Atlanta History

The potential for ARCS Foundation Atlanta was recognized by our founder, Mary O’Connor, in 1990. Mary invited fifteen founding members who shared her enthusiasm for ARCS Foundation to join her in her efforts to establish a chapter in Atlanta. The founding members invited twenty charter members to join them and we were on our way.

FOUNDING MEMBERS Paula Bevington, Mary O’Connor (Chapter Founder), Trudy Huger, Michelle Nordin, Kitty Hawks, Beth Barnett, Sue Wieland and Clare Whitfield.   FOUNDING MEMBERS NOT PICTURED: Kathy Ashe, Jean Brumley*, Patsy Drummond, Mary Gellerstedt, Frannie Graves*, Carol Kranig**,    Gay Love**, Carol Teem.  (*deceased, **no longer members)

By February 1992, the Atlanta Chapter had sixty-three members. The membership brought together a broad spectrum of women.  They all agreed that this Chapter would be a great asset to the Atlanta Community. 

The Atlanta Chapter strives to provide the members an exciting array of field trips to stimulate interest and increase knowledge in the areas of science, engineering and medicine. In addition, we work to develop diversity in our academic partner selection process, while maintaining the tradition of excellence of ARCS Foundation.

In 1992 the Chapter was incorporated. Mary O’Connor was elected the first president. 

Three schools were approved for funding: Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse College. 

At our first Scholar Awards Luncheon, on October 20, 1992, three scholars received awards of $5000 each. They were David Austin, Emory; Deborah Kilpatrick, Georgia Tech; and Bryan Hurley Derrickson, Morehouse College. 

In 2000, the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute at the University of Georgia was approved for funding. 

Since its inception, ARCS Foundation Atlanta has awarded a cumulative total of over $4.8 million to scholars pursuing studies in science, engineering and medical research. We are grateful to our members, community individuals, corporations and foundations who have provided such generous support for our scholars. 

Thanks from Alum Collette Miller, Postdoctoral Fellow at US Environmental Protection Agency

"Thank you all for reaching out and the support over the years. It's been a rocky few years following the passing of my doctoral research mentor a few weeks prior to my dissertation defense. Trying to rebound from his loss, finishing my dissertation, and figuring out where to go from there was challenging to say the least ... Thank you again for your support. Honestly I did not know how much I would have ended up relying on the generous gift that the Atlanta Chapter of ARCS Foundation provided when it was first received. However, it was vital in helping me launch a new chapter in my career when I found my plans collapse when my mentor passed. Again, THANK YOU!"

Thanks from Scholar Natale Sciolino

"Thank you dearly for your generous contribution to my scientific development. Your contribution has had a profound impact on me at both a personal and professional level. It is a privilege to be an ARCS Scholar, and with this support I will continue to pursue research that aims to advance Neuroscience."

Thanks from Alum Courtney Pollard, III, MD, PhD, MedStar Harbor Hospital, Baltimore

Let me start by saying how thankful I am for being selected as an ARCS scholar.  I consider it one of my greatest achievements thus far and I am immensely proud to count myself as one of the amazing group of students that your organization selected to receive this award.  I want you ladies to know you are doing an outstanding job!  You all are embarked on a truly altruistic endeavor and it is my fervent prayer that this organization thrives for years to come.