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This Day in Georgia History

August 17, 1908

State School of Technology Designated

The Georgia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution officially designating what would later be known as Georgia Tech as the State School of Technology. The school had been created by an act of the General Assembly approved Oct. 13, 1885, as a branch of the University of Georgia. The new school was authorized a president and a “local Board of Trustees” that had “immediate control, supervision and management of said school, subject to the general Board of Trustees [of the University of Georgia] of which body they shall be ex-officio members.” This semi-autonomous relationship until an act of 1919 expanded the powers of the local Board of Trustees over the school. In the depths of the Great Depression, Gov. Richard Russell succeeded in getting the General Assembly to reorganize state government. One of changes was to Executive Reorganization Act of 1931, which created a University System of Georgia “to consist of the University of Georgia and all of its branches.” Under the act, Georgia Tech and other state colleges were still listed as branches of the University of Georgia. The reorganization act changed the name of the Trustees of the University of Georgia to Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Prior to 1933, the General Assembly had appropriated money directly to each state college. That ended with an act passed in 1933 providing that all future appropriations would be made in a “lump sum” to the Board of Regents, which would then have the sole power to allocate funds among the various institutions in the University System of Georgia. No longer were Georgia Tech and other state colleges referred to as branches of the University of Georgia. Rather, each was an autonomous institution with its own president reporting directly to the State Board of Regents.