The immediate goal of ARCS® Foundation was announced on the Caltech campus on September 18, 1958: “…raise money for scholarships and fellowships [now known as scholar awards] at Caltech…for the support of both undergraduate and graduate students.”
At the first community event to discuss aims and procedures, Caltech President DuBridge spoke of current and projected achievements in the world of science. Local businesspeople saw the benefits of ARCS Foundation and made corporate and personal donations. According to one thank you letter, dated December 22, 1958, a donation of stock worth $5,378 was “enough to give a full-tuition scholarship to an entering freshman next fall for the full four years of his undergraduate work.”
In an April 21, 1960, article in The Los Angeles Times with the headline “$43,222 Raised to Aid Science Studies,” it is reported that ARCS Foundation “…has received the blessing of President Eisenhower, who lauded ARCS Foundation on its help in stimulating scholarship and high-level achievement on the part of young people.” In September 1960, the national organization was established in Los Angeles, and The Los Angeles Times stated, “The foundation’s goal is to spread eastward, and through women’s efforts across the country, provide more funds for outstanding students in leading scientific educational institutions.”
Scholar awards were given to science students at Caltech and Harvey Mudd College, and the scholars were feted at annual dinners featuring such prominent guests as aviation pioneer General James Doolittle and astronaut Deke Slayton.