Every chance I get, I love to drop by and visit faculty and students in their labs. Invariably, I’m amazed by the breadth and depth of ingenuity and expertise on our campus — the discoveries, inventions, and innovative solutions to some of the most important issues facing humanity.
Last week, I had the pleasure of introducing J Batt, our new director of Athletics, to the Yellow Jacket community. During our joint press conference, J reflected on the fact that three of the most prestigious national awards in intercollegiate athletics — the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, the Heisman Trophy, and the Homer Rice Award — are named after three of his predecessors at Georgia Tech. That’s an impressive legacy to treasure and build upon, and a reminder of the level of excellence Georgia Tech alumni and fans have come to expect from us.
You may be aware that we announced some leadership changes in Georgia Tech Athletics this week. These were difficult but necessary decisions. I remain grateful to our departing athletic director and head football coach for their dedication to Georgia Tech and our student-athletes. Ultimately, though, our performance had fallen short of what our students and loyal fans expect and deserve, and it became clear that we needed a different approach.
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking the podium at Bobby Dodd Stadium to welcome another record-breaking class to Georgia Tech. After receiving more than 50,000 applications for first-year admission — a record for the Institute as well as the state — we welcomed our largest overall enrollment in history this fall with more than 46,000 students. Our incoming class set another high watermark with nearly 3,700 first-years and nearly 1,400 transfers from other universities.
The true measure of Georgia Tech’s success is the value it creates for others. Rankings are nice — don’t get me wrong. I take pride in seeing many of our programs recognized among the best of their kind. And the publicity helps us attract the best students and secure the resources we need to serve them. Ultimately, though, our success is defined not by what some media outlet says about us, but rather by what we do for our students, our community, and the world.