The summer is in full swing for Tech students. Whether they are taking classes, doing research, working or doing absolutely nothing, it is obvious that campus is still fairly vibrant during the summer months.
And with the hot, lazy summer days already upon us, some students don’t stop to consider what happens while they are away from Tech.
Perhaps the busiest person of all within the Tech community is none other than President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Tech’s newest president.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of getting settled into the campus and life in the greater Atlanta area, Peterson took some time out of his busy schedule to meet with the Technique to let the students know about the different things that he has been up to over this summer, his first summer on campus.
“I am currently in the process of asking all of the [heads of the departments] on campus to arrange a meeting with me,” Peterson said.
In an effort to become more acclimated with the Tech environment, Peterson is making it his personal business to get to know all aspects of Tech and what it has to offer.
Departments such as the Admissions office, the University Financial Foundation (TUFF), and the government relations office include some of the recent contacts made.
Peterson has also been meeting with other groups such as the GT Black Alumni Organization (GTBAO) to get to know those who are instrumentally involved with other areas of the Tech community that are not necessarily on campus.
Peterson’s recently acquired sphere of communication extends well past the perimeter of campus right into the heart of Atlanta.
On the morning of the interview, Peterson was just leaving the office of the mayor of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin, where he discussed Tech’s impact on the city both on the small and the large scale.
Over the past few weeks, Franklin has not been the only government official to meet with Peterson.
“I have been meeting with a lot of regents as well as legislature within their home district,” Peterson said.
“We have been discussing the impact of Tech on their area, as well as making a note of how many students at Tech come from their respective districts,” Peterson said.
Kathy Ashe and Nan Orrock, the respective representative and senator of Tech’s current district, have also met with Peterson over the summer.
Peterson has been working on inter-campus unity with the other colleges and universities within the Atlanta area.
Peterson has conversed with both Mark Becker, president of Georgia State, and Jim Wagner, president of Emory University, to collaborate on various activities between the other campuses.
“We have been going on a state tour over the past month, speaking with a number of people,” Peterson said.
A few of the stops these past few weeks have included Cartersville, to visit the Cartersville Booth Museum as well as Dalton, in order to speak at the Tech Alumni Club.
Peterson’s numerous engagements this summer are carefully planned.
During the interview he retrieved a copy of his schedule from the past few weeks, which showed that the President’s days are usually full from sunrise to sunset.
“A day that I get home by 8:00 p.m. is considered a good day,” Peterson said.
He mentioned that his wife Val frequently accompanies him to the occasions that he attends in the evening.
“I have not engaged in hobbies yet,” Peterson said, when asked about how he likes to spend his time.
“There is so much to learn here, and there are so many people to get to know, right now [Val and I] are focusing on Tech first…and we are trying to meet as many people as we can,” Peterson said.
Peterson shared about his and Val’s Memorial Day one-day getaway in Savannah in honor of their wedding anniversary, since they had to attend three events on the actual day.
So what would be good advice for Tech students to adhere to this summer?
“I strongly encourage the Tech students to explore new opportunities, not just during the summer but throughout the year,” Peterson said.
Peterson also commented on the myriad of opportunities that are available to students. According to Peterson, involvement opportunities on campus are numerous and a great place to explore outside of class.
“College students have the opportunity to meet so many people with different backgrounds and experiences, and Tech has over 300 clubs that one can join. College is the time to take advantage of these opportunities,” Peterson said.