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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — On Friday, April 22, 2022, Young Harris College held a ceremony to dedicate the campus recreation center to Rev. Dr. Don Harp, Jr., Class of 1961. The YHC Board of Trustees found that this would be the best way to honor Dr. Harp’s tireless commitment to YHC and his selfless support of the College from his time as a student through his days beyond the pulpit.

Dr. Harp grew up in a small farming community south of Atlanta, and he always had the ability to bring people together. He began classes at YHC in the spring quarter of 1959 and became involved in the Debating Society, SPAT Club, and the baseball team, which was then coached by Zell B. Miller. He graduated from YHC in 1961 and went on to attend Candler School of Theology at Emory University and serve as a highly respected Methodist pastor. His dedication to YHC continued throughout his life. He went on to serve on the College’s Board of Trustees and on various committees, and he always made a point to generously give and intentionally connect with students, faculty, and staff. He received many awards and honors from the College over the years.

Because Dr. Harp was heavily and successfully involved in athletics and social gatherings at the College both during and after his time as a student, and because the recreation center is a focal point of campus, the current YHC Trustees decided that it would be fitting to dedicate the building in his honor. This building, now “The Harp Recreation and Commencement Center,” brings people together from all walks of life, encourages fitness, and highlights individual and College athletic successes. It holds many of the College’s ceremonies, guiding students, faculty, and staff continually. It is a center for socializing, exercising, and intramural sports, and it is home to the College’s intercollegiate athletic trophies and virtual Hall of Fame.

The day of the building dedication ceremony began with a luncheon for the Board of Trustees and other members of the YHC community. The Barrow, Robinson, and Duckworth families were also recognized for their dedication to the College. Dr. Philip D. DeMore, Class of 1963, led guests in a prayer of dedication just before the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon. Everyone participated in a responsive reading to collectively dedicate the building to Dr. Harp. The Harp family participated in the day’s events, with Dr. Harp’s wife, Mary Ellen, and his daughter, Robin, honoring him through greetings to guests.

“The Harp family is incredibly grateful for such a beautiful gesture and to be recognized alongside such wonderful YHC families like the Barrows, Robinsons, and Duckworths,” said Robin Harp, YHC Senior Director of Leadership and Legacy Giving. “Many thanks to all of our beloved and generous friends who made this naming opportunity possible. Young Harris changed my dad’s life. This blessing has now come full circle for our family.”

Rev. Dr. Don Harp’s spirit will continue to empower each student and community member who enters The Harp Recreation and Commencement Center and will inspire YHC graduates for years to come.

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 prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit