Who We Are


Message from Oregon Chapter's Co-Presidents,
Sue McGrath and Julie Branford

As our Chapter begins its 14th year, we have numerous strengths to build upon.  We are fortunate to have a talented and dedicated statewide membership, our relationship with our university partners continues to be strong, and we have a solid and successful track record of scholar support. 

ARCS Foundation was launched shortly after Sputnik in the late 1950’s. Some concerned, philanthropic women approached the President of Cal Tech, asking what could be done to reassert U.S. leadership in science and engineering. The response: help fund early PhD candidates in science and engineering.  From that beginning, in one location, ARCS Foundation now has 15 chapters throughout the country.  ARCS Foundation Oregon is one of those chapters operating independently under the umbrella of ARCS Foundation, Inc. 

The Oregon Chapter is relatively new to the national network of ARCS chapters, but our members and leaders have led us into being one of the larger chapters, supporting a significant number of scholars.  To help advance science in America, we have supported over 225 PhD candidates with financial support of over $3.6 million since our Chapter was incorporated in 2004. We take great pride in our accomplishments.

ARCS Foundation Oregon supports and nurtures young American women and men in doctoral programs at Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon to take on the science challenges of today and tomorrow. Oregonians are, by nature, pioneering and tenacious, looking for new ideas and ways of improving our lives. More than 130 women in ARCS Oregon are drawn to the bright light generated by the brilliant students we are helping to attract to Oregon. 

There will be a time when renewable energy is abundant and affordable, when cures for common diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS will be found, when clean water will be accessible by all and clean living will be ubiquitous, when mankind will be safe in the face of cataclysmic forces of nature. And the people who will make that happen are researching now to understand the root causes of problems and to apply their intelligence and ingenuity to answer the great questions in science, engineering and medicine. 

Oregon is a land of lush landscapes, environmental conscientiousness, out-of-the-box thinking and fanatical foodies that spawns a welcoming populace, great neighborhoods, community activism and gargantuan local pride. The Oregon Chapter is an organization of generous friends fiercely determined to stimulate our intellectual curiosity. We do that while advocating for groundbreaking discoveries and for placing American scientists at the forefront of their fields. 

Join with us as we advance science in America by becoming a member of the Oregon Chapter or by making a contribution to help support outstanding young researchers who will improve the lives of people here in Oregon and around the world.

Pierre Apostolides - The Cornelia H. Stevens Scholar

"“ARCS is important to me because it reminds me why I wanted to go to graduate school in the first place: Learning new things is very cool and exciting. An organization such as ARCS that exists for the sole purpose of promoting science shows that this passion for discovery is engrained in all of us whether or not we actively pursue a career in pure research. I would especially like to thank my sponsor Cornelia Stevens for her generosity, kindness and her strong interest in the advancement of science.”

Nate Klett – The Ellen & Mark Richardson Scholar

"ARCS support provided me the confidence necessary to be a scientist.  When my experiments aren't working or when I am overwhelmed by the complexity of nature, it's easy to feel worthless.  At times like these, it is helpful to think of the ARCS society and say to myself, "No-- you're not worthless-- rather, there's an entire body of people who think you're quite qualified."  Beyond this, ARCS gave me the chance to meet the lovely Richardsons, and understand OHSU from an entirely different perspective.”

Sarah Hackenmueller – The Chuck & Ellen McClure Scholar

“For me, the ARCS scholar award has been an important confidence builder as I’ve progressed in my thesis training.  Knowing that ARCS members, members of the community, are interested in the work I am doing, and have faith in my abilities is a huge factor that continues to help me stay motivated on this project.   Thank you for your support for the past three years, and for your continued support of graduate students in Oregon.”