Founder’s Day Honors Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy

Students, faculty and alumni recognized for Founder's Day


Rebecca Keane, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts


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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts celebrates Founder's Day, grants awards to students, faculty and alumni.

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The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts (IAC) remembered its namesake Monday, March 15, at the 10th Annual Ivan Allen College Founders Day. Founded in 1990, the College each year honors the legacy of former Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. by recognizing individuals within and without the college for their efforts in “Progress and Service.” This year also marks the last such award from the College.

Interim Dean Kenneth J. Knoespel introduced Mayor Allen’s “legacy of action” through a morning symposium showcasing interdisciplinary research. “In the past 10 years, Founder’s Day has recognized that the College that bears the name of former Mayor Allen has worked to build programs and projects that have participated in change, including and beyond the disciplines represented by this college,” Knoespel said. “Our work has also engaged Georgia Tech, the city and almost every continent around the world.” 

Moderated by Associate Dean for Research Susan Cozzens, the symposium highlighted human-centered work within the College and across Georgia Tech in the areas of climate change, security, Africa and in the local community.

After kicking off a celebratory luncheon with the poem “The Joy-Bringer” by Professor Thomas Lux, Peter Brecke, assistant dean for Information Technology, Cozzens, and John Tone, associate dean of Undergraduate Studies, presented the Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Awards to recognize current students and an alumnus, along with a faculty member, for their accomplishments.

Economics and International Affairs student Trey Birch won the undergraduate 2010 Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Undergraduate Student Award for his establishment of the Youth Enrichment Program, which works with children in communities surrounding the campus. Cate Powell, an International Affairs student, won the 2010 Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Graduate Student Award for the POP Jewelry Collective, which helps create a sustainable business that supports the education of children in India.

Alumna Sarah Kenagy, winner of the 2010 Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Alumni Award, is a senior program officer on CARE's Sexual and Reproductive Health Team. She graduated with an International Affairs degree in 2007. Sam Nunn School of International Affairs Associate Professor Adam Stulberg won the 2010 Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Faculty Award. Stulberg is co-director of the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy. Students and faculty members each received a glass sculpture and a check for $1,000.

Ferdinand A. “Ski” Hilenski, development officer for the Ivan Allen College, died in July of last year. His wife, Lu, and daughter, Cate, accepted an honorary Legacy Award on his behalf, in recognition of his vision and work with the Allen legacy and to expand the legacy to all of Georgia Tech. Inman Allen, son of former Mayor Allen, said that without Hilenski’s efforts, the College could not exist in its current incarnation.

President Bud Peterson introduced 2010 recipient of the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service William J. Todd. Peterson described the president and CEO of the Georgia Cancer Coalition as a Tech alumnus (Management, 1971) who exhibits both service and compassion. “Bill is leading the effort to make Georgia the national leader in cancer care,” he said. “He is committed to reducing the human suffering and death to cancer.”

Todd spoke on Peterson’s ambitious drive to lead a “robust and energetic” campaign to shape the Institute’s next 25 years and of the importance of leadership “behind the scenes.” He said the Institute’s motto of “Progress and Service” personifies the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and the Institute as a whole. “It’s the perfect motto for Georgia Tech,” Todd said. “It is in plain, action-oriented and values-driven language. The whole Institute was formed in this [New South] principle, and Ivan Allen Jr. epitomized that.”

Past recipients of the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service include former President Jimmy Carter (2002), former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (2004) and Helene D. Gayle, with CARE (2009).

Beginning next year, the College will award a new Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage, recognizing recipients chosen from around the world who demonstrate Allen’s moral and ethical courage, and his positive impact on society. The award is endowed by the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, and includes a stipend of $100,000 for its recipient. Both Allen and Thomas K. Glenn participated in the announcement of the new award.

“The Allen legacy inspires the Ivan Allen College and all of Georgia Tech to represent in our teaching, research and public service all the human values he stood for,” Peterson said. “We intend to provide our students with the means by which they can make decisions based on the moral and ethical principles that led Mayor Allen to risk being ostracized by his peers to defend what was right. We are committed to an Ivan Allen Jr. legacy that will weave Mayor Allen’s values of social responsibility and courage into the fabric of our academic endeavors.”

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Bill Todd, Georgia Cancer Coalition, Ivan Allen College Founder's Day, Ivan Allen Jr. Legacy Awards
  • Created By: Robert Nesmith
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  • Created On: Mar 22, 2010 - 10:28am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:05pm