Photo by Joey Cerone

The Student Alumni Association (SAA) is exuding the Thanksgiving spirit this season. Dinner Jackets is utilizing the annual feasting season by having two events that will allow students to network with Tech  alumni while eating amazing holiday food.

One of these events is the second annual Waffle House Dinner Jackets. Fourth, fifth and sixth year SAA members have the opportunity to have dinner with Tech Alumni and Waffle House CEO, Walt Ehmer, IE ‘89. Word on the street is that he will also be giving lessons on how to flip an egg WaHo style. The event will take place on Nov. 15, and there will be two seatings so that the maximum number of students can take advantage of this opportunity. The event will take place in the Waffle House on Tech Square and will shut down the restaurant for only the second time in its history (the first was last years inaugural event).

The other event that SAA is sponsoring this season is Thanksgiving Dinner Jackets. On Thanksgiving Day, students have the opportunity to share a meal with two different
successful alumni.

The first is Eric Pinckney, ME ’86, MS ‘93, who manages the operations on the Integral Group’s comprehensive revitalization of communities and the development of mixed-income, mixed-use developments. With 24 years of experience in real-estate industry through a myriad of skills, Pinckney is an amazing resource for any student interested in city planning, real estate or development of urban communities.

The second is Joel Cowan (IM ‘58) who is currently the director of the EastWest Institute in New York and is the owner of the investment company Habersham & Cowan, Inc. Any students who have an interest in investments, entrepreneurship or servant leadership will find that Cowan’s years of experience investing in his community with both his time and money are helpful resources.

Though SAA has only been around for the past five years, events like these have set them apart on a national level. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education named Tech’s SAA an Outstanding Organization for Advancement and Support of Education at the 42nd annual CASE ASAP (Affiliated Student Advancement Programs) convention this past August. The former SAA President and recent graduate Chad Sims, BA ‘15, was also recognized as the nation’s Outstanding Student Leader. The awards are given out on a district and national level. Our local SAA was recognized both times on the national level.

SAA was noted for its ability to help both its students and alumni to utilize the Georgia Tech network and its focus on philanthropy. Notably, SAA gives an annual Gift to Tech. Last year’s Gift to Tech was $38,000 to student mental health, an issue that has become extremely important to students, who vote on the annual recipient on campus for the past several years.

That being said, SAA is accepting submissions for ideas for this years Gift to Tech. Polls will close on Nov. 13.