Gregg — In Person
Name: Gary L. Gregg II
UofL title and department: director, The McConnell Center
At UofL since: January 6, 2000
Hometown: Longbranch, Pa.
First job and what I learned from it: I worked with my grandfather in his gardens, coops and fields. I learned the value of hard work, the wisdom that came from touching that older generation that still had connections to a world now lost, and the importance of real community and the extended family.
The thing I like most about what I do: I love the students in the McConnell Scholars program. They are smart, ambitious and challenging to work with. We push the envelope of readings and seminars and do programs seldom seen in today’s college environment. I learn new things and am myself impacted by our little community every day. It’s all very fulfilling for someone like me who cares about ideas and nurturing young people.
I am: a father, a reader, a writer, a teacher, a student, a husband, a servant
I never: play video games or plant virtual crops.
Guilty pleasure: Looking at the often ridiculous things people put on Facebook and assume other people should be interested to know. I often learn valuable things from Facebook, too, which balances the guilt.
Favorite book: It’s very difficult to pick one, so how about two? C.S. Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength”" and Wendell Berry’s “Jayber Crow.”
Favorite TV show: “30 Rock”
In the car I listen to: WFPL, WHAS — all talk, all news, seldom music
Favorite quote: “You have to push as hard as the age that pushes against you.” — Flannery O’Connor
These animals share my world: Megara (our golden retriever), Tejas (beta fish), Angel (the cat), and all the creatures my kids and I hunt, fish and commune with in the forests and rivers of Kentucky.
My day begins: making my kids’ lunches before school, checking e-mail, reading a daily thought from C.S. Lewis and the news on my iPad.
I wish I had more time to: read, write, play and vacation with my kids.
When I’m not cheering for the Cards, I’m cheering for: the Pittsburgh Steelers and good guys everywhere.
Most Friday nights you’ll find me: Sitting at home with a book or watching a movie with the family.
If my life were a movie: it would be really boring!
Anything else you’d like the UofL community to know: The most surprising thing about me for most at UofL would be to know that this political scientist finds his most interesting and enjoyable work to be writing young adult fantasy novels. I have written two such novels (“The Sporran” and “The Iona Conspiracy”), and my visits to schools and engagement with readers have been some of my most cherished moments.