Lifetime Achievement: David Arnold

From time to time, the GEAC Board of Directors is privileged to honor longstanding excellence and notable achievement within Georgia’s higher education advancement community with the presentation of the GEAC Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, this honor was presented to David Arnold, a former GEAC president who distinguished himself during 24 years of service to the University System of Georgia, first at Georgia Tech and more recently Kennesaw State University.

Many GEAC friends can no doubt call to mind the mental image of David building comradery among the group by strumming his guitar and leading sing-alongs of Country Roads and other classics during the hospitality portion of our annual conferences. More important was his work behind the scenes as president, during which time the very existence of the organization was threatened by a severe economic downtown that forced institutions to curtail travel and professional development expenses, leading to the cancellation of the 2008 Annual Conference.

David’s steady leadership during this difficult period proved critical, and in 2009 the Annual Conference returned, beginning a period of steady growth for GEAC that continues to this day. The robust and growing organization that exists today is a testament to his commitment.

Retirement from Kennesaw State brings a new chapter in David’s life in which he’ll have more time for his family, including the apple of his eye, grandson Logan. As an organization, we thank him for his many contributions and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.

Amelia Gambino, David’s former colleague at Georgia Tech, summed it up best: “He gave us lots to laugh about, a legacy of media expertise, an occasional guitar serenade, and tenacious friendship.”

For that we are forever grateful.