Governor Sonny Perdue and Engineering Education Leader John Slaughter to Address Tech Graduates

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and John Slaughter, president and chief executive officer of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), will deliver the addresses at the Georgia Institute of Technology's 218th commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 1, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The ceremonies will feature 2,162 graduates, the largest graduating class in Tech history.

Perdue, who will address the undergraduate ceremony at 9 a.m., is Georgia's 81st governor and the state's first Republican governor since 1872. He has served as a businessman, community leader, Sunday school teacher, state senator, majority leader and president pro tempore of the Georgia Senate and U.S. Air Force officer.

Born in 1946 in Perry, Georgia, Perdue attended Warner Robins High School and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1971 from the University of Georgia. While still in school, he volunteered to serve in the Air Force.

Following his honorable discharge in 1974 with the rank of captain and a brief tenure as a practicing veterinarian in Raleigh, North Carolina, Perdue returned to his native Georgia and became a successful small business owner. Today, his two businesses have grown to include several locations across the Southeast.

After serving on the Houston County Planning and Zoning Board during the 1980s, Perdue won a seat in the Georgia Senate and spent the next eleven years representing the people of Houston, Bibb, Bleckley and Pulaski counties. He was elected majority leader only four years later. In 1997, Democratic and Republican senators elected him president pro tempore. In 2002, Perdue was elected Georgia's first Republican governor in more than a century.

Slaughter, who will address the graduate ceremony at 3 p.m., has a long and distinguished background as a leader in the education, engineering and scientific communities. Past positions include serving as a director of the National Science Foundation, president of Occidental College in Los Angeles and chancellor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Slaughter is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering Society. In 1993, he was named to the American Society for Engineering Education Hall of Fame.

Slaughter earned a Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California, San Diego, an M.S. in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Kansas State University. Winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Award in 1997 and UCLA's Medal of Excellence in 1989, he also was honored with the first "U.S. Black Engineer of the Year" award in 1987.

Nation's First Master's in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Tech's graduate ceremony will feature the nation's first and only graduating class for a two-year master's degree in prosthetics and orthotics. Tech began its Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics in the fall of 2002 with the goal of offering students the opportunity to engage in clinical practice, product design, manufacturing and research. The program's first graduates are Kristin Andrews, Alejandro A. Aviles, David Fritz, Mark Holowka and Benjamin Lucas.

The school's research into prostheses and orthoses, or braces, encompasses a wide variety of medical devices and techniques. These include prosthetic legs, braces for scoliosis, powered myoelectric prosthetic arms, knee-ankle-foot braces and Halo devices for spinal immobilization.

First Bachelor's Students to Graduate with Highly Sought Information Security Expertise

The Georgia Tech Information Security Center, housed in the College of Computing, has grown a robust set of information security education options to help fill the growing demand for information security expertise. This semester six students, two bachelor's, three master's and one Ph.D.,will graduate with expertise in information security. The first two undergraduate students graduating with a B.S. in Computer Science with an Information Assurance certificate are James P. (Jim) Gruen and Stephen C. (Craig) Wampler. The recently approved Information Assurance certificate is a joint program between Electrical and Computer Engineering and the College of Computing.

Tech Honors Student with Posthumous Degree

Tech will award a posthumous bachelor's degree in psychology to Justin Fisher. Fisher died of complications from muscular dystrophy this spring.