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Wade Benson retires after 27 years as Young Harris College CFO 

YOUNG HARRIS – At the helm of the finances of Young Harris College for nearly three decades, Chief Financial Officer Wade Benson will be retiring at the end of September.

Benson started at Young Harris College in 1986, coming to the College as an auditor for his father’s accounting firm, which conducted the College’s annual external audit for many years. Joining the Young Harris College family in 1996, Benson has worn several titles, including Business Manager, Controller, Vice President for Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Board Treasurer.

“I have served in leadership roles at private colleges and universities for 30 years, half of which has been as president,” said Dr. Drew Van Horn, Young Harris College President, at a retirement reception held Sept. 19 on campus. “In all my years of work, Wade ranks at the top of the list of CFOs. His deep and sincere caring for Young Harris College is evident in everything he did. HIs work at the College and loyalty will be forever remembered.” 

In addition to faculty, staff, and current members of the Young Harris College Board of Trustees were on hand for the reception honoring Benson’s contributions to the College. Emeriti and former staff were there as well. 

“I have enjoyed working with Wade over many years in conjunction with the Finance Committee, Endowment Committee and now as Board Chair,” Bill Johnston, chairman of the Young Harris College Board of Trustees. “Wade literally knows where every penny of YHC’s resources are. His institutional knowledge and judgement will be missed.” 

In honor of Benson’s career and service to Young Harris College, the Business Office has been renamed The Benson Business Center. 

“I became familiar with Wade when I was asked to Chair the Finance Committee and I quickly realized what an asset he would be to me,” Jerry Nix, chairman of Young Harris College’s Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2013.  “When I became Board Chair, I became even more dependent on Wade and his knowledge and integrity. He always had an answer to any problem, even when you didn’t like it, but could accept it as he would work to find a solution.” 

He has supervised the physical plant, dining services, human resources, the campus bookstore, and acted as the project manager for the various construction and renovation projects on campus. Benson maintained countless operating budgets, reconciled innumerable financial statements, and always received unmodified audit opinions while working with integrity and accuracy.  

I will always be most grateful that you treated every dime of Young Harris’ money as if it were your own,” said Cathy Cox, Young Harris College president from 2007 to 2017. “As a president, I could sleep better in knowing that you were 100% honest and would always look for the most fiscally conservative way to approach a problem, renovation project, or expenditure.” 

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. Approximately 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 Conference Carolinas. For more information, visit