Alvin Ferst, IM 1943


Alvin Ferst, IM 1943


The following is an oral history interview with Alvin M. Ferst conducted on February 6, 1996, at his office in Atlanta, Georgia, by Marilyn J. Somers. The subject of the interview is student life at Georgia Tech. Mr. Ferst was born in Atlanta and was very influenced by his two uncles to attend Georgia Tech. He had the ability to experience Tech before being a student by attending football games and seeing Charles Lindbergh give a speech at Grant Field. Mr. Ferst mentions Dr. Crenshaw and a trip he took with Dean Field for an Interfraternity Council Conference. Mr. Ferst tried the majors of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering before he stayed with Industrial Management. Throughout the interview, Mr. Ferst comments on how Atlanta used to be. He reminisces of his time with sports, and his attempt to join the basketball team. He mentions Coach Alexander and "Shorty" Bortell when he thinks back to these days. Mr. Ferst was involved in many student activities, such as the Bulldog Club. He was a part of a campaign that raised money to build a student center for the campus, and comments on Dr. Brittian's assistance with this fundraiser. He tells a story of Mr. Vernon Crawford's hearing, and the how great D.M. Smith was as a teacher. Mr. Ferst talks about Joe Guthridge, who was very important to Tech, and how they started the $1000 Club. He talks about Bob Wallace and searching for a job after graduation. Initially, poor eyesight hindered Mr. Ferst from joining the service, but he was eventually able to become a Naval Seabee. After his time there, he returned to job hunting, and ended up working for Frank Neely, of Rich's Department Store. He remembers how Atlanta used to be, Atlantans support for Tech, and the premiere of "Gone with the Wind." He tells stories of President Carter, Bobby Jones, and Dean Griffin. He emphasizes the strong contributions of the Woodruff brothers and their affect on the city, along with the importance of Police Chief Herbert Jenkins. Mr. Ferst extensively talks about the Presidents of Tech and their value to the school. He concludes the interview by talking about his uncle Frank Ferst who influenced his education at Georgia Tech.


1996 February 08