President Cabrera delivers Institute address

Institute President Ángel Cabrera delivered his annual Institute Address to a group of Tech faculty, students and staff in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons on Sept. 1, 2022. // Photo by Sahil Parekh Student Publications

On Thursday, Sept. 1, President Ángel Cabrera gave his 2022 Institute Address to Tech’s faculty, students and administration both in-person and online, underscoring a new standard for a campus transformed by the pandemic. 

With the largest student body in Tech history of 46,000, students and faculty across the Institute were eager to hear the address. 

After being introduced by Vice President of Communications Renee Kopkowski, Cabrera started his address with some words of acknowledgement. 

“Thank you all very much for spending a bit of time with me today and [reflecting] together on what has been a truly extraordinary year,” Cabrera said.

Before delving into the new programs, activities and initiatives of the year, he introduced seven new members of the Tech faculty and staff and also acknowledged campus leaders in the Georgia Tech Foundation, Alumni Association and Student Government Association. 

As the world opened up to increased traveling, Cabrera and his family spent the summer traveling abroad representing the Institute and meeting Jackets, saying that “at each stop, I was reminded of the impact Georgia Tech has around the world.” 

Beginning at Georgia’s shore, Cabrera planned for the new year visiting with the Board of Trustees and unveiled their new campaign known as
“Transforming Tomorrow.” 

“This new comprehensive campaign will raise funds to amplify our impact, expand access and deliver all of our ambitious strategic goals,” Cabrera said.

At the Kennedy Space Center, Cabrera and other leadership reflected on former and currentJackets’ influence on space travel. 

In Madrid, he participated in a conference organized by Bankinter on how to create a net-zero world. There, he also talked about MSE Professor Gleb Yushin. Yushin founded Sila Nanotechnologies, which has signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz to deploy new battery technologies for vehicles. 

He becomes the first recipient of a new designation, Regents’ Faculty Entrepreneur. From Madrid, Cabrera and his family went to Paris to reconnect with alumni and their promising startups, and Metz to meet the students studying abroad at GT Lorraine. 

Like Yushin, many other faculty members are embarking on cutting-edge projects with the necessary requirement of funds and resources. 

Cabrera delved into the new research expenditure values where the school has seen impressive growth. Tech is one of only 21 universities with research expenditures above $1 billion, and the only one without a medical school. 

“More resources means more scientific breakthroughs [and] more technological advances. It means deeper influence in the thinking and decisions of policy makers, business leaders, [and] other scientists,” Cabrera said. “It also creates a unique opportunity for our students to learn from faculty who are operating on the cutting edge of the disciplines and grow into transformative leaders themselves.”

In terms of student engagement and well-being, Cabrera identified increased investment in these areas and pointed to the John Lewis Student Center, expanding staff capacity for health and wellness and a new center combining CARE and the Counseling Center into one new department. 

He also mentioned the new plan to construct Science Square, west of the Coca-Cola Building, to become a global biomedical research and technology hub. 

While Tech keeps its competitive status ranking in most selective public universities, Cabrera said that “selectivity is not our goal. Our strategic plan very specifically and intentionally defines our impact by the number of talented students we serve and help succeed, not by how many we reject.” 

Even while making room for more students, administration was able to decrease tuition by 7% for in-state students. 

“Where we rank as a school speaks volumes to Georgia Tech,” said Garth Milford, Service Department Manager at the Library.

Cabrera did identify “the one area we have room for improvement is in four-year graduation rates,” as well as ensuring greater diversity and inclusion of women, minority and first-generation students. 

Cabrera ended his address acknowledging that Sept. 2 is College Colors Day and demonstrated how to celebrate by wearing his white and gold Tech baseball cap.

When asked what excites her the most about Cabrera’s address and his role as the President, Sharetha Dantes, Business Analyst at Library, said “the students, his interactions with the students. He is truly a part of the community.”