The Best and the Brightest

Each year, the Georgia Tech Alumni Network of Augusta conducts a send-off event for the class of rising freshmen from the local area.  These individuals are among the best and brightest students in Augusta.  This year, I had the honor of hosting this event, and it was a pleasure to welcome these outstanding ladies and gentlemen into my home.

The statistics regarding the Georgia Tech Class of 2020 are staggering.  The average SAT score is 1445, and 97% of these students have already taken AP calculus or higher.  The competition to join this group was fierce.  Of the record high 30,500+ applications received, only 25% were offered admission.  These students span a diverse background, coming from 89 different Georgia counties, 43 different states and 63 different countries.

And for those who consider such things, 41% of the students in the incoming class are female.

You are correct to believe that this is not your father’s tech school.  We had the pleasure of speaking with musicians and athletes.  All the students were incredibly well-spoken, and they were very enthusiastic about facing the challenges of Georgia Tech.

Of course, they have no idea as to what they are actually getting themselves into, but that really doesn’t matter.  If the students at the Augusta send-off are typical, then this class is more than ready to handle anything that Tech will throw at them.

As a matter of fact, one of the other alumni in attendance mentioned that he was very happy that he wasn’t at Tech now.  First of all, he wasn’t sure he could get in.  Secondly, he was pretty certain that he would be perpetually stuck at the bottom end of the curve.

Now, this isn’t to say that these students won’t have challenges.  As new members of the Yellow Jacket community, they must learn to overcome certain stereotypes.

For example…

My 12-year-old daughters attended the event.  My wife and I gave them a choice, and they were excited to be part of a grown-up party.  (Although I think one of them just wanted the cake.)  After the event was over, I asked one of my daughters how she liked meeting the students.

“It was OK.  Actually, it was kind of boring.”

Of course, I’m confused.  “Boring?  What do you mean?  I thought it was a good party.”

“Yes, Dad, it was.  Everyone was nice.  But one time I walked up to a group, and, Dad, they were talking about math.  At a party!  They were talking about math at a party!  Who does that???”

Oh, my young padawan, you have so much to learn.  The people that talk about math at parties are the architects of tomorrow.  They turn the question “What If?” into the question “What now?”  These individuals will invent new medicines, harness new sources of energy and bring artificial intelligence into our lives.  They will transform our culture through technology.

And their journey begins at Georgia Tech in a few short days.  To all of you dreamers – Congratulations, and Good Luck!

@gregory_a_baker

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