H. Francis “Fran” Brantley, TEXT 1964, understands the profound impact financial support can have on a student’s life.

Born in the small cotton-mill town of Mooresville, North Carolina, Brantley was determined to be the first member of his family to earn a college degree. However, higher education seemed financially unattainable—until he received a generous co-op offer from Burlington Industries. Becoming the textile company’s first co-op student allowed him to attend Georgia Tech.

The co-op sponsorship shaped Brantley’s professional trajectory. “Textiles turned out to be an excellent gift—I do indeed call it a gift—that led to a really enjoyable and fruitful career,” he said.

His productive career began at DuPont’s Textile Fibers department, where Brantley’s assignments included process control, research/technical (where he developed protective fabrics for troops in Vietnam), business planning, and sales/marketing across several end-uses, including the Carpet Fibers division. After DuPont, he moved into the carpet industry and dedicated 35years in executive management for Shaw Industries, West-Point Pepperell, Brantley Carpets, and J&J Industries.

The experiences and skills Brantley gained at Georgia Tech directly contributed to his professional success. “Tech prepared me to meet and overcome challenges and taught me how to solve problems,” he reflected. “Those lessons helped me not only career-wise but also with managing my life.”

Brantley decided to pay it forward by helping Georgia Tech students access the same opportunities he received. In 2006, he established his first endowed scholarship to attract promising high school and college students to the textiles industry.

“We were living in Dalton, Georgia, where most of the world’s carpet is still produced,” he recalled. “But our industry wasn’t attracting northwest Georgia’s brightest students. So, I began an endowment specifically aimed at our geography and Materials Science and Engineering students.” Brantley’s scholarship has since supported 19 students at Georgia Tech, many of whom have benefitted from multiple years of scholarship funding.

Brantley strengthened his ties with the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)again in 2013 when he joined the External Advisory Board. “During those meetings, I learned about the great financial need at Tech to keep our graduate program competitive, so I established another endowment,” he said. As part of his 50th Reunion gift, Brantley directed a portion of his IRA assets to the Georgia Tech Foundation after his lifetime; this gift will one day establish an endowment to support graduate fellowships in MSE.

In the meantime, Brantley provides annual support for graduate students, which offers MSE “the benefits of an endowment without being an endowment.” He also plans to establish another scholarship endowment for the benefit of MSE undergraduates, this time a Dean’s Scholarship together with his son Allen Brantley, M.D. (PTCh 1992).

Beyond his financial contributions, Brantley has promoted Tech to countless young people. He and his wife Brenda enjoy speaking with high school students about their plans and encouraging them to consider Georgia Tech. He remarked, “Alumni have the best one-on-one opportunity to educate young people about how broad Tech is now in terms of degrees and how beautiful and welcoming the campus and facilities are.”

Brantley hopes his many gifts will allow more students to enjoy the benefits he received from his time at Tech. “Merely being a graduate of Georgia Tech opened so many doors for me,” he said. “I cannot credit my college experience enough for my ability to give back.”

For more information about scholarships, fellowships, or other ways to support MSE, please contact Lauren Kennedy, director of development, at or 404-894-6345