Industrial Engineering Receives $20 M Committment

Georgia Tech School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Receives $20 Million Commitment

Georgia Tech's School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), ranked No. 1 in the country for the past 15 years by U.S. News & World Report, has received a commitment of $20 million from Georgia Tech alumnus H. Milton 'Milt' Stewart and his wife, Carolyn Stewart.

The commitment establishes a permanent endowment, the income from which will be available for unrestricted use within ISyE.

The school has been named the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering in recognition of the Stewarts' commitment. ISyE becomes the fourth named school in the Georgia Tech College of Engineering, joining the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

"The opportunities presented by a commitment of this magnitude are nothing short of amazing," said Chelsea C. 'Chip' White III, the H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair in ISyE. "I look forward to working with our faculty, staff and administration in determining how these funds can best be used to build upon the school's long tradition of innovation, research and educational excellence and academic leadership."

The highly visible U.S. News & World Report college rankings have placed ISyE in the nation's No. 1 slot in industrial and manufacturing engineering for 16 of the past 17 years. The Stewarts' commitment will be instrumental in helping the school maintain and increase its national prominence.

"You can't have the nation's No. 1 ISyE program for fifteen years running without strong private, philanthropic support from alumni and friends, corporations and foundations," said College of Engineering Dean Don P. Giddens. "Sustaining the unparalleled quality of the school's research programs and the excellence of its faculty and student body takes ongoing, significant investment. We are very fortunate that Milt Stewart has always understood that need and offered his wholehearted support of ISyE."

In addition to a gift of $2.5 million that has already been made, the Stewarts' commitment consists of two charitable remainder annuity trusts totaling $7.5 million that have recently been established and a third charitable remainder annuity trust of $10 million that will be established in the near future. The Stewarts will receive income from the trusts until December 2015, when the trusts assets will be transferred to the endowment, whose estimated value will be at least $20 million.

"We were thrilled seven years ago when they created the first school chair in Georgia Tech history, a visionary step that helped secure the finest leadership available for the School," said Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough. "Now, with this wonderfully generous commitment, Milt and Carolyn have ensured the ongoing momentum and prestige of the school they love so much for many years to come."

Stewart has a long history of philanthropy at Georgia Tech. He established the H. Milton Stewart Endowment Fund for ISyE Programs in 1995 and the H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair in ISyE in 1999. He has supported scholarships for women students coming to Georgia Tech from Habersham High School.

Stewart is retired chairman and CEO of Standard Group, a company he established in 1987 with his sister, Kay Swanson, in Cornelia, Georgia. Holdings of the Standard Group at that time included Standard Telephone, which Stewart's father, H. M. Stewart Sr., purchased in 1939. Arkansas-based Alltel purchased Standard Telephone in 1998.

In addition to receiving his bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1961, Stewart later went on to receive his MBA from Emory University. Stewart is a trustee emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation, emeritus member and former chairman of the ISyE Advisory Board, former member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board, and a former president, trustee and Executive Committee member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.