Georgia Tech History and Traditions

Tech cheerleaders ride the Ramblin' Wreck
Tech Cheerleaders ride the Ramblin' Wreck, the
1930 Ford Model A Sport coupe that serves as
the official mascot of the student body

Founded on October 13, 1885, the Georgia School of Technology opened its doors in October 1888 to 84 students. The School’s creation signaled the beginning of the transformation of the agrarian South to an industrial economy. During its first 50 years, Tech grew from a narrowly focused trade school to a regionally recognized technological university.

In 1948, the School’s name was changed to the Georgia Institute of Technology to reflect a growing focus on advanced technological and scientific research. Women students were admitted in 1952, and in 1961 Georgia Tech became the first university in the Deep South to admit African American students without a court order.

In recent years, Georgia Tech has been a national leader in managing the global transition from an industrial economy to an information economy. Throughout its long history, Georgia Tech has always focused its efforts on preparing students to use their innovative skills and strong work ethic to solve real-world problems and improve the lives of people around the globe.

From the world-famous “Ramblin’ Wreck” fight song to the Ramblin’ Wreck Parade held every Homecoming to the fun and festivities of RATS Week, the Tech campus is steeped in time-honored traditions that students embrace from generation to generation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Buzz?

Buzz—who made his first campus appearance in 1980—is the world-famous and beloved mascot of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Buzz gets Tech fans cheering at nearly all the Institute's intercollegiate sporting events.

What’s the origin of the term “Ramblin’ Wreck”?

The words and music for Tech’s world-famous “Ramblin’ Wreck” fight song were inspired by an old folk ballad, “The Sons of the Gamboliers.” The name Ramblin' Wreck gained widespread acceptance in the 1920s when Tech graduates began building makeshift mechanical buggies to improve a poor transportation system in South America.

What is RATS Week?

RATS (Recently Acquired Tech Students) Week is Tech’s orientation week for new students, when freshmen learn all about Tech campus traditions.

Map of Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology
North Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: 404-894-2000