Georgia Tech Alumni Association - Winter 2001 First Person

Edwin D. Harrison

Edwin D. Harrison, Georgia Tech’s sixth president, died Oct. 23 in Rural Retreat, Va. Harrison served as president from 1957 to 1969, directing the Institute during some of its most dramatic times — the dawn of the Space Age, integration and the Vietnam War.

Harrison was dean of engineering at the University of Toledo when he was named Tech’s president, taking office on Aug. 15, 1957, only seven weeks before the Soviet Union launched Sputnik — the world’s first orbiting satellite — and began the era of the Space Age.

The launch of the basketball-sized, 183-pound satellite on Oct. 4, 1957, changed history and created new challenges, demands and opportunities in the areas of Tech’s strength — engineering, technology and scientific development. Under Harrison, Tech’s prestige grew as the South’s premier technological university.

Four years later, Harrison led Tech during integration, saying, "It is the right thing to do." In 1961, when Tech admitted three black students — Ford Greene, Ralph Long Jr. and Lawrence Michael Williams — the Institute became the first major university in the Deep South to desegregate without a court order.

Harrison was popular with students and faculty alike throughout the Vietnam War era, and guided Tech during one of the biggest building booms in the Institute’s history.

He left Tech in 1969 to become executive vice president of services with J.P. Stevens and Co.

A native of Evadale, Ark., Harrison received his undergraduate training at the U.S. Naval Academy, and served in the Navy until 1945, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. He earned a master’s in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1948, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1952.

Mario Goglia

Mario Goglia, a mechanical engineering professor who taught at Georgia Tech for 50 years, died at his Atlanta home on Oct. 16.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology and his doctorate from Purdue University before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1948. He retired from full-time teaching and research in 1981, but continued teaching part time until 1988.

In 1953, Time magazine named Dr. Goglia one of Atlanta’s "Hundred Leaders of Tomorrow." In 1955, he was tapped as one of Tech’s first three Regents professors.

His home was known as a gathering place for students and faculty, particularly during football season. He loved opera, played the saxophone and clarinet and cooked the Italian specialties his mother had prepared.

Dr. Goglia donated his body to the Emory University School of Medicine. The family requests that monetary donations in his honor go to the Georgia Tech Foundation to support the School of Mechanical Engineering.

©2001 Georgia Tech Alumni Association

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