Famous Georgia Tech Alumni

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Torus Washington II

Section J1

GT Alumni

Throughout the history of the Georgia Institute of Technology, there have been a series of alumni that have impacted society and the world as a whole in a variety ways. Their contributions outside of Georgia Tech have yielded them the status to be regarded as a "famous" individual. A multitude of actors, athletes, politicians, and other individuals have stemmed from Georgia Tech's campus.

This article includes an incomplete compilation of famous alumni notability and biography information. It is in no way limited to the listed alumni; you can help with expanding it with reliably sourced information.

Contents

William A. Alexander

William Anderson Alexander

William Anderson Alexander (June 1889 -April 1950) served as the head football coach of the Georgia Institute of Technology from 1920 to 1944. As an alumnus of Georgia Tech, Alexander pursued a caching career in the same university. Initially Alexander began his career as an assistant coach until he succeeded John Heisman. Alexander had much success while coaching—he led the “Yellow Jackets” to a 1928 national championship and three Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles (1920,1921,1922). [1]

Interesting Facts:

  • Alexander was the first coach whose teams appeared in all four of the major bowls (the Rose bowl in 1929, Orange bowl in 1940, Cotton bowl in 1943 and the Sugar bowl in 1944).
  • Alexander served in World War I as an officer in the mathematics and mechanics of artillery.
  • Coach Alexander recruited Bobby Dodd as an assistant football coach. [2]
  • Coach Alexander is a member of the college football hall of fame- class of 1950.
  • The Alexander Memorial Coliseum, built in 1856, was named after Coach William Alexander [3]

George C. Griffin

George C. Griffin

George C. Griffin (1897-1990) served mainly as the Dean of Students at The Georgia Institute of Technology from 1946-1964. Griffin became dean of students when his predecessor Floyd Field retired from the position on July 1, 1946. In addition to his role as Dean of Students, Griffin served as a math professor, assistant football coach, and a track, cross-country, and tennis coach throughout his tenure at Georgia Tech. [4]

Interesting Facts:

  • Griffin Served in both World War I and World War II. During World War II he was a captain in the Navy.
  • Griffin played under the famous John Heisman at the notable Tech vs Cumberland game which Tech won 222-0.
  • Griffin is an influential figure in Georgia Tech history and is often referred to as “Mr. Georgia Tech.”
  • George Griffin wrote a book entitled "Griffin, You are a Great Disappointment to Me."
  • Griffin has multiple buildings named after him, including the “Student Galleria” and the track arena.
  • The Pi Mile Road Race was named after Griffin in honor of his career as a track and cross-country coach.
  • George C. Griffin was involved with Georgia Tech in some way for almost 70 years. [5]

Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones

Robert Tyre Bobby Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was a nationally and internationally renowned amateur golfer. Outside golfing, Jones made a living working as an attorney. Golfing part-time eventually allowed him to retire at age 28. As an alumnus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Bobby Jones is easily the greatest golfer to set foot on Tech’s campus. In 1923 Jones hit his stride after winning his first U.S. Open. From that win in 1923, Bobby Jones went on to win 13 major championships in a span of 7 years. 1930 marked a victory in the U.S. Amateur Tournament.[6]

Interesting Facts:

  • Bobby Jones is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 1958. He is also a member of the 1997 Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame Class.
  • Jones completed a “Grand Slam” consisting of four significant victories in all major golf tournaments of his era.
  • Jones shocked the world after abruptly ending his career after his momentous 1930 “Grand Slam”
  • Jones served on the Alumni Association Board of Trustees and was president in 1933.
  • Jones designed the Augusta National golf course. Jones designed multiple courses, but Augusta National is his trademark design.
  • Bobby Jones also designed Spalding golf clubs
  • Bobby Jones served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, 9th Division, after receiving his commission as a captain in 1942.

[7]

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter was a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology before he was elected to be the governor of Georgia and later, President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. President Carter attended Georgia Tech before being appointed to the United States naval Academy, where he graduated with the class of 1946. After leaving the Navy in 1953, Carter returned home to Plains, Georgia. In 1970 he was elected Governor of Georgia, becoming the first state-wide office holder in the Deep South to freely advocate desegregation. This effort helped lead to the typically peaceful desegregation of the State. In 1976, Carter was elected the 39th President of the United States. Jimmy Carter is the only Georgia Tech Alum to become president of the United States—making him easily a famous alum.[8]

Interesting Facts:

  • Jimmy Carter remarked "Tech was much more difficult academically than I thought it would be. I’ve been to four universities and Tech was the most difficult."
  • Carter was on the crew of the USS Seawolf, SSN 575
  • Jimmy Carter negotiated the Panama Canal Treaties
  • USS Jimmy Carter, SSN 23 is named in his honor.

[9]

George P. Burdell

George P. Burdell's RAT Cap

George P. Burdell was also a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was an active and successful member of campus that singlehandedly changed the culture and spirit of Georgia Tech. As a campus icon, freshmen are introduced to him as one of the greatest— if not the best— of all alumni to graduate from Georgia Tech. He has received multiple degrees from prestigious schools around the country, been married, served in the military, and even led Tech basketball teams as an honorary letterman. [10]

Interesting Facts:

  • Born in Augusta, Ga. on April 1, 1903.
  • George P. Burdell Enrolled within Georgia Tech in September of 1927.
  • Burdell is supposedly the “creation” of William Edgar Smith, ME 1930.
  • P. Burdell Graduated from the Georgia School of Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology and pursued graduate studies at Harvard University.
  • George P. Burdell had a series of honorable and documented military service in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm.
  • Burdell has been described as a professional writer, teacher, and bon vivant.
  • Burdell is an active member of most in-town Atlanta churches.
  • George P. Burdell has seen the world and travelled the unknown.
  • George P. Burdell is the overall "Spirit of Georgia Tech."

[11]

Jeff Foxworthy

Jeff Foxworthy

Jeffery Marvin "Jeff" Foxworthy(born September 1958) is a comedian who specialized in stand-up and TV personality. He has written several books, acted in sitcoms, and is currently the host of the quiz show “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?” Foxworthy’s beginnings were humble— in 1984 he entered and won the Great Southeastern Laugh-off, at Atlanta's Punchline comedy club. From this beginning, Foxworthy was able to be successful in comedy.

Interesting Facts:

  • Jeff Foxworthy attended Georgia Tech, but did not graduate
  • Foxworthy is the best-selling comedy recording artist of all time
  • Known for his "you might be a redneck" one-liners
  • Foxworthy has written several ‘Redneck Dictionaries’

[12]

Edlyn Lewis

Edlyn Lewis

1998 Miss Georgia USA-- she was a member of the Georgia Tech Graduating class of 1998.

[13]

Frank Gordy

Frank Gordy

The founder of the Varsity--Former student Frank Gordy opened a restaurant called the Yellow Jacket near the Tech campus. Its name was later changed to The Varsity. [14]

Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson

Former Georgia Tech Football star wide receiver.

[15]

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh

Former Basketball Star on Georgia Tech's Mens basketball team.

[16]

Stephon Marbury

Stephon Marbury

Former GT Basketball point guard.

[17]

Nomar Garciaparra

Nomar Garciaparra

Former Georgia Tech Baseball star.

[18]

References

  1. William Anderson Alexander Biography. In Georgia Tech Official Athletic Site. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/alexander_william00.html
  2. William Anderson Alexander Biography. In Georgia Tech Official Athletic Site. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/alexander_william00.html
  3. Alexander Memorial Colieum. (November 21, 2010). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Memorial_Coliseum
  4. "George C. Griffin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia."Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_C._Griffin>.
  5. "Georgia Tech Living History."Georgia Tech Living History. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://livinghistory.gatech.edu>.
  6. "Bobby Jones (golfer)."Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Jones_(golfer)>.
  7. "Georgia Tech Living History."Georgia Tech Living History. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2010. <http://livinghistory.gatech.edu/new/traditions/legend/jones.html>.
  8. "Georgia Tech Naval ROTC."Georgia Tech Naval ROTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://www.nrotc.gatech.edu/history.php>.
  9. "Georgia Tech Naval ROTC."Georgia Tech Naval ROTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://www.nrotc.gatech.edu/history.php>.
  10. ""George P. Burdell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia."Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_P._Burdell>.
  11. "Georgia Tech Living History."Georgia Tech Living History. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://livinghistory.gatech.edu/new/traditions/legend/burdell.html>.
  12. "Jeff Foxworthy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia."Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Foxworthy>.
  13. "List of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Georgia_Institute_of_Technology_alumni>.
  14. "List of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Georgia_Institute_of_Technology_alumni>.
  15. "List of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Georgia_Institute_of_Technology_alumni>.
  16. "List of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Georgia_Institute_of_Technology_alumni>.
  17. "List of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Georgia_Institute_of_Technology_alumni>.
  18. "List of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Georgia_Institute_of_Technology_alumni>.
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