Faculty and Alumni Welcome Students into Their Homes
Posted March 2, 2012 | Atlanta, GA
A strong identifier of the Georgia Tech community is its pride for the Institute, and Tech’s largest student organization is now providing an outlet for students, faculty and alumni to come together and forge connections rooted in their enthusiasm for Georgia Tech.
Students attend Dinner Jackets event hosted by Dean Gary May and his wife.
Each week on Sunday evening, the Student Alumni Association (SAA) coordinates Dinner Jackets, a dinner hosted by a faculty member or alumnus. Hosts welcome students into their homes for an evening of hospitality and casual conversation.
“By hosting dinners, faculty members seem more approachable, not just who they are when lecturing in front of a white board,” said Gary May, dean of the College of Engineering and a Georgia Tech alumnus, who has hosted two dinners with his wife, also a Tech graduate. “Those students can learn about our interests outside of the classroom, like the fact that I love to collect comic books.”
The program was coined "Dinner Jackets" in 2011, and initially began as a way for alumni to give back to current students and reminisce about their time at Georgia Tech and love for its traditions; in turn, students gain professional advice from past Yellow Jacket generations. The events are now open to all faculty members interested in hosting, regardless of their alma mater. Faculty have enjoyed enhancing faculty-student interaction, in line with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Plan, by exposing students to diverse environments outside the classroom.
Previous dinners have been hosted by esteemed members of the Georgia Tech community, such as Rafael Bras, provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs, and Tom Fanning, CEO and chairman of Southern Company.
“Dinner Jackets is a great way to allow for student communication in a more intimate setting,” said Greg Jones, current SAA Dinner Jackets chair and a third-year mechanical engineering undergraduate. “It’s rare to be given the opportunity to be served dinner by the CEO of Southern Company and his wife.”
Upcoming dinners with available seating include Rich DeAugustinis, vice president with The Coca-Cola Company on March 11 and Catherine Murray-Rust, vice provost of learning excellence and dean of libraries, on April 15.
Interested students can attend a future Dinner Jackets event by joining SAA online. Members can view additional upcoming hosts, read their biographies and register for free on the Dinner Jackets website. Students are limited to attending one dinner per semester.