Mayor Shirley Franklin to Address Undergraduates

NASA chief Michael Griffin to address graduates

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin will deliver the address to the undergraduates at the Georgia Institute of Technology's 223rd commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin will address the graduate ceremony at 3 p.m. The ceremonies are expected to feature 1,350 graduates.

Shirley Franklin became the fifty-eighth mayor of Atlanta in 2002. A first-time candidate for public office, Franklin redefined history and was elected as the city's first woman mayor and the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city. She was re-elected to a second term on November 8, 2005.

Since her first inauguration in 2002, Mayor Franklin has worked to build a "Best in Class" city by strengthening existing frameworks, implementing progressive changes, and making the tough decisions necessary to improve Atlanta.

Mayor Franklin vowed to give Atlantans the cleanest urban streams and rivers in the country and declared herself "the sewer mayor." In 2004, she persuaded Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough to chair a panel of nationwide environmental experts to design a program that became Clean Water Atlanta. The panel recommendations laid the foundation for a $3.2 billion overhaul of the city's aging water and sewer system. Franklin convinced the General Assembly to allow Atlanta to place a municipal option sales tax before the voters. Atlantans overwhelmingly passed the sales tax referendum generating money for Clean Water Atlanta and reducing the necessary increase in water and sewer rates.

Franklin earned her bachelor's degree in sociology from Howard University and was awarded her master's degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded honorary degrees from Howard University and the Atlanta College of Art. Franklin has been a resident of southwest Atlanta for nearly thirty-five years and is a proud parent of three adult children.

Master's and Ph.D. Commencement Speaker Michael Griffin

Nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate, Dr. Michael Griffin began his duties as the eleventh administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on April 14, 2005.

As administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources as NASA seeks to advance the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration.

Prior to being nominated as NASA administrator, Griffin was serving as head of the Space Department at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. He was previously president and chief operating officer of In-Q-Tel and also served in several positions within Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Virginia, including chief executive officer of Orbital's Magellan Systems Division.

Griffin received a bachelor's degree in physics from Johns Hopkins University, a master's degree in aerospace science from Catholic University of America, a Ph.D. in aerospace
engineering from the University of Maryland, a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, a master's degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University, a master's degree in business administration from Loyola College, and a master's degree in civil engineering from George Washington University. He is a certified flight instructor with instrument and multiengine ratings.

Alan Kay to Receive Honorary Degree

Alan Kay is recognized as the father of the personal computer and is the first computationalist to be awarded an honorary degree from Georgia Tech.

One of the founders of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Kay led one of several groups that developed modern workstations (and the forerunners of the Macintosh); Smalltalk, the overlapping-window interface; Desktop Publishing; the Ethernet; Laser printing; and network "client-servers." He has devoted his work to changing the way science is taught by developing interfaces through which the concept of building things is the central focus.

His pioneering work in this area led to the outgrowth of the GVU Center, and Georgia Tech was the first place to teach his current form of Smalltalk, Squeak, to undergraduates.