Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Administration Building
- Georgia Tech’s tradition of stealing the ‘T’ originated with the ‘T’ atop Tech Tower. In April 1969, a secret group of fraternity brothers calling themselves the “Magnificent Seven” stole the ‘T’ to commemorate Institute President Edwin Harrison’s retirement. The ‘T’ was returned by helicopter at the request of Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen.
The oldest and best known landmark on the campus of Georgia Tech was renamed for one of the Institute’s most generous and least-known donors, Mrs. Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans. The building, commonly known as “Tech Tower,” is the second building constructed on Georgia Tech’s campus and is the oldest surviving building. Originally named the Academic Building, Tech’s first students attended classes in Tech Tower. Across from Tech Tower sat the Shop Building, where students would put to practice their engineering knowledge learned in class. The Shop Building has since been torn down. Tech Tower’s distinctive lettering spelling TECH on all four sides of the tower was added in 1918 by the Class of 1922 and were originally made of wood painted white and gold. Throughout the years, Tech Tower has undergone several renovations and now serves as an administration building. It is the hub for the Georgia Institute of Technology Historic District which includes Tech Tower and the surrounding 9 acres, Tech’s original campus.
Born Letitia Pate in 1872 and raised in Thaxton, Va., Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans may be the most generous and most mysterious donor in Georgia Tech’s history. At a young age, Mrs. Evans married Joseph B. Whitehead, the man who conceive the idea of bottling Coca-Cola. Whitehead’s company, The Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company, quickly became successful, to say the least. After Mr. Whitehead’s untimely death in 1906, Mrs.