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Southern Company Charitable Foundation Gift to Create Dean’s Chair in College of Engineering

May 19, 2015

Mike Anderson, president and CEO of both Southern Company Charitable Foundation and Georgia Power Foundation, has announced a $5 million gift to establish the Dean’s Chair in the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.

In announcing the gift, Anderson recognized that Georgia Power and Georgia Tech have been linked for more than 125 years. “As we look ahead to our shared future, and to further advance our ongoing relationship and partnership with Georgia Tech,” Anderson said, “I’m pleased that the most recent commitment from the Southern Company Foundation is directed to what is arguably the largest, most diverse, and finest College of Engineering in the nation, if not the world.”

Gary S. May, the current dean of engineering at Georgia Tech, will be the inaugural holder of the Southern Company Chair. “I cannot thank our friends at Southern Company enough,” May said. “I am honored to be the first dean to hold the Southern Company Chair and very much value the partnership we have with Southern Company.”

With this gift, the Southern Company Charitable Foundation has made a tremendous investment in Georgia Tech and the future of the College of Engineering. The gift is structured to provide discretionary funds for the dean to use to continue building on the priorities of the College, which presently include faculty recruitment and retention, graduate student support, student and faculty diversity efforts, and enhancing the student experience on campus.

“Southern Company has created a vital, lasting legacy that provides essential resources for recruiting, retaining and rewarding student and academic leaders,” May said. “This gift is truly an investment in the future of the College.”

Southern Company has a long history of offering support for Georgia Tech, including funding for Georgia Power Professors, research support for the Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Lab and the Strategic Energy Institute, and funds for student scholarships.

“With a strong history of innovation, interdisciplinary activity, and collaboration with government, industry, and other universities,” said Anderson, “Georgia Tech provides a distinctive environment in which corporate partnerships may flourish, creating a brighter future for our region and our nation.”

The Southern Company gift will provide vital resources for ongoing investment in the College and has created a legacy to attract and support future leadership of the College. Anderson announced the gift at the College of Engineering’s Alumni Awards Induction Ceremony in April 2015, and approval was given by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in May.

About the College of Engineering

The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech is the largest engineering program in the country and produces more women and minority engineers than any other college in the United States. The College started in 1888 and now enrolls more than 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The College is a global leader in engineering education and research and is home to the fourth-ranked undergraduate engineering program in the nation. All of its engineering schools are ranked in the top 10 in their fields.

Gary S. May was named dean of the College in July 2011. May received his B.E.E. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988 and 1991, respectively. His field of research is computer-aided manufacturing of integrated circuits. He has authored more than 200 technical publications, contributed to 15 books, and holds a patent on this topic. He has also participated in acquiring over $49 million in research funding.

About Southern Company

Southern Company is an American electric utility holding company based in the southern United States. It is headquartered in Atlanta, with executive offices also located in Birmingham, Alabama. The company is currently the 16th largest utility company in the world and the fourth largest in the U.S, and it has more than 4.4 million customers and nearly 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Platts' 2011 Power Company of the Year and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings.