Earlier this week, Georgia Tech student-athletes were given the unique opportunity to interact and gain advice from several student-athlete alumni at an annual Georgia Tech Athletic Association Alumni Dinner.
“Having the presence of several successful student-athlete alumni speaks volumes to the unwavering love that graduates have for the Institute,” noted Tech cross country athlete Alex Grady. “It was both encouraging and inspiring to see a support system that is willing to help you grow and enhance your network.”
Each year, GTAA invites Tech student-athlete alumni back to The Flats to socialize and spread knowledge and advice with the current Tech student-athletes. The event, held in the Edge Center Dining Hall, drew over 20 Georgia Tech alumni from across various industries back to The Flats, allowing student-athletes to network with alumni from a wide range of business backgrounds.
"For those of us fortunate to participate in college athletics and make it through the rigors of Tech’s academic standards, there’s a bond that creates a family connection; regardless of sport, degree or graduation year,” commented Mack Reese (1979-85), a former track & field athlete and current President of Gateway Development Services, Inc. “Tech student-athlete alumni want to give back and help the next generation of student-athletes and now, thanks to the Networking Dinner, there’s a forum to facilitate that connection.”
One particular current student-athlete, Haley Stumvoll, expressed interest in being an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) and was introduced with women’s basketball alum Jessica Williams (2003-06), a current ATC in Atlanta. Williams offered advice on the industry, training required and a normal day as an air traffic controller in one of the busiest cities in the United States.
“It was really fun meeting former student-athletes and hearing about what they’ve done since college,” said Stumvoll, a sophomore on the women’s track & field team. “I was so excited to meet Jessica because she is an Air Traffic Controller and I’ve never been able to sit down with someone in that field before. She was great and talked about different things I could do in ATC, which I hadn’t realized before. It got me excited about some opportunities in the future and I’m really glad we had this opportunity.”
“Tonight was a great event for the student-athletes and myself,” noted Williams, a 2006 graduate with a BS in management. “I was able to reconnect with some classmates I haven’t connected with in a while and also interact with some of Tech’s best student-athletes. Alumni of Tech are employed across many industrial platforms and it is extremely beneficial for student-athletes to make those connections with the alumni. It was a great evening and I was intrigued to meet Haley who wants to be an air traffic controller, so we had a great conversation about the industry.”
The event was open to all current Tech student-athletes. A second Networking Dinner will take place later in the semester.
Below is a list of Georgia Tech alumni that returned for the event:
Hayley Catherine Downs