Photo by John Nakano

On Monday, June 15, Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, accompanied by his wife, Valerie “Val“ H. Peterson, kicked off his annual tour of the Georgia.

During this seventh iteration of President Peterson’s traditional state tour, he visited 30 counties as well as 13 individual towns and cities. The total length of the trip was approximately 650 miles, and it spanned four days.

“We started the Georgia Tour when I first came to the Institute from Colorado so that I could learn about the state,” Peterson said in a news release. “My initial thought was that we would do it for a year or two. But we’ve continued it every year because it’s such a great opportunity to meet the citizens of Georgia, current and prospective students and people whose businesses Georgia Tech has helped to improve.”

According to Laura Diamond, Media Relations representative, the annual Georgia Tour is intended to provide President Peterson with an opportunity to interact with parents, alumni, and others connected to the Tech network. He discussed Tech’s statewide impact and fielded questions regarding the institution from a variety of members of the community, including business people, lawmakers, alumni, donors and regents. This year’s tour centered around locations in west and north Georgia.

“These tours illustrate that Georgia Tech serves the entire state,” Diamond said. “This year’s stops included visits to companies that have improved efficiencies thanks to technical assistance and expertise provided through Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.”

Although President Peterson did not visit any USG institutions during the state tour, he was able to make a stop at Young Harris College to observe a tribute to former Georgia Governor Zell Miller and First Lady Shirley Miller and tour the college campus.

President Peterson was also able to visit the former governor to thank him for the beneficial impact of the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarship programs for undergraduate students. He noted, especially, how many Tech students are helped by the program, and that many Georgia inhabitants are able to attend Tech because of the scholarship.

During the four days of the trip, President Peterson was able to make stops at Fayetteville, Newnan, LaGrange, Carrolton, Cartersvillem Ringgold, Dalton, Big Canoe, Young Harris, Blue Ridge, and Dahlonega. According to Diamond, this year will mark the first time that President Peterson will have visited the city of Ringgold.

“During the course of the previous six Georgia Tours, the president traveled more than 4,500 miles, stopped in nearly 40 cities and traveled through almost every one of Georgia’s 159 counties,” said Diamond. “If we add this year’s 650 miles, the state tours have covered more than 5,000 miles.”

Tech released videos for each day of President Peterson’s tour. Each video covers President Peterson’s interactions with members of the community in the towns or counties he visited that day.

A map of the route President Peterson took in this year’s Georgia Tour is available online on the Georgia Tech News Center. Each day’s travelling is color-coded in order to easily present the areas that President Peterson and his wife visited during that time.