David B. Arnold Jr., a long time supporter of USSA and ski racing in the United States, passed away peacefully while surrounded by family on Sept. 25, 2015.
In 1976, Arnold became one of the original foundation board members at USSA. Known as an innovator and a big-thinker when it came to ski racing in the United States, Arnold is sure to leave a lasting impression on the USSA community for years to come.
“He liked to push us beyond the resources we had to get us to where we needed to go,” said USSA’s Executive VP and Chief Development Officer, Trisha Worthington. “He was just one of those people – in a very nice, beautiful way. He was such a beautiful person.”
Arnold’s contributions to the sport were many, but his lasting legacy will be USSA’s Gold Pass program. Arnold created the program in association with the National Ski Areas Association during the winter of 1972-73, which has brought in over $50 million to USSA since its inception over 40 years ago.
“That program today is our largest, most consistent fundraising program for the team, with close to $4 million a year contributed,” said Worthington. “He definitely deserves the credit for that.”
Arnold also pushed the foundation to start considering the idea of planned giving with donors in the mid-1990s. “Even to the point where he made a contribution to send me to a very fancy planned giving school at Harvard,” added Worthington. “At that time, people didn’t really know what planned giving was.”
The ability for U.S. athletes to take advantage of Dartmouth College’s Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures was also a project to which Arnold contributed. Spearheaded by fellow board member Pete Hoyt, athletes are able to learn foreign languages via an intensive 10-day course first developed by Professor John Rassias in the 1960s in order to train members of the Peace Corps. The method focuses on replicating real-world situations that are likely to be encountered in the target language. According to Worthington, many athletes have taken advantage of this program since it became an option.
Always heavily involved with the annual New England Ski Ball, Arnold was known as the first to arrive at cocktail hour and provided wonderful conversation with whomever he was able to chat.
The ski racing world will sorely miss Mr. Arnold and all he has done for the sport in his over 40 year involvement with USSA. Although he is gone, his legacy lives on through the athletes he has helped and the ones that are yet to benefit from programs that he pushed so hard to put in place.