Anniversaries typically bring reflections of the past, but the marking of GRA’s 25th anniversary at the May 21 Board of Trustees meeting was just as much about the organization’s present and future.
The first showing of a new video
— featuring interviews with nine trustees, past and present – examined where the Alliance is today and imagined where Georgia will be tomorrow with GRA’s continued work. Trustees spoke to how GRA has fostered job creation, enriched the state’s reputation and laid the foundation for future economic growth.
At a luncheon that followed the business meeting, three speakers underscored GRA’s importance and exhorted leaders to write the next chapter of the Alliance. Ken Ostrowski
, director of McKinsey and Company – which conducted the study that gave rise to GRA’s 1990 launch – emphasized the importance of university research to the state’s future. “At the end of the day,” he said, “research is the lifeblood.”
University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby
brought greetings from former Gov. Zell Miller, whom he
praised for “pursuing significant funding to launch GRA,” despite the fact that the state was in a recession in the early ’90s. “The seven little words [Gov. Miller] never wanted to hear were ‘We’ve never done it that way before,’” Huckaby said. "That [thinking] still applies today."
And former University of Georgia president Charles Knapp
said collaboration is both GRA’s legacy and key to future success. “We’ve had all these people working together, and if you’re looking for the magic elixir of GRA, that’s what it is,” Knapp said. “We must continue to think outside boundary conditions and look around the corner for what’s next.”