Harold E. Arnold memorial service set for Dec. 5 | Judson College
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Harold E. Arnold memorial service set for Dec. 5

The Judson Community is deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and Head of the Department of Psychology, Dr. Harold E. “Hal” Arnold. A memorial service for Dr. Arnold will be held on the Judson College campus in Marion, Ala., in Ramsay-McCrummen Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5.

A Lake City, Fla., native, Arnold held B.A., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Mississippi. He was a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Before joining the Judson faculty in 2005, he held teaching positions at the University of Mississippi and at Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Miss.

Arnold was an ordained Southern Baptist pastor and had served in bi-vocational church ministries since 1980. He added to his ministerial roles terms of missions service through the International Mission Board in Central America and South East Asia. His most recent appointment was at Pisgah Baptist Church near Selma, Ala., where he had served as pastor since 2006.

Social Sciences class photoIn addition to his teaching responsibilities as Associate Professor of Psychology and Head of the Psychology Department, Arnold sponsored the Psychology Club and served on numerous college committees–most recently as Chair of the Awards Committee, which identifies outstanding students for recognition at Commencement.

Arnold’s work on the Awards Committee is indicative of his support of Judson and his students throughout his time at Judson. Always ready with kind and encouraging words, he could often be found cheering for student-athletes at athletic events, taking pictures at campus events, congratulating colleagues and students on their achievements, and serving Marion community members alongside Judson students during Marion Matters or Treats on Bibb Street.

Arnold’s varied interests included photography, traveling (often by motorcycle), and playing tennis. He often shared his love of music (and skills with guitar and keyboard) with the campus community during musical galas, Christmas Vespers, and “Faculty Follies”–even occasionally offering lessons or impromptu sing-alongs for students and colleagues in his office.

“I always try to be open about my interests with my students,” Arnold once said. “Judson lets me use all of my talents in one place, whether it’s playing tennis with the Judson tennis team, talking computers, or playing my music.”

Arnold’s love for Judson was apparent to many. During his tenure, he was awarded the Mary Gibson Thompson Faculty Award by his colleagues (2009) and the Lula and Alton Holley Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching (2012) by graduating seniors. He was appointed as Chair or Co-chair of many administrative committees at Judson, including Strategic Planning, Quality Enhancement Plan, Faculty Handbook, and Chapel committees.

Dr. Arnold passed from this life into the next on November 16 at UAB hospital in Birmingham, Ala. He was surrounded by family, members of his church family (Pisgah Baptist Church), and members of the Judson family. Dr. Arnold is survived by his wife Paula, IT Tech and AV Support Specialist at Judson, one daughter Jennifer, and two grandchildren.

In a message to campus on the 16th, Interim President Scott Bullard said, “I am comforted by our faith and all of the stories that emerged this week about Dr. Arnold’s selfless ministry to so many people.”

A few years into his tenure, Arnold was interviewed to refresh his Judson staff directory biography for a new website. He led with his love for Judson, for teaching, for caring for his students, and for sharing his faith in Christ: “Judson is a totally unique college. At what other place can you find classes that are like seminary graduate classes, where everyone puts their desks in a circle and discusses issues? At what other college can you get to know your students on a deep level and even share your faith in Christ with them?”

We are indeed grateful for Dr. Arnold’s life of service to so many, especially to Judson students, alumnae, faculty, and staff. We are humbled and inspired by his genuine love for Judson and his deep calling to point others to Christ. Our love and prayers are with Paula and his family.