Charles A. Smithgall Jr. Student Services Building
- The building was dedicated May 2,1997
- Known as "The Flag Building" because of the 112 flags that hang in its atrium
The Charles A. Smithgall Jr. Student Services Building is located in the center of campus, next to the Student Center and the Ferst Theater. It houses the Georgia Tech Counseling Center and other offices related to student programming, such as the Office of New Student and Sophomore Programs and the Greek Affairs office. Over 112 flags hang in the atrium representing the different countries that Georgia Tech students come from; thus, many students know the Smithgall Student Services Building as ‘The Flag Building.’ In 1991, the Vice President of Student Services, Mr. Charlie Schroeder, assigned the project of purchasing, hanging, and arranging these flags to Mr. Miller Templeton, who at that time was Director of International Student Services and Programs. He organized a team of international students to design the plaques for the atrium, telling the unique story of the flags and how special they are to students. To this day, international students are proud to see their countries’ flags hanging, and many students challenge each other to learn the names of each flag.
In 1996 when Atlanta hosted the Olympics, the governments of China and Taiwan both objected to having the other’s flag hung in the Olympic Village, although the flags had nothing to do with the Olympics and only to do with Georgia Tech. In this case, politics triumphed over tradition and the flags were removed for the duration of the Games.
Charles A. Smithgall Jr. graduated from Georgia Tech, GS 1933, in just three and a half years. During his time on campus, Mr. Smithgall was a member of Phi Sigma Theta and ANAK. He was also an editor of the T-Book and manager of the baseball team.