Gifts have, continue to shape Institute

As Tech students, you face daily routines loaded with demanding classes and labs, organization meetings and activities, and the business of simply living life on your own. It’s easy to overlook the impact that Tech’s countless, generous donors have had on your lives—and the campus—for more than a century. It takes specially fitted lenses to view it, and the prism of time to fully appreciate it.

When you visited Tech for the first time for an information session and campus tour, you probably started out at the Bill Moore Student Success Center. The late Bill Moore, a 1938 Industrial Management graduate, left an indelible imprint on his alma mater, providing support that resulted in the construction of the Student Success Center, which houses the offices of Undergraduate Admission, Scholarships and Financial Aid and Career Services. Similar support provided funding for the Bill Moore Tennis Center, and his family is continuing his legacy with support for women’s tennis scholarships.

If you start your day at the Student Center Commons, you have E. Roe Stamps IV—a 1967 Industrial Engineering bachelor’s graduate and 1972 master’s graduate—and his wife, Penny, to thank. The same couple who have established the highly lauded Stamps Leadership Scholars initiative within the President’s Scholarship Program. The same couple who made possible Stamps Fields for student recreation. And the same Stamps who honored his father with the naming of the Student Health Center.

The Christopher W. Klaus Advanced Computing Building, dedicated in 2006, is in recognition of an astonishing gift from a member of the Class of 1996 at the age of 25. His gift, coupled with support from the State of Georgia, built and equipped the 400,000 square-foot building, and serves students and faculty from both the College of Computing and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The list goes on.

Hundreds of permanently endowed scholarships support thousands of deserving undergraduate students—whether based on academic merit, athletic talent, or demonstrated financial need. Graduate students as well benefit from scores of graduate fellowships. Literally one student in five receives support from a scholarship or fellowship.

Faculty also benefit tremendously from philanthropy. Tech received its first gift through the will of a deceased donor in 1910, from Julius L. Brown. In establishing the Julius L. Brown Professorship, Brown stated that only the income from his gift should be used each year, and the principal should remain untouched: “I wish it [the principal] to be kept intact so as to do all the good that this fund will do, for I believe the Georgia School of Technology is worth all the Georgia colleges combined.”

Today, there are multiple Brown Professors including the 2007 recipient of the National Medal of Science, Mustafa El-Sayed. One full-time professor in eight holds a named professorship or chair.

Next time you’re walking on The Hill, look down and you’ll see the landscaping provided by reunion classes who have come before you. Look up at the Tech Tower and you’ll see that the building honors Lettie Pate Evans, Tech’s largest donor whose legacy continues to provide the Institute significant funding every year in perpetuity.

A walk around the corner will bring you to the Chapin Building, modest and historic…but if you look carefully over the doorway, you will discover the first use of the building – the Joseph Brown Whitehead Infirmary – named for Mrs. Evans’ first husband, who was one of the very first to imagine that Coca-Cola could be sold in a bottle. And the Carnegie Building. No, it’s not named after the eponymous deli in New York—it bears the name of its donor, Andrew Carnegie, who provided the funding for it as the Institute’s first library. Philanthropy is alive and well today on your campus, linking the generations each to each.