Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

College History

Interactive Timeline

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GT opens its doors; English is one of six subjects taught


English department Chair Kenneth Gordon Matheson establishes a library for students that operates out of his office


Department of Modern Languages is established


Kenneth Gordon Matheson is named third president of Georgia Tech

Matheson receives grant from Andrew Carnegie for first library building


In response to new curriculum requirements, English department begins teaching economic theory, general history, political economy, and physical geography 

All GT majors (except Textiles) establish a requirement for two years of foreign language


Georgia Tech President Kenneth Gordon Matheson articulates the role of liberal education at Gerogia Tech:  "English and the modern languages are . . . necessary to produce men able to communicate with doctors, lawyers, statesmen and financiers on an equal footing. Without [them] . . . the technical man never reaches full potential."


School of Commerce is established

English department begins teaching economics and business English


Marion Luther Brittain is named the fourth president of GT; he announces a policy of educational emphasis on English and mathematics


Ivan Allen Jr., for whom the Ivan Allen College will be named in 1990, graduates from the School of Commerce


Departments of Economics and Social Sciences are established


The General College, precursor to the present day college, is created


Engineering faculty approve a new core curriculum that includes Humanities and Social Sciences

The History of Technology program is created in the Department of Social Sciences. Controversial at the time, the program prefigures the college's use of engineering, science, and technology as lenses on humanities and social sciences.


The General College is renamed College of Sciences and Liberal Studies (COSALS)


Department of Social Sciences becomes the School of Social Sciences; first social science-related degree is approved - the Master of Science in Technology and Science Policy


College of Sciences and Liberal Studies is disestablished

School of Social Sciences is divided into Schools of History, Technology, and Society; International Affairs; and Public Policy

English department is renamed as the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture (LCC)

Ivan Allen College of Management, Policy, & International Affairs is established and named in honor of Ivan Allen, Jr. (Commerce 1933) encompassing the Schools of History, Technology, and Society; International Affairs; Literature, Communication, and Culture; Public Policy; the Department of Modern Languages; the School of Economics & Industrial Management; and the ROTC units


PhD in History of Technology is inaugurated in the School of History, Technology, and Society. Program is renamed History and Sociology of Technology & Science in 2003. School is renamed the School of History and Sociology in 2015


Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approves PhD in Public Policy and the program is inaugurated


Retiring U.S. Senator Sam Nunn joins the College as a distinguished faculty member in Public Policy and International Affairs; the School of International Affairs is renamed as the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs 

A Public Policy joint PhD with Georgia State is added


School of Management is established as a separate college
Ivan Allen College mission is redefined as liberal education


Sue Rosser is named Dean of Ivan Allen College, the first woman named to an academic decanal post at Georgia Tech


College awards the first Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service to former Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller; the prize is awarded annually through 2010


Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approves a PhD in Digital Media for the School of Literature, Communications, and Culture, the nation's first digital media doctoral program; the program is inaugurated in 2004


Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approves a PhD in International Affairs, Science, and Technology for the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, the only professional school of international affairs at a major technological institution; the program is inaugurated in 2008


Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approves a PhD in Economics for the School of Economics; the program is inaugurated in 2010


Jacqueline Jones Royster is named Dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts becoming the first African-American to hold an academic decanal post at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech is the first university in nearly a decade invited to join the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU); Tech President G. P. "Bud" Peterson emphasized research examining the ways in which scientific exploration affects public policy (research conducted primarily in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts) as the key to Tech's membership

The legacy of Ivan Allen Jr. is expanded to encompass the whole of Georgia Tech through establishment of the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage

Liberal Arts have been part of Georgia Tech's history since 1888

Ivan Allen College Administration Building

The Ivan Allen College was established in 1990

781 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0525