Skip to Main Content

History of Founders' Council

As Georgia's economy rose from the ashes of the Civil War, Macon industrialist J. F. Hanson (1840-1910) saw a growing need for technological education. His case inspired Macon attorney Nathaniel E. Harris (1846-1929), who was elected to Georgia's General Assembly on the platform of building a technical school. Henry W. Grady (1850-1889) of The Atlanta Constitution used his editorial clout to voice the urgency of the situation. Harris successfully drafted the legislation to establish Georgia School of Technology and then chaired the organizing commission on which Samuel M. Inman (1843-1915), Columbus Heard (1834-1912), Edward R. Hodgson (1846-1920), and Oliver S. Porter (1836-1914) served. Richard Peters (1810-1889) donated land on North Avenue to secure the Georgia School of Technology for the city of Atlanta.


Founders' Council, commemorating the contributions of prominent individuals in Georgia Tech's past, was established in 1984 to recognize generous alumni and friends who have made provisions for the future financial strength of Georgia Tech. Documented provisions for planned gifts of at least $25,000 to the Institute qualify one for membership. Planned gifts include non-contingent bequests, charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, gifts of retirement-plan assets, charitable lead trusts, retained life estate gifts, pooled income funds, and life insurance. Names of Founders' Council members are displayed in the Gordy Room in the Wardlaw Center on North Avenue.

Plan Now. Give Forever. And Have A Coke.

Flexibility in estate planning is paramount, as one considers the myriad of gift planning options. In the mid-twentieth century, an Atlantan — Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans — directed an extraordinary amount of Coca-Cola stock into a private foundation. Here’s the visionary twist: she prescribed in her will percentages and specific amounts of the foundation’s annual distributions to benefit over a dozen charitable organizations she had supported during her lifetime. The value of the Lettie Pate Evans Restricted Fund at the time of its establishment was nearly $8 million. The Georgia Institute of Technology was one of eight educational institutions named as beneficiaries, with Mrs. Evans designating 15% of the Fund’s income to the Institute. Fast forward nearly seven decades … today, the Fund’s value is closer to $3.7 billion and Georgia Tech’s annual distributions approximate $15 million a year. Over time, we have received more than $200 million; and the gift keeps on giving year after year, making Mrs. Evans the largest donor in the history of the Institute. In recognition, the Institute named the iconic Tech Tower in her honor in 1998. To learn more about this extraordinary philanthropist who was the first woman to serve on the board of directors of The Coca-Cola Company, visit: http://lpevans.org.


Simple but significant, a bequest provision allows you the flexibility to craft your legacy at Georgia Tech and impact an area that is most meaningful to you. Let us help you get started and plan for your future role in Georgia Tech’s future.

Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.