ARCS Light Award Recipients

Each year the ARCS Light award is given to a member of each ARCS Foundation chapter who has displayed commitment and long-term service at the chapter level. The recipients are honored for serving in board/leadership positions, establishing Scholar funds and collaborating with university partners, chairing special events and recruiting new members, and providing expertise in chapter operations.


2018 - 2019 San Diego ARCS Light Recipient:



Peggy Hanley, our 2018-19 ARCS Light, has been an outstanding and invaluable member of ARCS since 2009. She has served in numerous positions on the Board including VP of Strategic Planning for 3 years, where she used good management skills and insight to help move the Chapter into the future. She has facilitated two Board retreats and is currently on the Membership Committee.

She was born in upstate New York, educated in Preparatory schools in New York City and graduated from Hunter College, City University of New York with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her specialty in psychiatric nursing led her to train in New York’s Bellevue Hospital, one of the world largest hospitals. After graduation, she worked for the Department of Health near Washington DC as a public health nurse for the inner-city population.

When Peggy moved to San Diego, she worked as a nurse at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry.  It was here she met her future husband, Hamp Atkinson, a Doctor of Psychiatry. 

As a young mother, she earned a Masters degree in social work from SDSU, then practiced as a psychotherapist and psychiatric social worker at Kaiser-Permanente and at UCSD. Later she earned a Masters degree in Business Administration at SDSU and began working as a consultant for large healthcare, government, and business organizations. She was a Unit Vice President for Sharp Healthcare and co-founded the Centre for Organization Effectiveness, working as a leadership consultant with for-profit medical enterprises.

Her upbringing in New York City has left her with high energy. She is always busy, squeezing one event tightly against another. She has served as a volunteer on the Board of the San Diego Youth Symphony and the Catholic Church Mental Health Ministry, in addition to ARCS.

In her free time, she enjoys going to Montana to ski and hike up to 20 miles a day, touring and fly-fishing. She also keeps fit running, swimming, and lifting weights on a daily basis. Peggy and Hamp are proud parents of their two married children and their six adorable grandchildren.

Peggy has been a “Light” among us and is the perfect example of what the ARCS Light personifies.


Honorees - San Diego Chapter

2017-18 Doris Ellsworth

2016-17 Bobbie Vandervoort

2015-16 Mary Lou Quick

2014-15 Robin Luby

2013-14 Candace Kohl

2012-13 Mary Fitz

2011-12 Diane Chalmers

2010-11 Bea Hadinger

2009-10 Jeanette Foushee

2008-09 Patricia Stewart

2007-08 Jerrie Schmidt

2006-07 Joan Evangelou

2005-06 Marti Panarisi

2004-05 Nancy Bildsoe

2003-04 Connie Adelman

2002-03 Pattie Wellborn

2001-02 Peggy Elliott

2000-01 Karon Luce 

1999-00 Mary Jane Bennett 

1998-99 Lois Thompson 

1997-98  Pat Beck 

1996-97  Betty Simm 

1995-96  Toni Nickell 

1994-95  Karen Bowden 

1993-94  Barbara McColl 

1992-93  Becki Etess 

1991-92  Betty Brayshay 

1990-91  Kay Redmond 

1989-90  Dottie Georgens 

1988-89  Lois Roon 

1987-88  Yvonne Larsen 

1986-87  Betty Jo Williams 

1985-86  Gayle Wilson