Best of Tech: Top 10 Stories

1. End of an era: After nearly 14 years as Tech’s president, Clough departing

Institute President Wayne Clough’s sudden annoucement over Spring Break that he would be stepping down came as a surprise to everyone, and it is with gratitude and sadness that we bid him goodbye.

The first alumnus to be Tech president, Clough has led the Institute for nearly 14 years.

His tenure here has been one marked by great accomplishments. Since he took over in 1994, enrollment has risen from 13,000 to 18,000; research expenditures have increased from $212 million to $473 million; the Institute has raised $1.6 billion in capital campaigns and is in the middle of a $1 billion campaign; Tech’s national rankings have improved; new campuses have been opened around the world; and 25 new majors (23 of which are non-engineering or interdisciplinary) have been added. Clough has also been named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and to the National Science Board.

What students may remember him most for, however, is not the honors he received or the amount of money and recognition he helped bring to Tech.

They may remember him for listening to their concerns and looking out for their interests. They may remember him for doing all he could to ensure that Tech is the best school it can be, a school that we would want to attend. And for those who have personally spoken to Clough or gotten to know him, they may remember him for how much he genuinely cared about students.

Whatever the case, Clough will be much missed, and we wish him the best of luck when he takes up the top post of Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution this coming July.

2. Head football coach Chan Gailey fired

Chan Gailey was fired as Tech’s head football coach shortly after his sixth straight defeat against Georgia.

While winning at least seven games in each of his seasons at Tech, he also lost no less than five. He guided the Jackets to the ACC Championship game during the 2006 season, but lost to Wake Forest 9-6. With raised expectations and hopes to repeat their surprise run to the title game, the Jackets went a disappointing 7-6.

Less than a month after Gailey was fired, Navy’s Paul Johnson was brought on as the Jackets’ No. 12 head coach in the program’s history.

3. Wreck wrecked

The Ramblin’ Wreck was damaged on June 22, 2007 when the trailer pulling it was forced off of the highway in an automobile accident. The car was repaired with help from the Athletic Association, Alumni Association, Georgia Tech Foundation and Ramblin’ Reck Club.

4. Highest rankings

U.S. News and World Report gave Tech’s graduate programs their highest ever rankings this year. The engineering program retained its top five position, while the College of Computing made its debut in the top ten, with the Artificial Intelligence program coming in an impressive seventh.

5. WREK named best

WREK, Tech’s student-run radio station, was named “Best Overall Radio Station” in Atlanta by Creative Loafing. WREK beat out many mainstream, commercial stations like 99X and Project 96.1 for the honor. Its diverse playlist, which includes rock, rhythm and blues, classical, jazz, Hindi, Israeli and Latin music, was cited as one of the main reasons for why it received the award.

6. Tech Rec renovates

The Student Center proposed substantial changes to Tech Rec last November. Plans included converting part of its space into a multi-purpose room and lounge to attract more visitors to the facility, which has incurred significant losses in revenue over the years. Tech Rec is also set to undergo extensive equipment upgrades for its bowling lanes, which have fallen into disrepair.

7. Don’t evacuate

The GTPD mistakenly issued a false emergency evacuation alert to students last November, in response to a chemical explosion in the Ford ES&T building.

8. Thousands stolen

An audit last fall revealed that a Tech employee fraudulently spent over $40,000 with a P-card. This spring, an administrator was found to have stolen $350,000.

9. Tennis #1 in nation

The women’s tennis team won Tech’s first-ever NCAA championship this past May. They defeated UCLA in Athens, Ga.

10. Band nabs honor

Tech was one of two colleges in the country whose band was selected to march in the upcoming Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.