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A Tribute to Susan McGonigle

Posted on Monday, October 12, 2020

Upon receiving the gavel from outgoing ARCS president Susan McGonigle, incoming president Leslie Petter presented Susan with a gift from the membership with the following tribute.

“I am delighted to accept the ARCS gavel because it gives me the authority to perform my first official duty which is to thank Susan for serving as our president.  It is tradition for the president-elect to select a gift to be given from the membership to the outgoing president. 

This bowl, made by Beatriz Ball, is a symbol of what Susan has been to ARCS.  Susan has been a shining example of what it means to hold a large responsibility in a relaxed and graceful way.  The waves around the side of the bowl represent the work of ARCS, which comes in waves and the whole board plays a part.

The waves of work begin in the summer with the Directory, then we admit the new members and introduce them in the fall.  Next come the waves of the September and October Board Meetings when we approve the budget.  Then the Nominating Committee gets to work.  A big wave hits in November with the Scholar Awards Luncheon.  The Educational Events happen, the fall, winter and spring newsletters need to be written.

Then there’s the December Board Meeting and the January General Membership Meeting.  Membership renewals and dues collection starts in January.   The Allocations Committee meets, then we present the slate and the results of the allocations meetings at the March Board Meeting.

University Relations gets to work and the site visits to the universities start.  Job descriptions and annual reports need to be collected.  The Annual Meeting and Luncheon needs to be planned.  Then there is the Old Board/New Board Meeting when the positions change, and the process starts all over again.

The planning for all these things is going on simultaneously throughout the year, and when their time comes, they rise up like waves that the president navigates like the captain of a ship.

And there is the constant undercurrent of funds development, the website, keeping in touch with the scholars and scholar alumni, and little things like updating the Policies and Procedures.

And in the midst of managing all of this, Susan oversaw the creation of a Strategic Plan.  She has been an absolutely amazing president!

Susan has been a wonderful captain and a brilliant example of what it means to hold the responsibility of the waves of ARCS.   We are all deeply grateful.”