(Left to right) Georgia Tech Band, President Obama thanks Tiffany Davis, Maggie Bridges sings the National Anthem
A note of thanks to the Georgia Tech community from G. P. “Bud” Peterson
Georgia Tech has had the privilege of welcoming our nation’s leaders to speak on our campus for more than a century, and the tradition continued on March 10 as we welcomed President Barack Obama.
As Val and I sat and visited with others while waiting for President Obama to arrive, we looked around at the capacity crowd of almost 10,000 in McCamish Pavilion, including mostly students, and could not have been more proud. While there had been a long wait outside and within McCamish, the crowd was patient and courteous. More than 200 student volunteers from various organizations, along with 50 staff volunteers assisted with ushering, line movement, parking, shuttles, and crowd control outside. Fifty members of the Georgia Tech band played for about two hours prior to the program to help entertain. Our welcome was trademark Georgia Tech, with Jake Meisner outside with the Ramblin’ Wreck, Miss Georgia and Georgia Tech Business major Maggie Bridges singing the national anthem, and Georgia Tech Aerospace Engineering major Tiffany Davis introducing President Obama.
When Georgia Tech was approached by the White House to possibly host President Obama for a speech on higher education, we were honored. It was a huge undertaking, but well worth it. Our staff, faculty, and students pitched in to do whatever it took to make the event a success, including Athletics, Catering, the CRC, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities, the Georgia Tech Police Department, Parking and Transportation Services, Government and Community Relations, Institute Communications, OIT, Student Affairs, student groups, the Student Center, as well as volunteers from almost all departments.
We received a number of compliments from the White House staff about the outstanding job the Georgia Tech team did in making this event a success. It provided yet another opportunity to give national attention to Georgia Tech, including our outstanding students, faculty, staff, and programs. I was a little disappointed that George P. Burdell was not able to introduce President Obama, but I am fairly certain he attended, as it was one of the great events in Georgia Tech history.
In my six years as serving as Georgia Tech’s president, I have many memories. The way you represented Georgia Tech was outstanding, and it will be a lasting memory for the entire Georgia Tech community.
G. P. "Bud" Peterson
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