The Orange County chapter of the ARCS Foundation was founded by Patricia Beckman, Mary Cesario and Mary Lou Furnas. Patricia Beckman was the founding president, followed by Mary Lou Furnas.
The chapter had 44 members when it received its charter on June 5, 1999, in Washington, D.C.
The chapter supports graduate students in the School of Biological Sciences, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, the School of Physical Sciences and the School of Medicine at UC Irvine.
In 1999-2000, the chapter members raised enough funds for the first five scholar awards at $12,500 to be awarded in the academic year 2000-2001. Currently, the awards are $5,000 for each of two years, an amount that allows us to grant a larger number of awards each year. In 2018-19, ARCS Orange County presented awards to 20 scholars.