Edwin D. Harrison

From Buzzpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Edwin D. Harrison at a press conference, discussing the desegregation of Tech

Edwin D. Harrison (January 8, 1916 – October 23, 2001) served as the sixth president of Georgia Institute of Technology from August 1957 until 1969. During his eleven years as president he contributed much to Georgia Tech's physical campus and community.




Contents

Previous Work and Education

In 1948 Harrison earned his master's degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. In 1952 he earned his doctorate, also in mechanical engineering, from Purdue University. [1]

Before becoming President for Georgia Tech, Harrison served as Dean of Engineering at the University of Toledo and Assistant Dean at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Contributions while in Office

(Left to Right) Ford Greene, Lawrence Michael Williams, and Ralph Long Jr. integrated the school in 1961 [2]

Desegregation

After Colonel Black Can Leer died while still president in January 1956, it took seventeen months to find a new president for Georgia Tech. It was difficult to find someone to take the position because of all the racial tension in the south at that point in time. Desegregation was not being accepted well, but with Harrison as president Tech became the first school in Georgia to integrate without a court order. He wanted to be able to keep control of the situation and students and faculty were informed that any kind of rioting would no be tolerated. He did not want the federal courts to have anything to close the school over. [3] Three African-American students by the names of Lawrence Williams, Ford Greene, and Ralph A. Long Jr. became freshman in 1961. Harrison shared with reporters at the YMCA in September of 1961 that he wasn't sure what to expect with the desegregation of Tech but that they would be taking precautions. There would be troopers in civilian clothes in case there was any kind of disturbance and they would bring in any other type of authority if necessary. On September 20th the students officially registered and Tech became the first school in Georgia to desegregate without a court order and do so without any rioting.[4]

Physical Campus

Many physical additions to Tech were brought about during the office of Edwin Harrison. A total of 128 acres were added to the campus. Major buildings addition to the campus were included These extensions of campus were the Skiles Classroom Building, the Neely Reactor Research Center, the Library's Crosland Tower, Brittain Dining Hall, and Rich Electronic Computing Center. Other additions included a road that looped around tech which orginally called Tech Parkway, now known as Ferst Drive, and five new dormitories for the expanding student body. [5]

End of Term

Harrison resigned in 1969. It came as a surprise to most people, but there had been an accumulation of disagreements over the goals of Harrison while in office between President Harrison and the Board of Regents. He had a day in celebration in Atlanta of his accomplishments at the school, named "Wonderful Ed's Day" in April of 1969. [6]


References

  1. "Inventory of the President Edwin D. Harrison Photograph Collection, 1946-1960." Archive and Records Management . Archives and Records Management, n.d. Web. 29 nov 2010. <http://www.library.gatech.edu/archives/finding-aids/display/xsl/VAUA003>.
  2. "Georgia Tech Students." The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Web. 4 Dec 2010. <http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Multimedia.jsp?id=m-10875>.
  3. "Inventory of the President Edwin D. Harrison Photograph Collection, 1946-1960." Archive and Records Management . Archives and Records Management, n.d. Web. 29 nov 2010. <http://www.library.gatech.edu/archives/finding-aids/display/xsl/VAUA003>.
  4. "WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Georgia Institute of Technology president Dr. Ed Harrison speaking to reporters about the school's integration and Ford Greene, Ralph Long, Jr., and Lawrence Williams, the school's first African American students, arriving on the campus in Atlanta, Georgia, 1961 September 18." Civil Right Digital Library. Web. 29 Nov 2010. <http://crdl.usg.edu/cgi/crdl?action=retrieve;rset=002;recno=1;format=_video>.
  5. "Inventory of the President Edwin D. Harrison Photograph Collection, 1946-1960." Archive and Records Management . Archives and Records Management, n.d. Web. 29 nov 2010. <http://www.library.gatech.edu/archives/finding-aids/display/xsl/VAUA003>.
  6. "Inventory of the President Edwin D. Harrison Photograph Collection, 1946-1960." Archive and Records Management . Archives and Records Management, n.d. Web. 29 nov 2010. <http://www.library.gatech.edu/archives/finding-aids/display/xsl/VAUA003>.
Personal tools