Skip to content

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Young Harris College graduates returned to the Enchanted Valley this past weekend in droves for the annual Alumni Weekend. One of the College’s largest summer events, Alumni Weekend brings together friends, classmates, and strengthens intergenerational bonds between those who share YHC as their alma mater. 

“What a wonderful weekend,” commented Dana Ensley, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement. “I love seeing our YHC Family come together to celebrate our beloved alma mater and one another. Our connection to the College and the relationships that begin here are like no other. Thank you to our alumni for their unwavering support and love for our Young Harris College.” 

Each year, the Young Harris College Alumni Association honors outstanding alumni and friends of the College at the Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony. The ceremony took place at the Half-Century Club Dinner, which celebrated the Class of 1973 and their 50th reunion. 

This year’s recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award was Thad Thompson, Class of 2012. This award is presented to an individual who has graduated from Young Harris College within the last 15 years and has excelled in their career. 

The Nancy Louise Haynes Stevens Sanderson Robertson Outstanding Friend Award was presented to Bill and Mary Ann Fox. This honor is presented annually to a non-alumni friend of Young Harris College who has dedicated their time, resources, and energy to ensure a successful future for the College. 

The YHC Family of the Year Award was presented to the DeMore Family, recognizing their long-standing relationship, family history, financial support and time of service for Young Harris College. 

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Career Achievement was presented to Pam Godfrey Younker, Class of 1975. The award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who has worked diligently to create a successful career following a successful foundation laid by Young Harris College. 

The Spirit of Young Harris Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who is a shining example of faithful service to the College and dedication to their community and family. This year’s award was presented in memory of Creg Smith, Class of 1967. 

The annual Dorcas and SPAT Club Breakfast kicked off Saturday’s festivities, followed by the 1886 Society College Update, led by College President Dr. Drew Van Horn. Alumni took advantage of this opportunity to recognize and mingle with friends, Class Coordinators, and emeriti, retired, current faculty and staff, as well as the Alumni Association Board and the Trustee Advisory Board. 

Special luncheons and dinners took place throughout Alumni Weekend, allowing alumni to mingle, share fond memories, and celebrate milestones.

Alumni Weekend would not have been complete without campuswide Tailgate Socials with a bounce house and live music for alumni, families, Greeks, and crews of all ages to enjoy. Class Reunions dappled the Campus Plaza and Lawn with tents, coolers, door prizes, complimentary snacks, and beverages!

Rev. Fred Whitley returned to campus to lead a traditional chapel service alongside Rev. Dr. Adam Daniels. Many alumni attended this bittersweet reunion and special time of remembrance for alumni who have recently passed on. Friends and family also attended Celebration of Life events for beloved professor and mentor Dr. Lee March and Artex Benton, Class of 2021, dedicating an engraved bench to his memory.  

In the late afternoon, alumni gathered at Crane Creek Vineyards for complimentary wine, hors d’oeuvres, and company, and reminisced about their days at YHC while enjoying breathtaking views of the Enchanted Valley. 

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