The Brenau University campus is still in shock after learning of the sudden death of a beloved employee’s husband.
On Wednesday, Stone Mountain Park Police discovered the body of Tony Edge, husband of Brenau University Alumni Affairs Director Melissa Edge, at the base of Stone Mountain, where it is believed he fell to his death. He was 35.
“People are taking this extremely hard,” said Brenau spokesman David Morrison, who drove to Stone Mountain early Wednesday morning to help search for Tony Edge.
Morrison said he was not alone. Though there was no coordinated effort, many students and faculty members traveled early Wednesday to Stone Mountain to help search for Tony Edge.
“There were just people going down to provide support and do what they could,” Morrison said. “Melissa is extremely well-loved on campus.”
Stone Mountain Park Police Chief Chuck Kelley said Tony Edge, an Emory University student, entered the park at about 4 p.m. Tuesday and later texted his wife to tell her he was on top of the mountain and was going to do some studying.
Morrison said the couple had been in contact all day Tuesday. When Melissa Edge returned home and her husband was not there like he said he would be, she became worried.
She began to call friends and relatives, and Morrison said when she learned he did not attend class that day, she knew something was wrong.
Melissa Edge came to the park about 10 p.m. and found his car where he’d parked it hours earlier. His body was found at 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, Kelley said.
A police investigation into the exact circumstances continues.
“Everybody’s still pretty much in shock,” Morrison said. “We’re very close-knit.”
Morrison said the school’s chaplain will be on campus every day for people who need to talk, and counseling can be scheduled for those who need it.
“We’re going to do what we can to provide for people having a hard time dealing with it,” Morrison said.
The Edges had been married about two years. They recently moved to Atlanta to be closer to Emory, where Tony was pursuing a master’s in business administration.
Morrison said the news was so difficult for Brenau students and employees because of Melissa Edge’s presence on campus.
“She’s very active in her sorority (Zeta Tau Alpha),” Morrison said. “She’s very engaged at all levels.”
Edge, 30, is a 2002 Brenau alumna who was recognized for her academic success with the prestigious Baxter-Bryan award while at the school.
Jim Barco, senior vice president for institutional development, originally hired Edge to return to Brenau and work as the alumni affairs director.
Barco said he is close to both Melissa and Tony Edge, even though Tony Edge did not work at Brenau.
“I’m glad she’s working here because she has a family that cares about her,” Barco said. “A death in every single family is tragic, but this one affects so many different people in so many ways.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report