Georgia Tech Mourns the Loss of Mayor Ivan Allen
Ivan Allen Jr., former mayor of Atlanta, after whom Georgia Institute of Technology's college of liberal arts is named, died July 2, marking the passing of a legend. Civil rights leader, entrepreneur, politician and visionary, Ivan Allen provided the ideal model for Tech's Ivan Allen College, which is committed to promoting the crucial union between science, technology and the humanities and social sciences.
Ivan Allen Jr. was a legendary Atlanta figure-a former mayor who personified the city's emerging identity as a progressive and energetic capital of the South. Allen was a respected businessman and a loyal alumnus of Georgia Tech whose support of the Institute has been undaunted over the years.
"Georgia Tech has always been incredibly important to my father and to our family," said his son, Inman Allen. "Both as an alumnus and as mayor, my father recognized Tech's importance in his own life and in the life of Atlanta. He realized early on that Georgia Tech could play a significant role in the city's success and reach the highest levels of excellence as a university. Time has proven him right."
" Georgia Tech was honored to have had a graduate of such courage, generosity, compassion and humanity," said Ivan Allen College Dean Sue Rosser. "We are indeed blessed."
In 1966, the New York Times Magazine captured Allen's energy in this excerpt from an article about him: "Ivan Allen is very much like Atlanta, a comparison he would like. He is successful, optimistic, young in spirit, and disdainful of anything that stands still. He is the perfect personification of that great American phenomenon, the civic shaker and business mover."
Perhaps more to the point, on March 2, 1971, New York City's former mayor John V. Lindsay described Allen's impact on history. "Mayor Allen no longer sits in Atlanta's City Hall. But few Atlantans will forget what he did while he was there," said Lindsay. "When the urban history of America in our time is written, Ivan Allen Jr. will be singled out for the kind of praise few mayors have earned. Of him, it will be accurately said that he made a very real difference."
The Ivan Allen College was founded in 1990 to add a strong liberal arts dimension to the Georgia Tech education and to offer focused majors in humanities and social sciences, with an international, technological and professional emphasis. The liberal arts complement science and technology as part of the intellectual core needed to understand the human implications of knowledge.
During its tenth anniversary celebration, the College decided to honor Allen on his 90th birthday by establishing an annual Founder's Day event on his date of birth, March 15. It also instituted the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service, which has since been given each year to an individual with Georgia connections who, like Allen, personifies the ideals of the College. To date, the recipients have been former Governor and now U.S. Senator Zell Miller, former Governor and President Jimmy Carter, and award-winning columnist Molly Ivins.
Ivan Allen Jr.
A Biographical Sketch
Born: March 15, 1911, Atlanta, Georgia
Parents: Ivan Allen Sr. and Irene Beaumont Allen
Spouse: Married Louise Richardson Inman, 1936
Children: Ivan III (deceased), Inman, and Beaumont
B.S. (Commerce), Georgia Tech, 1933
Student Body President, 1932-33
Omicron Delta Kappa
Dean's List Business
Joined the Ivan Allen Company (office products) in 1933
Chairman Emeritus, 1995-present
Atlanta Community Chest and United Way (president)
Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (president)
Atlanta Arts Alliance (chair and member,
Board of Trustees)
Spellman College (member, Board of Trustees)
Georgia Tech (member, National Advisory Board)
Georgia State Chamber of Commerce (president)
FDR Memorial Commission (member,
Board of Trustees)
Mayor, City of Atlanta, 1962-70
Development of Atlanta/Fulton County Stadium
Development of Atlanta Civic Center
Creation of Metro Area Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
Development of the Model Cities Program
Development of Atlanta Arts Alliance Complex
Ivan Allen College of Georgia Tech named in his honor, 1990