Tomorrow, May 27, Val and I will participate in the 25th anniversary celebration of Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL) at our campus in Metz, France.
GTL is our flagship international program and is helping us fulfill one of the major goals outlined in our 25-year strategic plan. Introduced in 2010, our strategic plan established a goal to expand our global footprint and influence to ensure that we are graduating good global citizens. Over the course of the past 10 years, Georgia Tech has grown into one of the world’s most globalized technological universities, with collaborations in more than 80 countries and institutional partnerships in more than 30 countries.
Georgia Tech faculty are involved in research collaborations in more than 100 countries, and our students come to Georgia Tech from 127 countries, with 52 percent of our undergraduates participating in an international work or study experience before they graduate. All told, somewhere around 5,800 students have spent a semester or more at GTL during the past 25 years, including 600 this year. More than 200 professors from Atlanta have taught at GTL.
Our campus in Metz serves as a springboard for numerous cultural and research collaborations. One outstanding collaboration is France-Atlanta. Seven years ago, Yves Berthelot, now vice president for International Initiatives, was then president of Georgia Tech-Lorraine. He and France’s consul general at the time, Pascal Le Deunff, were exploring ways to celebrate GTL’s 20th anniversary and strengthen ties with France. Consul General Le Deunff shared his vision with Professor Berthelot to create our annual France-Atlanta celebration. This premier event attracts more than 2,500 participants annually, providing unique opportunities to explore France through cultural and humanitarian events, business workshops, and scientific symposia.
Building on GTL, Georgia Tech has established other agreements with some of the leading engineering schools in France, as well as working closely with many French corporate and research organizations. As part of this effort, we recently joined with our French partners to launch the Institut Lafayette, a world-class optoelectronics facility on our campus in Metz.
Collaborations such as this help foster innovation and entrepreneurship in today’s global economy. We are grateful for the visionary leaders who 25 years ago took the bold step to establish a Georgia Tech campus in France, starting with a handful of graduate students and faculty. We are very proud of all that we have been able to accomplish together at Georgia Tech-Lorraine as part of our global vision. As we celebrate this week, we look forward to even greater things from our involvement at GTL.
G.P. “Bud” Peterson