Modern Tech Traditions
By Julia Faherty december 11, 2017
In the years since its establishment in 1885, Georgia Tech has been home to an abundance of rich traditions. From the familiar steam engine whistle to the University of Georgia gridiron rivalry, they have been woven into the Tech experience for more than a century.
As Tech has evolved, so have its traditions. For current students and alumni alike, they continue to resonate in meaningful ways. Here is a list of modern Tech traditions cherished by Tech students today.
Every semester, students get to take a break from studying to enjoy a free midnight meal in the Student Center — at the service of Tech administrators (such as Men's Basketball Coach Josh Pastner, above). It's a sell-out event every semester and the perfect sendoff into finals week.
In 2011, the G. Wayne Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons opened as a place where students could learn, study, and connect. One of the highlights of this building is the rooftop garden, which provides stunning views of campus and the Atlanta skyline. Many students find it a perfect background for a Tech selfie.
The Pi Mile Road Race is one of the longest continually running races in Atlanta. The first race was held in 1973 and has occurred annually since then. Recently, a new race has become part of Georgia Tech tradition. The Halloween Holla 5K is hosted by the Campus Recreation Center each year near the end of October. Students, staff, faculty, and alumni start their morning by running in costume.
Buzz has been the name of Georgia Tech’s favorite mascot since the early 1970s, but today the name also represents a feeling most students get after sipping on one of Tech’s most popular beverages – coffee. Currently, Georgia Tech is home to five coffee shops including Blue Donkey, Dunkin’ Donuts, Highland Bakery, and multiple Starbucks. At any time of day, it is common to find these shops with lines extending far behind the counter full of students waiting for their caffeine fix.
Once a week, Tech Walkway transforms into a market lined with vendors and filled with students in search of fresh goods and produce. Most Tech students are familiar with this event that began in 2012. Some students make a routine of attending the market to get their favorite snack, beverage, or meal. The market provides students with the chance to get fresh food on campus and has become a classic part of the Tech experience.
In Georgia Tech's early days, the focal point of the Fall semester was Yellow Jacket football. As Tech has grown into one of the top research universities in the nation and the world, however, the recruitment of Tech graduates has skyrocketed, and landing a job has become something of a tradition in its own right. In Spring 2017, the percentage of job-seeking Georgia Tech bachelor’s degree recipients who reported having a job at graduation was nearly 76 percent.
Each Fall semester, the recruitment season starts and students begin preparing for interviews, information sessions, and networking. The Fall Career Fair has become an important event to all Tech students. From freshmen to graduate students, most make a point to attend.