George Pruden is a charter member of the Savannah Council on World Affairs and has served almost continuously on its Board of Directors. During his tenure he was on the Program Committee and served as Recording Secretary, Vice President, and President (2005-2006). He also made four program presentations, three as speaker and one as a panelist.
He is a 1960 honor graduate of WakeForestCollege, where he majored in History and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.. Upon graduation he joined the U. S. Naval Reserve, completed OfficerCandidateSchool, and was commissioned as an Ensign. His duty stations included Subic Bay, the Philippines; the Defense Language Institute in Washington, DC (completing a 15-month course in Mandarin Chinese); Okinawa; and Japan. After his release from active duty with the rank of Lieutenant in 1967, he enrolled in AmericanUniversity and earned an M.A. in Far East Area Studies and a Ph.D. in International Studies (with Certificate in Asian Study).
His academic career began in South Carolina in 1970, where he taught in several colleges and a middle school and completed post-doctoral work in Middle East history. He was hired by the Department of History at Armstrong State College in 1982 to teach advanced courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Middle East history, the World Civilization survey, and Secondary School Social Studies Methods. He also supervised student teachers, having earned an M.Ed. at the University of South Carolina. He published several articles and reviews in scholarly journals, delivered papers at academic conferences, and made a number of general-interest presentations to a variety of groups. He actively promoted the study of Asia in the University System of Georgia, holding several state-wide offices in organizations related to Asian studies as well as serving as President of the Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Seminar and Vice President of the Southeast World History Association. He organized and led four tours to the People’s Republic of China, two of which were study programs for the University System of Georgia faculty, at NanjingNormalUniversity and YangzhouUniversity. He retired with the rank of Professor Emeritus in 2002.
Locally, he served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Coastal Georgia-Carolina Phi Beta Kappa Association from 1988 through 2006 and in 2007 assumed the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the South Atlantic District of Phi Beta Kappa. He is an active member of FirstBaptistChurch, Savannah, where he has served on the Diaconate and as chair and member of committees and taught Sunday School. Currently he is chair of the History Committee, rings handbells, and sings in the adult choir.
He met Ginger Battershall, a Navy nurse, while in language school. They married while he was stationed on Okinawa and she was stationed in Japan. Their two children were born during the time he was teaching in South Carolina. When they were old enough for after-school day care, she completed a Master of Nursing degree at the University of South Carolina. Once they moved to Savannah, she was hired by Armstrong to teach Nursing and retired in 2002 also. They bought a waterfront lot in rural McIntoshCounty and built a house where they now live. Both of their children are married and they have two granddaughters with another one expected in June 2010.