The Petersons

For the past 10 years, almost everything in President G.P. “Bud” Peterson’s and First Lady Valerie H. Peterson’s lives has revolved around Georgia Tech. From the heady days of Campaign Georgia Tech to dealing with more sobering issues such as students’ emotional health and well-being, the Petersons have been present and engaged. 

While the Petersons will be remembered for many contributions to the Institute, their commitment to students is particularly noteworthy. They have been stalwart supporters of the student experience at Tech and both are frequently found at athletic events, student competitions, and performances; they have also actively mentored students and hosted several student groups at the Georgia Tech Residence.

It is no surprise that Tech instituted policies offering automatic acceptance and four-year in-state tuition scholarships to all Atlanta Public School valedictorians and salutatorians — and offering automatic acceptance to valedictorians and salutatorians in every accredited high school throughout Georgia — during the Petersons’ tenure. In 2018, Initiative 2020 took the commitment further, making the category of student support, which emphasizes establishment of permanent endowed scholarships, one of the Institute’s main fundraising priorities. 

The Petersons have focused their unwavering energy on the Georgia Tech community for a decade, and now that community is saying thank you through the establishment of the G.P. “Bud” Peterson and Valerie H. Peterson Scholarship Endowment Fund. This scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens with demonstrated financial need. 

At the June meeting of the Georgia Tech Foundation, the trustees granted $5 million to the Peterson Scholarship Initiative. Subsequently, more than 100 individual current and emeritus trustees, joined by members of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association, have made additional gifts and commitments of $12.1 million. “Taken together, the $17.1 million total will create the largest scholarship endowment fund at Georgia Tech,” said Foundation Chair John F. Brock III. “And it happened in just eight weeks.”

To inquire about making a gift in support of the G.P. “Bud” Peterson and Valerie H. Peterson Scholarship Endowment Fund, contact any development officer or Vice President for Development Barrett H. Carson at or 404.894.1868.