Current News

From the President's Desk: Susan McGonigle

Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Dear Members,

2019 is continuing to be a fun and productive year for our Atlanta ARCS chapter. 

After a busy year of fundraising, our chapter will host its 28th annual Scholar Awards Luncheon on November 21.  We will award 57 scholars a total of $461,000 in unrestricted funds to use as they pursue degrees in science, engineering, and medical research. 

Mary and Tom Watson graciously hosted our fall cocktail party in mid- September.   We were pleased to introduce our 6 new members (see article to learn about them!). During the casual evening, everyone enjoyed delicious food provided by Mary Hataway and Soiree Catering Atlanta.   

Suzy Wasserman planned a fun and informative educational event at the Georgia Aquarium on October 22.   Tonya Clauss, DVM, MS, who is Senior Director, Animal Health, and Harry Webb, Project Coordinator, Research & Conservation were the speakers. An optional 45-minute “behind the seas” tour followed. 

On the National front, we had a fabulous All Members Conference in Portland in September.  In addition to enjoying all the beautiful culture and interesting science found in Portland, the National Board held several meetings addressing governance, funds development, and chapter issues.  The following members of our Atlanta ARCS chapter serve on the National Board: Sherry Lundeen, Nancy Chambers, Sara Jean Burke, Carol Stockman, and Andi Purple.   Our chapter won a $2,500 donation to the Atlanta Scholar Fund for having the highest attendance of any chapter at the conference!  The next All Members conference will be held here in Atlanta in the spring of 2021.

Our chapter has undertaken two new initiatives this year:  a PR video and a Strategic Plan.

At the September board meeting, we unveiled our new chapter video.  It showcases some of our fabulous scholars, donors, and chapter members.  Many thanks to Ellen Adair Wyche who has tirelessly spearheaded this undertaking, as well as Debbie Liss and Karen Doolittle for their starring roles.  Please take a look at the video on our chapter home page at and share it with friends who may be interested in our organization.  This video does a wonderful job of telling our story and highlighting the impact ARCS Foundation is having on the future of scientific research.

Atlanta ARCS hired Debra Semans to lead us in a Strategic Planning process.  Lee Doyle and Janie Wilson are co-chairing this project and have spent the summer putting together a committee, as well as identifying other voices that need to be included in the process.  A brief survey was sent to the entire membership; the responses will help guide the strategic plan.  Thank you for taking the time to give us honest and thoughtful feedback.  The success of our plan depends on it.

As you can see, this is a very exciting time to be a member of ARCS Foundation.  There is a lot happening in our chapter, and I want you to be part of it!