CEE Seeks Nominations for New Speaker Series

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) will launch a new lecture series this spring with the support of alumnus Ken Hyatt.

The endowed series will tap CEE’s broad alumni base to bring a distinguished speaker to campus each fall and spring who can share their wisdom and insight with students and the wider Georgia Tech community.

“There’s a lot of value in exposing the students in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering to people who have made a contribution to society and have done well in their field,” said Hyatt, a 1962 graduate who also has a master’s in industrial management from Georgia Tech.

Hyatt spent much of his career helping lead Jim Walter Corp. and later Walter Industries, the country’s largest homebuilder at the time and a diversified holding company with 29,000 employees.

“Our whole [philanthropic] thrust at Jim Walter Corp. and Walter Industries was education and youth. That’s where we put our money,” Hyatt said.

Those areas continue to be where Hyatt puts his own time and money, working extensively with the Boy Scots of America, the Salvation Army and the University of Tampa in addition to his previous service as a trustee of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.

Speaker Selection Process

Students, faculty and alumni will be deeply involved in helping a selection committee choose the speakers for the Hyatt Alumni Distinguished Leadership Speaker Series. An initial announcement in August will ask the CEE community to offer input about the kinds of speakers the School should invite. The selection committee also will take suggestions for the inaugural speaker.

Later in the month, the committee will present a list of the top nominees for a student vote. Votes will be cast via an online ballot, through social media and on a giant white board in the lobby of the Mason Building.

Organizers said the speakers also will be of interest to many across the Tech campus.

“The speaker series will bring some of our most notable alumni leaders to speak and interact with CEE students, faculty and the broader Georgia Tech community,” said Adjo Amekudzi Kennedy, the School’s associate chair for global engineering leadership and research development.  “It will expose our students to leaders in industry, academia, government and the not-for-profit sector. We’re grateful to Ken Hyatt for endowing this series and look forward to the kick-off event this spring.”