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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — We are saddened to inform you of the passing of former YHC President Dr. D. Ray Farley on Tuesday morning, February 15. Dr. Farley recently turned 93 on February 1. A memorial service will be scheduled in the spring at Young Harris College. Please remember Susan Farley Krebs and the Farley family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

Dr. Farley retired in 1991 after 35 years of dedicated service to Young Harris College. His service began as a history teacher in 1955 and finished with his retirement in 1991 after serving 20 years as president. He also served as a residence hall director and academic dean. Even though he retired in 1991, he remained a good friend and supporter of YHC.  He was presented with the Nancy Louise Haynes Stephens Sanderson Robertson Outstanding Friend Award by the YHC Alumni Association in April 2021 for his many, many years of dedication to Young Harris College.

Young Harris College is a better place because of Dr. Farley’s service and dedication to the institution. Below is an interview Dr. Farley gave to the Office of Alumni Engagement in August 2011, which describes his arrival at YHC, his accomplishments during his tenure as president and his life after retirement.

Dr. Drew L. Van Horn
Young Harris College President

Interview with Dr. Ray Farley, August 2011:

Ray Farley, Ph.D., has worn many hats at Young Harris College, serving as a history teacher, residence hall director, dean and, most notably, president – a title he held for two decades. By the time Dr. Farley retired in 1991, important steps were taken to strengthen the College endowment, faculty, curriculum, and facilities. A capital campaign led to the construction of Rollins Hall and the renovation of residence halls, administrative buildings, and dining facilities; plans for beautifying the campus were implemented; a faculty growth and development program was added and hiring practices were improved to cultivate top-notch faculty; and the curriculum was adjusted to suit student needs. Read about what brought Dr. Farley to Young Harris, some of his fondest memories at YHC, and what it has been like to watch Young Harris College grow during the last 50 years.

What are you up to these days?

“Since retiring in 1991, my life has been unscheduled – no early appointments in Atlanta or elsewhere. I have enjoyed some return trips to Paris, London and Vienna. I was envious of the recent YHC Choir trip to Vienna, which is my favorite European city. My last trip was to Spain in 2009. Since the death of my three siblings in 2006-07, there is a void, but my daughter and granddaughter keep me active.”

You served as president of Young Harris College from 1971-1991. What brought you to YHC, and what is it about the College that made you want to serve as president for 20 years?

“After completing a three-year tour in the Army Security Agency in 1955, I accepted a teaching position in a high school. To my surprise, I soon discovered that juniors and seniors were not excited about world history. Therefore, I began searching for something else. A trip to Young Harris and an interview convinced me to move to the mountains of north Georgia and I have never regretted that decision. Becoming dean of Young Harris College in 1959 caused me to decide to return to college to learn about being an administrator. Opportunities presented themselves for me to enroll at Florida State University in their Ph.D. program in junior college administration. I returned to YHC in 1963 to continue as dean. After Douglas Reed Sasser, ’50, resigned, I was elected president by the Board of Trustees in 1971.”

What are some of your fondest memories of your time working at Young Harris College?

“There are many fond memories from my 35 years at YHC – some as director of Peel Hall, sponsor of the Spat Club, Phi Theta Kappa, teaching history (which many students recall vividly), working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni and Board of Trustees. Individuals may recall these meaningful memories and frown or smile.”

During your tenure, you truly prepared YHC for its second century of existence. What were some of the most significant decisions made during your presidency and why?

“It has always been my belief that the greatest years for YHC are in the future. Each administration works for that goal. The College’s past is remarkable, but it has to continue to be better. My administration was only one link in an ever-lengthening chain. I am very proud of all of those who forged the link between 1971 and 1991.”

Young Harris College is currently in a period of growth much like it experienced during your presidency – improved campus housing, addition of faculty, new academic courses and a capital campaign to help the College achieve its goals for the future. What has the experience been like of watching the College grow and what do you hope the future holds for YHC?

“I have nothing but admiration for all who are involved in the changes on the campus. Every visit finds something new and exciting. Even though we may long for the past, change is necessary. For example, the elm trees along the side of what is now Goolsby Center were old and dying. They were removed and now the new trees are beautiful, but memory of elms is still around. The many physical changes on the campus are wonderful and with time they will change, but the spirit, which is the true YHC, remains.”


About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science and Technology; and Professional Studies. More than 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit