Cabrera, who was hired in 2019 to lead Georgia Tech, said expanding access to more students is a priority. Companies that recruit Georgia Tech graduates also want to hire people of all backgrounds, he said.
The campaign will raise funds for need- and merit-based scholarships, as well as invest in student entrepreneurship and international recruitment.
The charity will also support faculty chairs and professors, research facilities, intercollegiate athletics, campus enhancements, new global partnerships, and local programs that focus on science education in Atlanta high schools and state school districts.
The research, conducted at Georgia Tech, aims to address some of the world’s biggest challenges, from cybersecurity to tackling infectious diseases, Cabrera said. He said it also spurred economic growth in Atlanta and Georgia.
Georgia Tech isn’t the only Metro Atlanta University with an ambitious fundraising goal. Last fall, Emory University announced the second phase of a $4 billion campaign. Earlier this year, Morehouse College announced a $500 million campaign. Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University also recently set goals to raise $250 million each.
Georgia Tech’s latest philanthropic push comes after raising $1.8 billion in a campaign that ended in 2015. A spokesman said the effort exceeds the university’s goal of $300 million.
This time around, officials considered a target amount between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, a limit based on the school’s needs and expectations of how much they can raise. As the administrators discussed the two figures, an idea emerged that was unique to the school known for science, engineering and computing.
“There’s a very interesting number in the middle,” Cabrera said.
Specific dollar amount? $2,147,483,647.
Georgia Tech said in its announcement, “This figure was the largest known prime number by mathematicians from 1772 to 1867 and represents the largest value in computer science that a signed 32-bit integer field can hold.”
Cabrera said, “in pure Georgia Tech spirit” made the decision easy.