THE FLATS – Georgia Tech alumnus Mark Moon (IE, 1985), retired executive vice president and president of sales and marketing for Motorola Solutions, recently committed $1 million towards Athletics Initiative 2020.
Moon’s commitment is earmarked for the crown jewel of AI 2020, the renovation of the Edge Center, the hub of Georgia Tech athletics located adjacent to Bobby Dodd Stadium. With Moon’s generous support, Tech athletics has moved within $5 million of the $70 million goal for the complete renovation of the Edge Center. The fundraising total includes a $10 million challenge grant. Issued by an anonymous donor, the challenge grant matches gifts and commitments made to the Edge Center project from Dec. 1, 2019-June 30, 2020. For more information on the $10 million challenge grant and to contribute online, click HERE.
A renovated Edge Center will provide personalized services to student-athletes, including academic, wellness and sports performance support, as well as programming to prepare students for professional careers. The Edge Center will also feature additional office and meeting spaces for athletics department staff and interactive opportunities for Georgia Tech students, fans and visitors.
“On behalf of Georgia Tech athletics and our current and future student-athletes and coaches, I thank Mark for his generous commitment to the Edge Center project,” Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury said. “A new Edge Center will transform Georgia Tech athletics much like the construction of the original Edge Center, which ushered in the great success that we enjoyed in the early 1990s.
“Thanks to Mark and all of the generous donors that have contributed to AI 2020, we are very close to reaching our $70 million goal for the Edge Center project,” Stansbury continued. “We are grateful for everyone that has supported AI 2020 to this point, and for everyone who continues to do so as we look to raise the remaining funds needed to get this transformative project underway.”
Prior to the departure from his senior role at Motorola, Moon was responsible for the strategy of the Fortune 500 company, as well as leading all aspects of global operations for the organization, including sales and marketing, product research and development, software and services and supply chain. He went to work for Motorola after graduating from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 1985.
In 2014, he was named to Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni. He has also served on the advisory board of the Institute’s Milton Stewart school of industrial and systems engineering.
In addition to his generous support of Georgia Tech athletics, Moon’s philanthropic efforts also include serving on the board of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
The A-T Fund recently caught up with Moon for a Q&A:
1) Why did you decide to support the Edge Center Renovation?
“Georgia Tech has meant so very much to me in my education, career and life. Because of that fact, I have felt a strong commitment to ‘give back,’ so that this great institution can continue to thrive, grow and build the next generation of innovators and leaders. I became interested in the Athletics Initiative 2020, with the Edge Center renovation being the centerpiece of this capital campaign, and it became somewhat personal for me. The original Edge Center opened when I was a student, and I remember being proud of what that building signified for our athletic programs. Unfortunately, that was almost four decades ago and so much has changed. It is time to renew our efforts and investments in our student-athletes, and that is why I have decided to place my focus and support on the Edge Center renovation.
2) What will a renovated Edge Center do for Georgia Tech and its sports programs?
A renovated Edge Center has the potential to make a significant impact on Georgia Tech and our sports programs. First and foremost, it is a “stake in the ground.” It demonstrates that when we talk about the culture and commitment of Georgia Tech Athletics, that we are serious.
Todd Stansbury wrote me a note (in March) and said that a new Edge Center will provide our student-athletes and coaches what they need to return to that magical era in Georgia Tech athletics history (in the 1980s and 1990s). This is something that all of our students, alumni and fans truly want and deserve. Georgia Tech is about history, tradition and great moments in time, but most importantly, it is about the future and ensuring that it is even brighter than the past. I think that this holds true for both academics and athletics.
Winning in athletics makes all of us all proud but winning isn’t easy. It requires being able to recruit the best student-athletes and equip them with the tools and resources to be successful. I believe that the Edge Center renovation is a commitment to do that for all student-athletes and all sports.
3) What is your favorite Tech sports experience – either as a student or a fan?
I feel fortunate that I have been able to enjoy some great Georgia Tech sports moments throughout the years. In fact, it is hard for me to pinpoint my favorite Georgia Tech sports experience, but if I had to pick, it would be watching basketball as a student in the 1980s. This was a great time in Georgia Tech basketball history and the beginning of what would become Bobby Cremins’ legacy. We landed great recruits, who developed into great players and came together to build great teams. My senior year we were the ACC champions and made it to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament. I can remember the energy and excitement in the “Thrillerdome” as if it were yesterday.
4) Why is it important to support athletics in general, and the Edge Center renovation in particular?
I have always been a supporter of athletics because it teaches you important life lessons. It teaches you about winning and losing. Both are important lessons, but make no mistake that winning is better. It teaches you what success feels like and how one success makes you want more. It also teaches you about teamwork. I have always believed that an important individual ingredient to success is learning how to be a great team player. In other words, instead of focusing on how to be successful, you should focus on how to be helpful. If you stay true to that philosophy, things have a way of working out for the best. I want Georgia Tech athletics to be hugely successful! My commitment to support athletics in general and the Edge Center in particular is just my way of trying to be helpful.
5) Is there anything that you would like to add?
I am proud to be part of the Georgia Tech family, I am proud to support this important initiative and I am very excited about the future of our athletic programs and our student-athletes.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.