This collection contains images relating to Alvin M. Ferst, Jr.'s involvement in Georgia Tech and the Atlanta community, including the development of the Georgia Tech Research Park.
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
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This collection contains 9 items relating to Alvin M. Ferst, Jr.'s involvement in Georgia Tech and the Atlanta community. The materials include both color and black and white photographs, color photocopies, and an oversized blackline map. There are several items pertaining to the development of the Georgia Tech Research Park, as well as a map depicting the proposed Tech development of the Atlantic Steel property. Other images relate to the Atlanta metro area.
Alvin M. (Alvin Meinhard) Ferst, Jr. (1922-2009) was the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Rich's Department Store. He worked with the company for 35 years, overseeing the expansion of Rich's from its one downtown store to numerous satellite locations. During and after his career at Rich's, he was an active donor and advisor at his alma mater, the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Ferst, an Atlanta native, was born May 6, 1922. He grew up in the Druid Hills neighborhood, and lived on Springdale Road, near Emory University. Like many men in his family, Ferst attended Georgia Tech, where he majored in Industrial Management. While at Tech, he was a member of the tennis team, ANAK, Omicron Delta Kappa, and President of Phi Epsilon Pi and the Bulldog Club. Graduating in February 1943, Ferst went on to join the Philco Corporation as an industrial engineer, but soon joined the Navy as a member of the Seabees.
Returning to Atlanta in 1946, Ferst began work at Rich's department store as an industrial engineer and manager. While at Rich's, he oversaw the store's expansion to several satellite locations, including the mall anchor at Lenox Square in Atlanta in 1959. At the time of his retirement from Rich's in the early 1980s, he held the position of Executive Vice President and Treasurer. After retiring, he began his own business and real estate consulting firm, Alvin Ferst Associates, Inc., which he ran for ten years.
While at Rich's, Ferst met his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Boyette. They married on March 15, 1950. The couple had three daughters, Mary Lane (b. 1952), and twins Doris Leslie and Sylvia Leigh (b. 1954). Charlotte Ferst died in 2003.
A distinguished alumnus of Georgia Tech, Ferst was an active donor, fund-raiser, and leader in the Tech community. His activities included membership on the Centennial Campaign Steering Committee (1983-1988), the Georgia Tech Foundation (1969-1991), and the Georgia Tech Alumni Association (formerly known as the Georgia Tech National Alumni Association) (1961-1968). He served as President of the Alumni Association (1966-1967) and President of the Georgia Tech Foundation (1979-1981). For fiscal year 1976, Ferst was appointed by President Gerald Ford to head the National Alliance of Businessmen in Metro Atlanta. He received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from Georgia Tech in 1983. The Alvin M. Ferst Leadership and Entrepreneurship Scholarship, given annually to a Tech junior or senior who demonstrates his or her outstanding achievements in entrepreneurship and campus or community leadership, was founded by Charlotte Ferst in 1994.
Besides his many activities with Tech, Ferst was an active civic leader, including service as the Vice President of the Metro Atlanta YMCA, President of the Atlanta Kiwanis Foundation, Treasurer of Literacy Action, and Director of United Way.
Ferst died on September 30, 2009 at the age of 87.
The items in this collection are arranged by subject: development of the Georgia Tech Research Park, other Georgia Tech collaborations, and the Atlanta community.
A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
Mandi D. Johnson processed these visual materials in December 2011.