Georgia Tech Celebrates 240th Commencement

Professor Mark Hay to address 900 students and Ray Anderson, founder of Interface Inc., to receive honorary doctorate

Mark Hay, the Teasley Professor of Environmental Biology, will address approximately 900 undergraduates and graduate students at Georgia Tech’s 240th commencement on Friday, August 5, at 7 p.m. in the Thomas Murphy Ballroom inside the Georgia World Congress Center. At the ceremony, Georgia Tech alumnus Ray Anderson will receive an honorary degree.

Ray Anderson Commencement
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Ray Anderson received an honorary doctorate degree during the summer 2011 commencement ceremony.

Hay has made fundamental contributions to the disciplines of ecology and conservation biology, primarily in community ecology, marine ecology, plant-herbivore interactions and chemical ecology.

Web of Science ranks Hay among the top 99.5 percent most frequently cited researchers in the disciplines of ecology and the environment, where he is a recognized leader. When the National Science Foundation organized a group to predict future challenges for biological oceanography, Hay was appointed co-chair. His fundamental research has transformed and deepened the understanding of plant-herbivore interactions in the sea, and he helped found the modern field of marine chemical ecology. His fundamental research has informed conservation and restoration of coral reefs and challenged how ecological and evolutionary processes of invasive species are viewed. He has also worked with the media to make his findings accessible and understandable to the general public.

Prior to joining the Georgia Tech faculty in 1999, Hay served on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 17 years. Other appointments include visiting assistant and associate professor at the Duke University Marine Laboratory, visiting assistant professor of ecology at the College of the Virgin Islands, research associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s Botany Department at the National Museum of Natural History, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and pre-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and National Museum of Natural History.

An adjunct faculty member at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Hay serves as ecology editor for Coral Reefs, associate editor for Chemoecology, and as an editorial board member for Coral Reefs, Journal of Chemical Ecology and Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Hay holds a doctoral degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and a master’s degree in biology from the University of California at Irvine, as well as a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Kentucky.

As chairman of Atlanta-based Interface, Inc. honorary degree recipient Anderson has worked tirelessly to secure a greener world for future generations through his championing of the business case for sustainability.

Interface is the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet for commercial and residential applications. By serving as the driving force behind the company’s efforts to completely eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by 2020, Anderson has earned well-deserved global recognition as the “greenest chief executive in America.”

In 2007, Anderson received the Purpose Prize from Civic Ventures, a think tank and incubator that generates ideas and invents programs to help society achieve the greatest return on experience. The same year, he received the International Quality of Life Award from Auburn University. In 2001, he received the George and Cynthia Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development. In 1996, Anderson received the inaugural Millennium Award from Global Green and won recognition from Forbes magazine and Ernst & Young, which named him Entrepreneur of the Year. He also has been honored by Southface Energy Institute, SAM-SPG (Switzerland), the U.S. Green Building Council, the National Wildlife Federation, the Design Futures Council, the Children’s Health and Environmental Coalition, Harvard Business School Alumni (Atlanta Chapter), the International Interior Design Association, the Southern Institute for Business & Professional Ethics, the Possible Woman Foundation International, the World Business Academy and the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.

A former board chair for the Georgia Conservancy, Anderson serves on the boards of the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Rocky Mountain Institute, the David Suzuki Foundation, LaGrange College, Emory University Board of Visitors, the ASID Foundation, Worldwatch Institute and Melaver Inc. He is also a member of the advisory boards of the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. He holds eleven honorary doctorates.

A 1956 Industrial Engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, Anderson has been a loyal and devoted supporter of his alma mater for more than five decades. He served as chair and vice chair of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and was named an emeritus member of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board. Anderson has also served on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, the Capital Campaign Executive Committee and his 40th and 50th class reunion committees. In partnership with Interface, Anderson established the Anderson-Interface Chair in Natural Systems at Georgia Tech. The current chair holder, Associate Professor Valerie Thomas, conducts research in sustainability.

Anderson is a College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus, a recipient of the Dean Griffin Community Service Award and a member of the College of Engineering Hall of Fame and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Hall of Fame.

About InterfaceFLOR

InterfaceFLOR, LLC and InterfaceFLOR Canada, Inc, are subsidiaries of Interface, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial carpet tile. For 38 years, the company has consistently led the industry through innovation and now leads the industry in environmental sustainability. InterfaceFLOR is setting the pace for development of modular carpet using materials and processes that take less from the environment, and is well along the path to “Mission Zero®,” the company’s promise to eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by the year 2020. InterfaceFLOR's worldwide carpet manufacturing facilities maintain third party registration to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard, and the company obtained the first-ever Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for the commercial floor covering industry in North America. The company is recognized globally for its commitment to build environmental considerations into its business decisions. For additional information:

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.