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 2019, our chapter awarded over $461,000 to 57 scholars from our four academic partner schools.  

Since its inception, ARCS Foundation Atlanta has awarded a cumulative total of over $5.7 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 Scholar Laura Redmond

"I want to thank you again for supporting my career development, and I look forward to encouraging the development of future scientists as an ARCS Scholar Alum."

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 Monica Gerth, Research Fellow at University of Otago, New Zealand

My ARCS scholar award was tremendously important to me not just financially, but it was also a huge confidence boost/validation.