iGniTe Summer Launch Program Kicks Off Fourth Year with Hybrid Cohort

iGniTe Summer Launch Program Kicks Off Fourth Year with Hybrid Cohort

by Taylor Gray

On Monday, June 21, over 230 new students and their families made their way to the intersection of Bobby Dodd Way and Techwood Drive.

The residential summer first-year students moved into the Glenn and Towers residence halls to begin their Tech careers in the iGniTe Summer Launch Program, hosted by the Summer and Special Initiatives Office.  

The residential iGniTe students were welcomed by many different members of the Tech community on move-in day, including President Ángel Cabrera who made an appearance to help carry mini fridges and introduce himself to the newest members of campus. After checking in and receiving their room key, Buzzcard, iGniTe t-shirt, and free King of Pops treat, students were free to explore campus— including the newly reopened Brittain Dining Hall— before their mandatory hall meetings later that night.  

The entire 2021 iGniTe cohort was formally welcomed to Tech on Tuesday, June 22, as students gathered in the Ferst Center for the annual iGniTe Welcome Event. Before the event, FASET (Familiarization and Adaptation to the Surroundings and Environs of Tech) leaders and members of SCPC (Student Center Programs Council) and SMILE (Spreading Messages In Love & Encouragement) hosted games outside of the theater to give students the opportunity to mingle and meet one another over rounds of Connect Four and Cornhole.  

While the on-campus iGniTe students shuffled into the theater at 8 p.m. for the official iGniTe Welcome, around 500 students tuned into the hybrid event via livestream. The event featured remarks from Dr. De Morris Walker, Director of Summer and Special Initiatives, Dr. Steven Girardot, Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dr. Steven McLaughlin, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. The trio shared how excited they were to be able welcome students back to campus after a long year of online education.  

Dr. Girardot and Dr. McLaughlin both shared some statistics about the 2021 iGniTe class, including that the program’s 732 participants represent 74 Georgia counties, 33 U.S. states and 23 countries. The most interesting fact was revealed by Dr. McLaughlin who noted that the most common name in the program is “William”, with “Emma” and “Elizabeth” being tied for second.  

After Dr. McLaughlin closed out the program, the stage was handed over to the FASET leaders who hosted their Tech Stories event. Upper class students shared stories on stage about their own experiences at Tech, with themes ranging from finding your passion at Tech to navigating college relationships.  

As the event ended, students made their way back to their residence halls to get ready for their first day of class. The rest of the week was filled with syllabuses, classwork, and an array of iGniTe events for students to attend. Some students took advantage of the virtual iGniTe Speaker Series events while others opted for in-person experiences, including a MARTA Adventure with the Office of International Education and a visit to the Global Growers Kitchen Farm out in Decatur.  

The iGniTe program continues to grow into its fourth year, with over 20% of the incoming first year class starting during the summer. Whether they are living on campus this summer, commuting from around Atlanta or tuning into class from their own homes, the 732 students in this year’s iGniTe cohort are starting off a great summer! 

Want to learn more about iGniTe and other Summer and Special Session Initiatives programs? Visit summer.gatech.edu for more information and follow @GTSummerSession on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for all things summer at Tech! 

Summer and Special Session Initiatives is a part of the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE). Learn more about OUE by following @gtoue on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook


President Cabrera helps on the 2021 iGniTe Move-In Day
(credit: Allison Carter, Institute Communications)

Students pose during the 2021 iGniTe Welcome event hosted in the Georgia Tech Ferst Center. (credit: Taylor Gray, Summer & Special Sessions Intern)