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Bob Torras: Creating Scholarship Opportunities for Coastal Georgia

High school students from coastal Georgia who want to study business at Georgia Tech now have a scholarship opportunity, thanks to the generosity of Robert M. Torras Sr., IE 1955.
Bob Torras and Dean Alavi

Bob Torras and Dean Alavi in May 2019

Students from coastal Georgia who want to study business at Georgia Tech have a scholarship opportunity thanks to the generosity of Robert M. Torras Sr., IE 1955.

The Robert M. Torras Sr. Scholarship Endowment Fund was established in 2019 for high school students with demonstrated need who wish to attend Georgia Tech. First preference is given to qualified students from Glynn County, with second preference to applicants from McIntosh, Camden, Wayne, and Brantley counties. Students pursuing degrees in the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business receive additional preference.

Torras, a longtime resident of St. Simons, Georgia, launched Torras Properties in 1956 and built the business into a leading coastal Georgia company that includes commercial real estate, residential construction, manufacturing, private investing, and hospitality interests. Kennesaw-based Torco Inc., was one of Torras’ first acquisitions. In 1961, he purchased a then-underperforming manufacturing company and transformed it into the state’s leading producer of precision machine parts. Torco Inc. currently occupies a 61,000-square-foot location near the foot of historic Kennesaw Mountain and employs more than 100.

The Torras family has a legacy of service and accomplishment. Torras' father, Fernando Torras, CE 1906, was the namesake and engineer for the F.J. Torras Causeway that connects Brunswick to St. Simons Island. Robert Torras has continued the family’s commitment to service as an engaged community leader.

He has been instrumental in helping a committee of civic leaders plan a proposed veterans memorial park in downtown Brunswick. In addition to his own business success, Torras has been recognized by the National Federation of Professional Women’s Clubs for his commitment to advancing the status of employed women.

With this scholarship, Torras continues his longstanding support for both coastal Georgia and the Institute. In an interview with The Brunswick News, Torras said, “Technology is the future for all young people if they want to emerge from the crowd. With this scholarship, they will have the opportunity to go to one of the best technological schools in the country.” The Torras Endowment started by funding one scholarship in the first year, with an additional scholarship awarded each year for the next three years. After that time, four scholarships per year will be awarded.

“Thanks to Bob Torras’ generosity, the next generation of leaders will be afforded a great opportunity to attend a world-renowned university,” said Maryam Alavi, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair in the Scheller College of Business. “With support like this from our alumni, we are able to continue to attract talented undergraduate students to Scheller and develop them into the principled and tech-savvy business leaders of tomorrow.”

This article was originally published in the 2019 summer issue of Georgia Tech's Philanthropy Quarterly Magazine.

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