Monday, July 6, 2009

GA Tech President Makes Visits Across State

Georgia Institute of Technology President G.P. “Bud” Peterson is kicking off a tour across the state today in Columbus visiting with alumni and friends of Georgia Tech. He will follow with stops in Macon, Savannah and Brunswick.

Peterson became the 11th president of the Georgia Institute of Technology on April 1 and has been meeting with key stakeholders throughout the state to gather input and direction as the Institute begins a strategic planning process.

"Georgia Tech is one of the truly outstanding research universities in the country and benefits the state of Georgia well beyond the city of Atlanta,” said Peterson. “As we begin to formulate our strategic vision for the future, we are reaching out to our alumni and to the community and state leaders all across Georgia.”

Georgia Tech played a significant role in one of Georgia’s recent economic development successes - the move of Fortune 500 corporation NCR to Georgia. The company will be looking to Georgia Tech as a source of engineering talent and as a partner in development of future technology and innovations.

According to NCR’s leadership, the opportunity to partner with top-tier academic institutions such as Georgia Tech was one reason among many that the company made the decision to relocate to Georgia.

Georgia Tech not only assists with attracting new industry to the state, the Institute also impacts the economy through research and economic development. For example, for the first time ever, Tech’s research activity exceeded the $500 million mark, reaching a record $524.9 million in fiscal year 2008. This represents a 10 percent increase over 2007 and an increase of 99 percent over the past decade, helping the Institute consistently rank among the top ten in research programs among universities without medical schools.

To help meet the state’s demand for math and science teachers, this funding also helps support the newly established Tech to Teaching program designed to create pathways for students pursuing K-12 or college teaching careers. Likewise, the Foundations for the Future initiative helps Georgia Educators incorporate technology into the classroom.

Georgia Tech is also leading the effort to create need-based aid for Georgia students who cannot afford the tuition and associated costs with attending a research university.

Launched in 2007, the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise program is designed to help Georgia students whose families have an annual income of less than $33,300 (150 percent of the federal poverty level) earn their college degree debt-free. The program is the first of its kind offered by any public university in Georgia.

"The gift of education is the most valuable gift you can give. It not only helps the individual who receives it, but also the family and the larger community,” said a student receiving Tech promise who is majoring in electrical engineering. “It truly is the gift that keeps on giving. During these financial times, it’s something we can’t afford to cut out because it’s so beneficial to society. It’s really a life-changing gift.”

"The Tech Promise program assures that eligible Georgia students from all economic backgrounds have the opportunity to attend Georgia Tech without placing a financial burden on their families,” said Peterson. “We don’t want a family’s financial status to stand in the way of a qualified student pursuing a Georgia Tech degree.”

This year, Tech Promise made access to a college education a reality for 198 students from 53 counties across Georgia - from Appling to Wilkes. There were 139 students who entered the program as freshmen, along with 59 transfer students. In addition, 23 Tech Promise scholars graduated this spring.

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