When the G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Scholarship Program was established in 2007, Tom Gay, IM 1966, was among the first wave of donors to step up with a gift to get the program off the ground, creating the L. Thomas Gay Georgia Tech Promise Endowment.
Now, he is adding to his endowment fund with a significant estate commitment, ensuring that even more Georgia scholars will have the opportunity to obtain a debt-free Georgia Tech education regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.
“I have seen the value of a Georgia Tech education,” says Gay, who has been president of Gay Construction Company for more than 40 years. “I’ve seen the value for myself and countless other friends and alumni, and I want to do all I can to make sure that others will have the same opportunity in the future.”
The students that Gay supports through Tech Promise might have the opportunity, like he did, to be involved in the Student Government Association, join a fraternity, or participate in the Navy ROTC program. In fact, he has never forgotten that a Navy ROTC scholarship enabled him to attend Georgia Tech. After graduation Gay went on to receive a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served for four years.
“That was an important outgrowth of my Georgia Tech experience,” he recalls. “All those things I did required that I form study habits, schedule my time, and manage extracurricular activities. They helped me mature, helped me acquire skills beyond academics, and taught me self-discipline.”
Under his leadership, his eponymous construction company, founded by his father, Logan T. Gay Sr., Class of 1941, has built a long-standing reputation for excellence and has won numerous awards for its sustainable LEED-certified projects as well as historic preservations. Gay also builds community through gifts and service to cultural, medical, religious, and civic organizations. He has received the Global Community Service Award from Villa International Atlanta and the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
Scholarship support for deserving students is more important than ever, Gay points out, now that rising costs are pricing more and more families out of the lifechanging advantages of higher education in general and Georgia Tech in particular.
“Tech Promise is a wonderful legacy we can leave that will enable future generations to also have these opportunities,” he says. “It’s a great way to acknowledge the impact that Georgia Tech has had on our lives.”