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Larry Bowie
Institute Communcations and Public Affairs


ATLANTA (September 12, 2000) -- Acknowledging the importance of manufacturing to the state of Georgia, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor joined Georgia Tech in celebrating the opening of the J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing Building.

Georgia Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor addresses a standing-room-only audience at Georgia Tech for the opening of the J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing Building.

"Governor Barnes has planned an aggressive agenda for our state," said Taylor. "He would like to see us become one of the top five technology states by 2010. I'm here today on behalf of the taxpayers and citizens of this state to say thank you to the Love family, and thank you to this great institution for being a part of moving our state forward toward that plan."

The Love Manufacturing Building is the third in a manufacturing complex on the northwest side of campus. The other two buildings are the Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex, which houses the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Textile and Fiber Engineering; and the Manufacturing Research Center, which houses faculty and staff from various Georgia Tech colleges and centers.

The role of the manufacturing complex is to create an interdisciplinary academic environment that is conducive to the development of modern manufacturing technology. Tech officials predict the top-of-the-line facilities will help the state of Georgia continue to attract national companies and the best manufacturing experts.

The Love Manufacturing Building is the new home for the School of Materials Science and Engineering, and provides additional facilities for the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. The 135,000 square foot, $27 million laboratory facility is the largest of its kind in Atlanta and one of the premier engineering research facilities in the country.

"Since Georgia Tech's earliest days, when students helped support the school by making equipment and machinery for Georgia's industries, this institute has been integrally involved with the manufacturing enterprises of the state of Georgia," said President Wayne Clough. "We know that at the most fundamental level the health of our economy depends on manufacturing. That is as true today as when Georgia Tech was founded. E-commerce and dot-coms may be getting a lot of attention these days, but it is manufacturing that creates the fundamentals of wealth."

Clough, Taylor and others praised the late J. Erskine Love Jr. for his entrepreneurial spirit and devotion to Georgia Tech. Within eight years of earning a mechanical engineering degree from Tech in 1949, Love founded Printpack, a manufacturer of flexible packaging materials. Over the next three decades the company grew from two employees and one machine to 1200 employees and eight manufacturing sites. Today, the privately held, Georgia based Printpack is a billion dollar corporation with more than 4,000 employees and 20 manufacturing facilities in three countries.

In 1998 Love's family marked the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation from Georgia Tech by creating a $5 million endowment for the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

"The investment income from this endowment will support education and research programs in manufacturing-related subjects, including interdisciplinary research among faculty and students in various schools of the College of Engineering," said Clough. "Today, we acknowledge of the importance of that contribution to Georgia Tech. At the same time we lift up ethics, values, the spirit of entrepreneurism, and devotion to excellence that characterized Erskine's life as a model for future students and our faculty and staff."

Gay McLawhorn Love, widow of J. Erskine Love Jr., said, "My family and I would like to thank Georgia Tech, the state of Georgia and the Board of Regents for the honor of having Erskine's name placed on this magnificent building. He spent his career running a business dedicated to making things. So this facility's focus on the science of manufacturing is certainly appropriate.

"Erskine was probably one of Tech's most loyal alums, and I'm sure he would he would have contributed generously to this addition to campus," Mrs. Love said. "But, I'm also sure he would have stopped short of having his name on it. This is our choice, not his. We felt that it is important and appropriate for future generations of students to recognize and appreciate the contributions of their predecessors.

"…Thanks to all of you for being here today. We love you and we love Georgia Tech," she said.

Georgia Tech School of Materials Science & Engineering

Georgia Tech Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering