Clough Honored as Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient by the University System of Georgia

Chairman Sachin Shailendra, Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Dr. Wayne Clough, Regent Neil Pruitt and Governor Brian Kemp. (Photo courtesy of the University System of Georgia Foundation)
Chairman Sachin Shailendra, Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Dr. Wayne Clough, Regent Neil Pruitt and Governor Brian Kemp (Photo courtesy of the University System of Georgia Foundation).


President Emeritus G. Wayne. Clough was named the recipient of the University System of Georgia’s Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award, for his leadership and service to public higher education. The Elridge McMillian Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor the USG bestows.

Elridge McMillan, the longest-serving member of the Board of Regents, was the inaugural recipient of the University System of Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In recognition for Regent Emeritus McMillan’s long career serving higher education, the award was officially named The Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. The award is given in recognition of extraordinary service to higher education in Georgia.

From the University System of Georgia Foundation, Inc.:

Dr. Clough served as the 10th President of the Georgia Institute of Technology and as the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. A native of Douglas, he was the first alumnus to serve as president of the Institute having earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1964 and a master’s in the field in 1965. He earned his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. During Dr. Clough’s tenure, Georgia Tech’s national rankings rose into the top 10 among public universities. The student population increased by 38 percent, funding for external research more than doubled, and the Institute served as the Olympic Village for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Two successful national fundraising campaigns resulted in increases in endowed faculty positions, support for student leadership programs, and new cross-disciplinary research initiatives. The G. Wayne Clough Georgia Tech Promise Scholarship was created, allowing financially disadvantaged students to graduate without accruing debt. The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory was created. More than $1 billion dollars was invested in campus improvements, including the Biotechnology Complex, Technology Square, the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, a Campus Recreation Center, and the Undergraduate Learning Commons, which was subsequently named in honor of Dr. Clough.

As Secretary of the Smithsonian, Dr. Clough brought focus to the diverse activities of the world’s largest research and museum complex. His tenure brought an institution-wide commitment to sustainability, formation of an Office of Smithsonian Education, creation of an office for cross-disciplinary research, development of the Marine Global Earth Observatories network, establishment of a systematic set of research partnerships, and a framework for the Digital Smithsonian. More than $1 billion in philanthropic gifts raised during his tenure created new endowed positions for museum and research center directors, scholarships and fellowships, capital projects and over 600 exhibitions.

Dr. Clough has earned numerous awards and honors. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and awarded its Arthur M. Beuche Medal for national service in public policy. He has received nine awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers, including two Norman Medals, and the OPAL Award for lifetime achievement.

He received Georgia Tech’s Joseph M. Petit Award for Distinguished Service and was named to the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the Medal of the Foreign Policy Association. He was awarded the Ralph Coates Roe Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He also received the President’s Medal of Emory University and the Silver Order of the de Fleury Medal of the Army Corps of Engineers for his service in the rebuilding of the hurricane protection system in New Orleans. He was also recognized with an Engineering Excellence and Leadership Award from George Mason University. Dr. Clough has received 12 Honorary Doctorates from universities and colleges.