Georgia Tech


Highlights of Tech History 2000-2015


Table 2.3   Selected Events from Georgia Tech’s History – Continued
2000 Georgia Tech and Emory announced the joint Ph.D. program in Biomedical Engineering, the first such arrangement in history between a public and private university. Tech alumnus Chris Klaus donated $15 million to develop the College of Computing’s Advanced Computing Technology Complex. The men’s baseball team captured both the ACC league and ACC tournament titles. The J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing Building was dedicated.
2001 The five-year Campaign for Georgia Tech concluded December 31, 2000 with a total of $712 million raised. President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Clough to his President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Jean-Lou Chameau succeeded Mike Thomas as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Georgia Tech was named first in the nation in the graduation of African-American engineers at all degree levels by Black Issues in Higher Education, and celebrated the 40th anniversary of its integration with a minority student enrollment of 34 percent. Physics major Will Roper won the first Rhodes Scholarship in 50 years. New coach Paul Hewitt took the men’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996 and was named ACC Coach of the Year.
2002 President George W. Bush visited campus for a demonstration of first responder technologies and addressed the nation from the O’Keefe Gym. Former President Jimmy Carter received the Ivan Allen Prize for Progress and Service. Mid-term grade reports were initiated for all students taking introductory courses. Georgia Tech was ranked number one by the Southern Technology Council for outstanding economic development and university/industry technology transfer. Work was completed on the rebuilt 5,000-seat Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium.
2003 Technology Square opened. The Ford Environmental Sciences and Technology Building was dedicated. Tech awarded its first M.B.A., replacing the M.S. in Management. Tech awarded its first M.S. in Information Security. The Georgia Tech European Alumni Association was formed. The R. Kirk Landon Learning Center, Tech’s joint child care facility with the Home Park Neighborhood, opened. Tech celebrated 50 Years of Women. City Planning celebrated its 50th anniversary.
2004 Georgia Tech is designated the number one producer of African-American engineers at the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree levels by Black Issues in Higher Education. Professor Russell Dupuis receives the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush at the White House. Professor Jean-Luc Bredas wins the 2003 Descartes Prize, the most prestigious award given in the European Union for outstanding scientific and technological achievements resulting from collaborative research. The design of alumnus Michael Arad, Arch ’99, is chosen from among more than 5,000 entries for the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City. The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) wins the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2004 Technology-led Excellence in Economic Development Award. The U.S. Green Building Council awards the Management Building silver certification as a LEED. Georgia Tech-Savannah cuts the ribbon on a three-building campus.
2005 A two-year, $45 million renovation of the former Student Athletic Complex (site of the 1996 Olympic swimming and diving events) opened as the renamed Campus Recreation Center. International Affairs student Jeremy Farris is named one of 32 Rhodes Scholars for 2005. Ground is broken for the Molecular Science and Engineering building, the fourth and final building in Tech’s Biotechnology Complex. Representatives from Scientific-Atlanta present a $1 million check toward the building’s construction at the ground breaking. The Southern Company and Georgia Tech announce that they will collaborate on the southeast’s first offshore wind power project off the coast of Savannah, Georgia.
2006 As a result of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf Coast, Georgia Tech opened its doors to nearly 300 Tulane University students. Ground is broken on the Nanotechnology Research Center and funded by a $15 million gift from Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus and a matching grant from the State of Georgia. Jim Meindl wins IEEE Medal of Honor. Tech breaks ground on Technology Enterprise Park, an 11-acre bioscience research and development park. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaffirmed Georgia Tech’s accreditation for the next ten years. GTRI announces a research enterprise collaboration in Athlone, Ireland and will be known as GT-Ireland. The National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health selected Georgia Tech and Emory University as one of seven National Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. Carolyn and Milton Stewart made a commitment of $20 million to the School of ISyE to establish a permanent endowment for unrestricted use. The Institute moves up in the rankings to number eight in the top public universities in the nation and all of the engineering programs are ranked in the top ten, according to U.S. News and World Report. College of Sciences’ Dean Gary Schuster is named provost, replacing.
2007 With a long-term commitment to providing higher education to the state’s young people, the Tech Promise is initiated to assist all qualified Georgia students whose families have an annual income of less than $30,000 attain a debt-free education at Georgia Tech. The Music Department approves their first degree program: a Master’s in Music Technology. The Christopher W. Klaus Advanced Computing Building opens. The Library completes the East Commons and Resource Center and wins the 2007 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. The Milken Institute names Tech number 11 among national universities for technology transfer and commercialization. Finding Common Ground, a student initiative to promote intellectual discussion and civility on campus is founded, and the inaugural speaker is poet Maya Angelou. The College of Management starts an evening MBA program. The College of Computing creates two new schools-the School of Computer Sciences and the School of Interactive Computing. Tech acquires the Georgia State University/Olympic dorms and names it the North Avenue Apartments-adding 2,000 beds to the campus housing. U.S. News and World Report ranks Tech’s graduate engineering programs 4th in the country and management programs 25th. Undergraduate rankings move the Institute to number seven among public universities. Tech graduates more women in engineering than any school in the nation. The women’s tennis team wins the NCAA championship-Tech’s first NCAA title in any sport! Tech continues to rank top overall producer of African- American and Hispanic engineers.
2008 After 14 years as president of Georgia Tech, G. Wayne Clough retires to become 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Gary Schuster, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, is named Georgia Tech’s interim President and the Board of Regents begins the search for Tech’s eleventh president. In other administrative changes, Richard A. DeMillo steps down as dean of the College of Computing, Rich Meyer retires as dean of the Library, and Robert Thompson retires as executive vice president of Administration and Finance. Gilda Barabino of the GT/Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering becomes the first vice provost for Academic Diversity. Faculty members Rong Fu, Marilyn Brown, and Robert Dickinson share in the Nobel Prize for research contributions in global warming. Kim Cobb (EAS) and Nick Feamster (CoC) are recognized as two of the nation’s top young scientists with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Tech gains recognition for environmental contributions through national awards for recycling and water conservation efforts. The Klaus Advanced Computing Technology Building receives LEED Gold Certification. U.S. News & World Report ranks Georgia Tech the 7th best public university in the nation. The College of Engineering retains its number four ranking among the nation’s graduate programs with ten of its eleven programs ranking in the top 10. The Computer Science program also moves into the top 10 according to U.S. News & World Report. Kiplinger’s names Tech as one of the best values in public colleges. BusinessWeek ranks the College of Management 29th in the nation. Hispanic Business Magazine ranks Georgia Tech the top engineering graduate school for Hispanics for 2008. Reeve Ingle receives national recognition as the 2007 Co-op Student of the Year. Undergraduate student Andrea Barrett wins a Goldwater Scholarship while Nicole Larsen is named Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Scholar. Graduate students Daniel Shorr, Halley Espy, and Thomas Earnest receive Fulbright Scholarships. Paul Johnson is named the new head coach of the Yellow Jackets football team. Tennis standout Amanda McDowell wins the NCAA Singles Championship. Former professor Alan Balfour returns to Tech to become the dean of the College of Architecture. The Alumni Association celebrates its 100th anniversary. Begun in 2004, Campaign Georgia Tech, which raised a total of $615 million as of June 30, 2008, added $187 million in FY2008 and has more than two years remaining to reach its preliminary goal of $1 billion.
2009 G.P. “Bud” Peterson is named Georgia Tech’s 11th president. He and his wife, join the Tech family on April 1, 2009. Regents’ Professor Mostafa El-Sayed received the 2007 Medal of Science award, the nation’s highest honor in the field of science. The Carnegie Foundation and Council of Advancement and Support Education named International Affairs Professor Kirk Bowman the U.S. Professor of the Year. Vigor Yang was selected as the chair of Aerospace Engineering, succeeding Robert Loewy. Uzi Landman and Predrag Cvitanovic are recipients of Humbolt Research Awards for Senior U.S. Scientists. Tech and Saint Joseph’s Hospital started the first regional research program to study the genetics and cell biology of pancreatic cancer. The Women’s Resource Center celebrated its 10-year anniversary. GTRI marked its 75th anniversary. Twenty-five creatively painted Buzz statues appeared around campus in an exhibit called “Buzz Around Town” to celebrate the Alumni Association’s centennial anniversary. The Institute reported record enrollment of more than 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students. SGA undergraduate president Nick Wellkamp won a Truman Scholarship, and six students were awarded Fulbright Scholarships. The first Inventure Prizes were presented to students for their original inventions. Football student-athlete Jonathan Dwyer was named ACC Player of the Year. Tech ranked eighth among the world’s engineering/technology and computer sciences universities by the Times Higher Education Supplement and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. Georgia Tech is named one of the “Great Colleges to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. U.S. News and World Report again ranked Tech the number seven public university in the nation. Awards continue for environmental efforts from the Sustainable Endowment Institute, Princeton Review Green Honor Roll, and the Arbor Day Foundation. The women’s softball stadium and field opens and is named in honor of alumna Shirley Clements Mewborn. Ground is broken for the G. Wayne Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons. The Marcus Nanotechnology Building opened. Three coaches received the ACC Coach of the Year awards: Paul Johnson, football; Sharon Perkins, softball; and Bruce Hepler, golf. The golf team and the softball team earned ACC Championships. The Institute took unprecedented state budget cuts while exceeding a record high $524 million in research activity.
2010 G. P. “Bud” Peterson was inaugurated as Georgia Tech’s eleventh president on September 3, 2009, and he began a strategic planning process that involved seventy town hall meetings and hundreds of faculty and staff throughout the year. Tech became a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). For the first time, enrollment surpassed 20,000 students. Tech remained the number seven public university in the annual U.S. News & World Report college rankings and was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2009 Great Colleges to Work For and Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll. Tech received the Institute of International Education’s 2010 Andrew Heiskell Award for internationalizing the campus. The College of Management received a $25 million anonymous gift. Forbes magazine named the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) to its list of “10 technology incubators that are changing the world.” Tech won four ACC championships–in football, golf, softball, and women’s tennis–and two coaches received ACC Coach of the Year awards: Paul Johnson, football, and Sharon Perkins, softball. The Zelnak Center, a basketball practice facility, opened. Former Tech President G. Wayne Clough was named president emeritus. Steve Cross became executive vice president for research and was named to the Defense Science Board. Gary Schuster announced he would step down as provost and a search was initiated. Jacqueline Jones Royster was chosen as dean of Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Zvi Galil was selected as dean of College of Computing. Stephen Fleming was selected as vice provost of Enterprise Innovation Institute. Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Justin Romberg received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Two Tech professors–Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Melissa Kemp and Chemistry and Biochemistry Assistant Professor Christine Payne–became the first recipients in the state of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Todd McDevitt received the Society of Biomaterials’ 2010 Young Investigator Award. College of Engineering Dean Don Giddens was selected as president-elect and president of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Three students won Fulbright Scholarships and thirty-eight received NSF graduate research fellowships. New on campus were the Diversity Symposium and Challenge Course. Tech received the Governor’s Cup for the 2009 state charitable contributions program. OMED celebrated thirty years, and Georgia Tech-Lorraine celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The second annual InVenture Prize competition was broadcast on Georgia Public Broadcasting.
The Institute celebrated its 125th anniversary, the Ramblin’ Wreck turned 50, and a yearlong celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Matriculation of Black Students at Tech got underway. President Peterson rolled out the Institute’s 25-year strategic plan. U.S. News and World Report ranked Tech number 7 again in public universities and the Chronicle of Higher Education named Georgia Tech one of the “Great Colleges to Work For” for the second year in a row. New faces in campus leadership were: Rafael Bras named provost; Gary May named dean of the College of Engineering; Michael Warden became the first vice president for Communications and Marketing; Archie Ervin was hired as Tech’s first vice president for Institute Diversity; Paul Kohn was selected vice provost for Enrollment Services; Robert McGrath was named vice president and director of GTRI; Amir Rahnamay-Azar became the senior vice provost for Administration and Finance; and ISyE’s Jane Ammons was selected as the first woman school chair in the College of Engineering. The Institute marked the inaugural year for the Ivan Allen Prize for Social Courage and awarded it to alumnus and former Senator Sam Nunn. Biology Professor Mark Hay received the Distinguished Professor of the Year Award. Students excelled––thirty-three Tech students received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships; four students were named Fulbright Scholars; and four became Goldwater Scholars. The first Student Alumni Association was founded. Corey Boone handed over the SGA presidential duties to Elle Creel. NASA and NSF gave a $20 million to the Center for Chemical Evolution, while the Nanomedicine Center for Nucleoprotein Machines received a $16.1 million award from NIH. President Peterson was named to the National Advisory Counsel on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and he was also selected to serve on the nation’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee by U.S. President Barack Obama. Academic mile markers included: the Board of Regents approved expanded engineering programs for the University of Georgia; Tech’s freshman class had a record number of women; and the Tech Promise Scholarship had its largest incoming freshman class. Six faculty members were elevated to IEEE Fellow status; ISyE’s Bill Cook was elected to NAE; and three faculty members were awarded Sloan Fellowships. A task force studied the future direction of Georgia Tech-Savannah and decided to phase out undergraduate programs to focus more on research, continuing education, and partnerships with business, industry, and the military.  Junior’s Grill closed, and the Roosevelt House was demolished. Tech’s public service announcement won an Emmy Award. New additions to the campus included Waffle House; a renovated Skiles Walkway, now known as Tech Walk; the G. Wayne Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons; North Avenue streetscape changes; the John and Mary Brock Football Practice Facility; and North Avenue Dining Hall. The Hinman Building received a $9.5 million restoration, and the Coliseum began a major renovation as the Hank McCamish Pavilion. The public phase of Campaign Georgia Tech kicked off with an anonymous $5 million gift as the Campaign reached $1 billion toward the $1.5 billion goal.
The Institute announced a $50 million gift from Ernest Scheller Jr., a 1952 Industrial Management graduate, for the College of Management. In recognition of the gift, the College’s name is changed to the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business. The gift—the largest outright gift from a living individual in Georgia Tech’s history—established an endowment creating faculty chairs and professorships, undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and study abroad scholarships. Three months after the gift’s June announcement, Scheller and his wife, Roberta, attended a celebration of the Scheller College’s 100th anniversary.  Provost Rafael Bras announced the creation of the Office of the Arts and a faculty-led Council of the Arts, a direct result of the Institute’s strategic plan implementation. The goal of the new entities is to ensure that Georgia Tech nurtures, appreciates, collects, and creates the best of the arts.  President G. P. “Bud” Peterson announced the creation of two new Cabinet-level positions; Susan Cozzens is appointed the first vice provost for Graduate Education, and Colin Potts is appointed the first vice provost for Undergraduate Education.  Ground was broken for the Ken Byers Tennis Complex, which will replace the 30-year-old Bill Moore Tennis Center. The McCamish Pavilion—which replaced the former Alexander Memorial Coliseum basketball arena—is dedicated. The $22.4-million Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory was dedicated in November. The facility will be used to develop technologies aimed at reducing global warming, such as carbon sequestration.  Key academic appointments included: Steven McLaughlin as chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Reginald DesRoches as chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Naresh Thandhani as chair of the School of Materials Science and Engineering; Joseph Bankoff as chair of the School of International Affairs; David Laband as chair 2012 of the School of Economics; Dina Khapaeva as chair of the School of Modern Languages; Richard Utz as chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication; Steven Usselman as chair of the School of History, Technology, and Society; Lance Fortnow as chair of the School of Computer Science; and Annie Anton as chair of the School of Interactive Computing.  The White House launched its “Stay With It” campaign on the Georgia Tech campus to encourage undergraduate engineering students to stay with their field of study and graduate with an engineering degree. “Stay With It” is the first student outreach campaign focused on connecting engineering students to a community of their peers and experienced engineers, role models, and influencers to encourage them to stay with their field of study through graduation.  Georgia Tech in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta launched a $20 million joint investment focusing on technological solutions to improve children’s health. The expanded collaboration combines the proficiencies of both organizations with a common vision: to become the global leader in pediatric technologies. The enhanced alliance will support current researchers and recruit new ones who will conduct fundamental and translational research.  President Barack Obama appointed Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson to the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership steering committee, a group charged with guiding the efforts of industry leaders, federal agency heads, and university presidents in developing new research and education agendas related to advanced manufacturing. The goal of the initiative is to help U.S. manufacturers improve cost, quality, and speed of production in order to remain globally competitive.  The operations of Georgia Tech-Savannah were incorporated under the umbrella of Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), led by Dean Nelson Baker. The new organization, designed to be viable and self-sustaining, includes a portfolio of programs ranging from co-curricular undergraduate activities to instruction for the military and executive and other non-credit education programs to professional master’s degrees. Recommendations also include the option of developing regional research opportunities.  Total funds raised through Campaign Georgia Tech stood at $1.16 billion as of June 30, 2012. The Campaign’s goal is to raise $1.5 billion by December 31, 2015.
2013President G.P. “Bud” Peterson was one of a select number of university presidents attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Peterson and several other thought leaders discussed the topic, “The Disruptive University: How Are New Models of Collaboration with Universities Spurring Innovation?” Peterson and the group also considered what universities can do to encourage innovation and spur the economy, and how universities are “reinventing” themselves to be responsive to society’s needs and to address today’s biggest challenges. Provost Rafael Bras was one of nine senior academic officials named to Coursera’s first advisory board. Each member represents a university partnered with Coursera to offer free massive open online courses (MOOCs). The Institute had previously signed an agreement with Coursera to put the Institute’s Web-based courses online and create new opportunities for hands-on learning in the classroom. A 15-piece international sculpture exhibition by various artists was installed on the Georgia Tech campus. The sculptures are on loan to the Institute through June 2014. The exhibition is curated by internationally acclaimed, Chattanooga-based sculptor John Henry, whose work also appears in the exhibition. Five Georgia Tech students are selected to participate in NASA’s 2013 class of Space Technology Research Fellows, making Tech the most widely represented institution in the program. The Tech students selected for the program are Hisham Ali, Alexandra Long, Matthew Miller, August Noevere, and Olutobi Ogunleye. Other recipients of prestigious student awards included Rhodes Scholar Joy Buolamwini, Marshall Scholar Jacob Tzegaegbe, and Goldwater Scholar Gautam Goel. A new executive leadership team was appointed for Georgia Tech Professional Education consisting of four scholars and education professionals. Under the leadership of Dean Nelson Baker, the team is made up of Leo Mark, Patrice Miles, Mark Weston, and Diane Lee. The Georgia Tech community celebrated the 10th anniversary of Technology Square, a development that has spurred the evolution of a renowned innovation ecosystem. To help meet the growing demand for support to Georgia technology entrepreneurs and startup companies, the Institute announced a strengthening and realigning of resources in its Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), which includes increased staff and new facilities. Forbes magazine named ATDC one of the “Business Incubators Changing the World,” and Michael Hersh was named ATDC’s general manager. Steven French was named dean of the College of Architecture. Paul Goldbart was named dean of the College of Sciences. Ravi Bellamkonda was named chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. David Sholl was named chair of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Azad Naeemi of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Mike Bobinski of Xavier University was named director of athletics. Alumnus Al Trujillo was named president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Tech Foundation. Alumnus Ronald Johnson, a retired two-star Army General, was named professor of the practice in Industrial and Systems Engineering and managing director of the Tennenbaum Institute. The Institute for Materials (IMat) was launched, the result of a nearly $10 million investment that Georgia Tech has committed through 2018 to establish an interdisciplinary materials innovation ecosystem. IMat will play a leadership role in accelerating materials discovery, development, and application. The Scheller College of Business established the Center on Business Strategies for Sustainability, made possible by a grant from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. U.S. News & World Report ranked Georgia Tech number 7 among the nation’s public universities; the College of Engineering’s undergraduate and graduate programs were ranked number 5 among all American universities. The Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons earned LEED Platinum certification designation less than two years after opening. The Highland Bakery opened in the Bradley Building, the former location of Junior’s Grill. Total funds raised through Campaign Georgia Tech stood at nearly $1.25 billion as of June 30, 2013. The Campaign’s goal is to raise $1.5 billion by December 31, 2015.
2014Georgia Tech received one of the largest gifts in its history in June when the Institute of Paper Chemistry Foundation (IPCF) announced a $44.4 million grant. The grant prompted the renaming of the former Institute of Paper Science and Technology as the Renewable Bioproducts Institute, which is charged with advancing research and education in a broad range of biomaterials, biochemicals, and bioproducts with a focus on using renewable forest raw materials in biofuels, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage packaging, health and hygiene, and electronics.  The IPCF grant brought Campaign Georgia Tech closer to its goal of $1.5 billion. At the close of Fiscal Year 2014, the Campaign total stood at $1.42 billion with 18 months remaining.  Substantial progress continued in the implementation of Georgia Tech’s 25-year Strategic Plan, “Designing the Future.” Various campus initiatives received guidance from the release of the Strategic Plan Advisory Group’s initial feedback on the plan’s implementation.  As a part of Georgia Tech’s once-a-decade reaffirmation of accreditation process, significant progress was made on the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan for Student Learning (QEP). Five QEP concepts were presented to the QEP Advisory Committee, which worked diligently to select a QEP by year’s end.  Melissa McCoy, a 2012 chemical and biomolecular engineering graduate, was named the fifth Rhodes Scholar in Georgia Tech history. McCoy’s Rhodes research project focused on problems with water management and purification, with the goal of removing heavy metals from water. Nicholas Picon, a 2014 aerospace engineering graduate, was named a Marshall Scholar. His research focus was international conflict and the prevention of war. Thomas Kieffer (physics/mathematics) and Mohamad Najia (biomedical engineering) were named Goldwater Scholars.  Approximately 375 students began coursework as the inaugural class in Georgia Tech’s online Master of Science in Computer Science program, the first degree program from an accredited university that operates entirely on the “massive online” platform.  Georgia Tech’s global engagement efforts took a significant step forward with the launch of the Lafayette Institute in Metz, France. Adjacent to the Georgia Tech-Lorraine campus, the Lafayette Institute provides state-of-the-art nanofabrication facilities for innovations in organic and inorganic optoelectronics and advanced materials research. The 20,000-square-foot facility has a 5,000-square-foot clean room and more than $12 million in scientific equipment.  The Georgia ImmunoEngineering Consortium (GIEC) – a new research partnership between Emory University and Georgia Tech – was launched to apply the principles of engineering to study the immune system and develop new therapies that can improve the immune response to diseases.  Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson met with Georgia Tech students and other members of the campus community to discuss the Institute’s contributions to the field.  Maryam Alavi, former interim dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, was named dean of the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business.  Provost Rafael Bras was appointed to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, a 19-member panel comprised of scientists, business executives, academics, and former government officials.  Margaret Wagner Dahl, a veteran of research commercialization and technology-based economic development, was named associate vice president for Health IT. In this position, Dahl leads the development and expansion of Georgia Tech’s efforts within the health information technology industry.  Abigail Parsons was named the first director of the LGBTQIA Resource Center, and David Ross was named the first director of the Veteran’s Resource Center. Both units are housed within the Division of Student Affairs.  A. Madison Cario was named the first director of the Office of the Arts at Georgia Tech. Through its new Arts@Tech initiative, the Institute purchased eight pieces from the 2013-14 “Engineered Art: An International Sculpture Exhibition.” The eight sculptures are on permanent display at various campus locations.  The Academic Faculty, Academic Senate, and General Faculty voted to approve revisions to the Faculty Handbook that streamline definitions of faculty and retire the longtime “general faculty” designation. The action also created a Staff Council, which provides a vehicle for Institute staff members to convey their unique perspectives and concerns to the Georgia Tech administration.
2015For the first time in 80 years, a sitting U.S. president visited Georgia Tech to address the campus community. On March 10, President Barack Obama addressed a wildly enthusiastic crowd of nearly 10,000 students, faculty, staff, and guests in McCamish Pavilion. Obama’s speech focused on the ways he hopes to make higher education more affordable and accessible, and he rallied support for a new declaration of values he called the Student Aid Bill of Rights. Drawing thunderous applause and raucous cheers, the president referred to Georgia Tech as “one of the finest technical institutes in the world.”
Obama’s visit was the first time a sitting president had come to campus since Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a capacity crowd at Grant Field in 1935 following his dedication of the former Techwood Housing Project; he stayed to watch that year’s Homecoming game.
Several Georgia Tech leaders participated in Summit of the Americas, a forum for convening leaders from North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The 2015 summit took place in Panama, where Tech alumnus Juan Carlos Varela was elected president in 2014. Georgia Tech also served as an event organizer for the Summit of the Americas’ first Forum of University Presidents, which convened 400 university leaders and other high-ranking officials from 35 countries, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The presidents discussed prosperity and university education, as well as cooperation challenges between countries.
Georgia Tech received a commitment for $30 million from The Kendeda Fund to build what is expected to become the most environmentally advanced education and research building in the Southeast. The commitment represents The Kendeda Fund’s largest single grant, and is one of the largest gifts in the Institute’s history. The facility will provide the opportunity to create a living-learning laboratory for hands-on education and research that will serve as a model for the region and similar environments around the world.
Two of the Institute’s college deans were appointed to their second five-year terms: Zvi Galil in the College of Computing and Jacqueline Royster in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Galil was cited for his creative and forward-thinking leadership in launching the Online Master of Science in Computer Science program, as well as his strong commitment to undergraduate education and research excellence. Royster was commended for articulating the role of the liberal arts at Tech, defining the College’s institutional role as “innovation at the crossroads of humanities, social science, and technology.”
Two prominent Tech alumni returned to campus to give Commencement addresses: G. Wayne Clough, former secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and president emeritus of Georgia Tech, and Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander of the Supreme Allied Command, Europe.
After 11 years at Georgia Tech, Vice President for Student Affairs William Schafer leaves Atlanta to become vice president of student life at West Virginia University. He was succeeded by Dean of Students John M. Stein, who assumed the new title of vice president for student life.
The Office of the Arts and the Poetry@Tech program kicked off the Arts@Tech Salon Series with the great-grandson of Winston Churchill — Duncan Sandys — discussing the legendary British prime minister’s passion for painting and the role it played in his life.
Georgia Tech admitted the most competitive freshman class in Institute history, offering admission to only 31 percent of applicants, the lowest level ever.
Luis Guillermo Solís, president of the Republic of Costa Rica, gave a special campus lecture on “Latin America and its Global Insertion: The Case of Costa Rica,” followed by a visit with students, faculty, and staff.
U.S. News & World Report ranked the College of Engineering’s undergraduate programs at No. 5 and its graduate programs at No. 6 nationally.
Rock legends The Rolling Stones brought their ZIP CODE tour to Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. The sold-out concert — attended by many students, faculty, and staff — marked the Stones’ first appearance at Tech since their Steel Wheels tour in 1989.
The Institute marked the 50th anniversary of the graduation of Ronald Yancey, the first African-American student to earn a degree from Georgia Tech. Yancey’s career as an electrical engineer included work with the U.S. Department of Defense as well as the private sector.

Source: Communications and Marketing