This book is a compilation of essays written by GA Tech Alumni whose times of matriculation span a 50-year period from 1961 to 2011. The book also features a collection of historical documents, photos, and graphics that help to tell the stories of those persons whose perseverance has contributed to GA Tech’s position of prominence in the production of African Americans in Engineering and Technology.
That position as the leading Institution has come at a price which is seldom calculated. One tends to focus on the triumphs far more than the tragedies. The triumphs of talented young people, most barely out of their teens, frequently overshadow those who attempted to climb Tech’s ‘Hallowed Hill’ but saw their dreams deferred. Many were sent to this high place as their communities’ promise of the future, the very best scholars and athletes that their high schools had to offer. Those who made it through with their spirits unbroken, inevitably went on to excel in their professions. Still others emerged so broken that the mere name of the school evokes bitterness and disdain…not so much for the people and places, but for a system that did not afford the requisite academic assistance that could have ensured their success.
The people who did share their stories elected to focus on their innate will to triumph while allowing themselves to be melded on the academic anvil that is GA Tech. Still others elected to remain after graduation and become involved with the Institute’s academics and athletics. They have thereby created Alumni organizations, enhanced enrichment programs, created scholarships, and advised young athletes on how to be successful. The continuum of interaction between alumni and students is a legacy that has spanned more than four decades. The spirit of “beating the odds” is a common thread that binds these widely divergent points view.
The stories of these authentic “scions of the southland” will resound for years to come.