A gifted businessman, mayor, and civic leader, Ivan Allen Jr. embodied our aspirations for graduates of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.
Mayor Allen began a lifelong commitment to progress and service at Georgia Tech by serving as student body president (School of Commerce 1933). As mayor of Atlanta (1962 - 1970), Allen guided the city through the turbulence of racial integration without the violence that was exploding elsewhere across the south. He was the only important white southern political figure to testify before Congress in favor of the Civil Rights Act – an action that could have ruined his career in public office. Allen also spearheaded an extraordinary economic surge that gave birth to Atlanta’s modern cultural identity.
Ivan Allen Jr.’s life and career illuminated the skills and values associated with a liberal arts education. In 1990, the Ivan Allen College was founded honoring his name and legacy. The College awarded the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Progress and Service from 2001-2010. In 2010, Georgia Tech established the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage. It was awarded for the first time in 2011.
Ivan Allen Jr. and Social Justice
"The legacy of Ivan Allen Jr. inspires the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and the whole of Georgia Tech to represent in our teaching, research, and public service all of the human values for which the Allen legacy stands. We intend to provide our students the means by which they can make decisions based on the kinds of moral and ethical principles that led Ivan Allen Jr. to risk being ostracized by his peers in order to defend what is right."