Jacob Haas, COM 1930
The following is a narrative summarizing the Living History interview with Jacob Haas who attended Georgia Tech in 1926, completed November 10, 1994, at the Alumni Faculty House in Atlanta, Georgia. The subject of the interview is Mr. Haas's life and experiences at Georgia Tech. Mr. Haas begins by explaining that he attended Georgia Tech's Commerce School at the age of 15. He stayed only for a year before transferring to the University of Michigan. He remembers learning how to use a slide rule, taking typing, Spanish, and some rudiments of Accounting, all of which helped him in later business. Mr. Haas then describes the social life at Tech, how it was built around the fraternities. He recalls the initiation process to become a member of Phi Epsilon Pi was quite harsh. He states also that the fraternity houses were old and dilapidated and how he was required to take part in fraternity activities such as the Cake Race. The social life off campus included going to dances that were held every Saturday night. The President of Georgia Tech at the time was Dr. Brittain, and he and his family lived down the street from Mr. Haas. Mr. Hass recalls him as being a very fine gentleman and remembers that he was the individual accredited with the purchase of land that was used to extend the Tech campus from Spring Street to Tech Parkway. Mr. Haas was a local commuter and his father brought him to school everyday. Then after classes Mr. Haas would ride the streetcar home. The biggest thing at Tech was the football games, and Mr. Haas started attending these when he was only seven years old. If Tech were to win a football game, which did not occur very frequently, the Freshmen would parade in downtown Atlanta wearing their nightshirts. Mr. Haas participated in both the Freshmen Swimming team and the Freshmen Baseball team, which nobody paid much attention to at the time. Mr. Haas describes the YMCA as being the social center for the non-fraternity guys and for those that commuted. He remembers frequently playing ping-pong and pool there. Mr. Hass recalls liking George Griffin, the Dean of Students, and having D. M. Smith as a professor. He then discusses all the local places to go eat, recalling that the Varsity was a very popular place. He tells a story about Frank Gordy and his involvement in bootlegging during the prohibition. Mr. Haas then describes the ROTC program as being compulsory and well embraced by the local community. He also mentions his experiences in the military during World War II. Mr. Haas concludes the interview with some recollections about the opening of the Fox Theatre and a cheer the students had for Coach Alexander.
1994 November 10