Cornelius F. Arnold, better known as “BeBe,” was born on January 31, 1930, to Henry Clay and Nona Mai Arnold. A Wartrace, Tennessee, native, BeBe graduated from Wartrace High School in 1948. He attended the University of Louisville, where he played baseball from 1948 to 1951. In 1951, enlisted in the United States Air Force to serve in the Korean War. After the war ended in 1953, he came to WKU. While on the Hill, he received the Yeager, Ford, and Warren award. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1954, and then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to begin his career. He took a position at Yeager, Ford, and Warren, which was the largest CPA firm in Kentucky at the time. He was made partner in 1959. In 1970, Yeager, Ford and Warren merged with Coopers and Lybrand, now PricewaterhouseCoopers. He retired in 1989, after over 30 years of service.
BeBe was active in his community as a member of the Crescent Hill United Methodist Church and Hunting Creek Country Club (HCCC). As the Greens Chairman for 10 years at HCCC, BeBe planted countless trees that now line the entire course, many that he started from seed. He also took great pride in his garden, especially his tomatoes that he loved to share.
Jane Ann Dudgeon Arnold attended the University of Louisville, where she earned her Associate of Arts degree in secretarial science. Following graduation, Jane worked as a bookkeeper for several small companies for many years. Like BeBe, she is also devoted to her community. She held jobs in PTA in schools as treasurer and has done volunteer work in school and church. Since 1974, she has delivered meals on wheels and has met many interesting people through that experience.
Jane and BeBe had three children, Cindy, Sara, and Brent. Cindy graduated from WKU in 1980, and sells commercial time on television in Cincinnati, Ohio. Sara graduated from EKU in 1981,and works for Hallmark Cards in Louisville, Kentucky. Brent graduated from Indiana University in 1990, and is COO for Stericycle in Chicago, Illinois. Jane and BeBe were married for 59 years until his passing in 2014.
To honor his memory and pay forward the education they received, the Arnold family established the Arnold Family Scholarship Fund. The fund assists deserving WKU students majoring in the Gordon Ford College of Business who maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA. Through this fund, BeBe’s legacy lives on in perpetuity.