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)

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

In 1992 the Chapter was incorporated and Mary O’Connor was elected the first president. Three schools were approved for funding: Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse College.  In June of 2000, the University of Georgia was also appporved for funding. 

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 2020, our chapter awarded $344,500 to 44 scholars from our four academic partner schools.  

Since its inception, ARCS Foundation Atlanta has awarded a cumulative total of over $6 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 Tim Sampson, Postdoctoral Scholar at Caltech

I am immensely grateful to the ARCS Foundation and Turner Enterprises for making my award possible. I am honored to have been part of the talented and promising group of young researchers from the Atlanta-area!

Thanks from Alum Deborah Kilpatrick, CEO Evidation Health

The work you (ARCS Foundation Atlanta members) have all done is tremendous, and I am so proud to be a part of that legacy.  I hope that my work is making you all feel that there has been a good return on your investment.

Thanks from Scholar Kevin Yehl

"I was very fortunate to be selected as one of this year's ARCS scholars... I plan to pursue an academic career in chemistry... Your support will allow me to continue my biomedical research in developing novel strateigies to treat drug resistant cancers and cardiovascular diseases... Again, thank you so much for your support of the sciences and post graduate education, both of which are very important in keeping America competitive..."