On October 17 and 18, the Renewable Bioproducts Institute celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Institute of Paper Chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The celebration to recognize the many contributions to the forest industry drew former Paper Institute presidents, alumni, professors, students, and notably, Gary Black, the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture. The speaking events included a retrospective of 90 years and the future of the paper industry, history of the museum’s pilot paper machine, and the importance of forest products for Georgia and the United States.
Commissioner Black provided thoughtful insights about crops in Georgia and the health of our forests. Jim Ferris, Ph.D. (MS Class of ’69; PhD ’74), former president of the Institute of Paper Science and Technology, was in attendance of the celebration and called it an “excellent event,” and that he left “feeling very positive about the future.”
The celebration also included letters from former faculty and friends that were unable to attend but sent their congratulation letters that were shared with the crowd. This included letters from Nick Triantafillopoulos (Ph.D. ’89), John McKibbon (MS ’87; Ph.D. ’94), Art Ragauskas and Ted Wegner.
A highlight of the celebration was the tour of the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking. It was an interactive tour with Commissioner Black getting his hands wet making paper and touring the museum. In addition, tours of the Institute’s innovative research were provided at the Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex and the Marcus Nanotechnology building.
The celebration concluded after the tours on the evening of October 18 with a reception and dinner.
“This celebration was a special opportunity to recognize the people and technical contributions of the Institute of Paper Chemistry and its successor organizations, the Institute of Paper Science and Technology and the Renewable Bioproducts Institute,” says Meisha Shofner, Interim Director of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech. “As the industry has changed and evolved over 90 years, the Institute has been a reflection of those changes while continuing to produce innovative research and train students to pursue careers in the bioproducts field. We were honored to share this occasion with our community and look forward to celebrating again on the 100th anniversary.”