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First African American University faculty member dies at 94

| Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Associate professor emeritus of finance Adam S. Arnold Jr., the first African American faculty member at Notre Dame, died April 14 at the age of 94, the University announced in a press release Monday.

According to the press release, Arnold joined the department of finance in 1957 after serving in World War II and spent 30 years as a University faculty member. As well as being the first African American faculty member, he was also the first to receive tenure.

Arnold spent much of his youth in Danville, Kentucky, according to the press release. He met his wife, Helen, while attending West Virginia State College. He was drafted into the U.S. Army after graduation and left it at the rank of staff sergeant. Afterwards, he earned his MBA as well as a doctorate in finance at the University of Wisconsin.

In a statement in the press release, University President Fr. John Jenkins said Arnold was a groundbreaking faculty member.

“After serving in the Army in World War II, Dr. Arnold came to Notre Dame in 1957 and served on our finance faculty for the next 30 years,” Jenkins said in the press release. “He was a pioneer who served Our Lady’s University with distinction. Our prayers and best wishes are with his family.”

Arnold received the William P. Sexton Award — which is “given to non-alumni faculty or staff whose lives exemplify the spirit of the University,” according to the press release — in 2003, the press release said.

A memorial funeral service will be held for Arnold at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, Virginia, at 11 a.m. on May 5.

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