Dr. Hamblin

After 48 years (and two months), Dr. Robert Hamblin recently retired from his post as English professor at Southeast Missouri State University.

He had a lot of influence over students during that time, a record at Southeast Missouri State (by two months). But his experience was felt beyond the classroom.

In 1988, Hamblin was instrumental in Southeast's acquisition of what now is called the Brodsky-Faulkner Collection in the Rare Book Room of Kent Library. The collection is one of the four largest collections of Faulkner material in the world, including more than 2,000 pages of manuscript materials. The university created the Center for Faulkner Studies, naming Hamblin as director. Hamblin has presented Faulkner seminars and lectures in England, the Netherlands, Japan, China and Romania, as well as throughout the United States. In 2005, he led an online discussion of "As I Lay Dying" for the Oprah Book Club during Oprah Winfrey's "Summer of Faulkner." He will continue working at the Center for Faulkner Studies for two more years, but his teaching days are finished.

Hamblin came from humble beginnings, and school wasn't always easy for him. But once he dedicated himself to his studies, he found a love and career for literature.

"I've said that if the English Department had a Hall of Fame, Bob Hamblin would go in on the first ballot," said Dr. Dale Haskell, who serves with Hamblin in the English Department. "That's a good way to describe what Bob means to me and others."

Congratulations, Dr. Hamblin, on a wonderful and meaningful career.