Ed Arnold, professor emeritus of German, taught at Clemson from 1968 to 2000. Prior to joining the faculty, he taught for 10 years at A.C. Flora High School in Columbia, SC, and he also taught high school in Nabburg, Bavaria, during the 1973-74 school year. Among his many projects and accomplishments, Arnold translated two books dealing with the Revolution of the Candles in East Germany by pastors Joerg Swoboda and Theo Lehmann. He also directed Dionysia and Declamation competitions with Jacques Macy, professor emeritus of French. Arnold worked with the Language and International Trade (L&IT) team, securing a number of German/Swiss internships.
Arnold started a pen pal program with his German students at Clemson in 1972; all but one of the addresses were in East Germany. The German study abroad program began in 1980; students lived with German families and took classes in Bavaria. “The highlight of my 31 years at Clemson was my 12 study abroad trips to both West and East Germany from my home base in Nabburg,” Arnold said. “Many pen-pal relationships and three marriages formed that are still active to this day. I meet occasionally with past participants even now.”
After retiring from Clemson, Arnold translated another book and is searching for a publisher. He continued taking groups to a unified Germany in 2002, 2004, and 2006. “The participants were mainly friends I had known for many years,” Arnold said. “My 2006 trip was about 20, mostly from my own extended family.”
This year marked Arnold’s most recent trip to his former study abroad site. “My son took me to Germany as a birthday present for my 80th,” he said. “My heart nearly burst as I returned once again for about the 25th time to ‘my Nabburg.’ It was a special surprise when I met the current mayor in town. I had taught him English in 1973.”
Arnold has been involved with several charitable organizations during his retirement. He has worked extensively with Pickens County Habitat for Humanity, which recently celebrated its 100th house. “I am proud to be able to say that I have worked on at least half of them, and hope to continue for a while,” Arnold said. In addition, Arnold told the Polyglot, “I started an organized effort on behalf of ALIVE Wesleyan Church in Central whereby a rotating group of three of us purchases between 600 and 700 pounds of food one day each month from Bargain Food Store in Pelzer. Funds are pledged for Clemson Community Care.”
Arnold and his wife, Miriam, enjoy spending time with their seven grandchildren.