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Stories of Atlanta

GA Tech night school

Coming out of Reconstruction, the City of Atlanta was experiencing growing pains but one of the more positive results of Atlanta’s emergence as an up-and-coming city was the founding of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Georgia Tech had been founded in 1885 as part of a plan to build a Southern industrial economy. At its inception, the only degree it offered was one in mechanical engineering but, in the decades to come, other engineering degrees were offered. And though Tech’s reputation as a top-notch engineering school rapidly grew, some of the school’s alumni began to notice a problem.

Atlanta, and indeed the entire state of Georgia, was ripe with business opportunities but, for the single-minded engineers graduating from Georgia Tech, business was not their strong suit. Many of the graduates, not recognizing the possibilities in their home state, left after graduation to take jobs in northern states. And, at the urging of its alumni, Tech established the Evening School of Commerce, a night school with the objective of teaching Tech graduates and other interested parties the intricacies of the world of business.

The school held classes at night so that those with day jobs could learn on their own time and, as the years went on, the school expanded and became a very popular feature of Georgia Tech. That is until the Great Depression strapped the university for cash and a decision was reached that made the Georgia Tech Evening School of Commerce a worthy subject for this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

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Lance Russell

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”

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1 Comment

  1. Greg Allen Hodges April 6, 2021 10:23 am

    The Ga. Tech Evening School of Commerce really began to blossom just after WW II when many returning veterans (including my father) took evening business classes. By 1961, the Board of Regents decided to bestow the name “Georgia State College” upon the institution as it continued to move into its status as a stand alone educational institution. Thank you, Lance.Report

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