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 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.

Thanks from Scholar Kira Newman

"I can only begin to express how grateful I am for the freedom to pursue an independent line of research without having to worry about how I will pay for the necessary lab supplies or training. This award is allowing me to answer broader and more valuable questions than I had previously thought possible... Thank you so much for your kindness, generosity, and belief in my potential as a scientist."

Thanks from Alum Eliot Quon, Postdoctoral Researcher at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

ARCS Foundation has been a highlight of my academic career thus far, thank you for the support!