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Young Harris College
Official logo
Motto Hic iuventus incenditur(Latin)
Motto in English Here Youth is Inspired
Established 1886
Type Methodist Liberal Arts College
President Cathy Cox
Undergraduates 620
Location Young Harris, Georgia, USA
Athletics Mountain Lions
Colors Purple and White

Young Harris College is a private, Methodist-affiliated liberal arts college located in the mountains of northeast Georgia.



The college was founded in 1886 by Artemas Lester, a circuit-riding Methodist minister who wanted to provide the residents of the Appalachian Mountains with an education. Originally known as McTyeire Institute for the small village where the school located, the college struggled for the first year until an Athens, Georgia judge named Young L.G. Harris donated enough money to keep the school open. The school was later renamed Young Harris College in honor of its benefactor, as was the surrounding town in 1895.[1] A catastrophic fire destroyed the college's main classroom building in 1911, but it was rebuilt by local townspeople and was named Sharp Hall in honor of the college president at the time. The Young Harris Academy was founded in the late 1800s and provided a primary education for thousands of students until it closed after World War II.

The college has an enrollment of about 700 students, including about 100 students from the local area, and offers bachelor's degrees and associate degrees in liberal arts, fine arts and science. Having earned its four-year accreditation in 2008, the college is working to double its enrollment, and is in the midst of hiring significant new faculty and constructing major new facilities. Famous graduates include former Georgia governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller, entertainers Oliver Hardy and Amanda Bearse, country music singers Ronnie Milsap and Trisha Yearwood, Major League Baseball player Nick Markakis, and Waffle House founder Tom Forkner. Byron Herbert Reese, talented poet and writer, was a student and then a teacher at YHC.


Young Harris' sports teams are called the Mountain Lions. The athletic director for the college is Eric Geldart. The Mountain Lions participate in NJCAA Division 1, but will be seeking admission to NCAA Division II athletics in summer 2009. Young Harris competes in baseball, softball, tennis, soccer, golf, and cross country.

The Young Harris Lady Mountain Lions won the 2006 National Championship for Division One NJCAA Soccer, under coach Kathy Brown. All of Young Harris' teams compete at a NJCAA Division 1 level, and pending admission to NCAA Division II, intend to play one more season of NJCAA competition before joining their four-year college peers in Division II competition. The men's soccer team were the 2006, 2007 region finalists. There has never been an intercollegiate football team for Young Harris, although as a new four-year college, it will study the feasibility of football in the near future. The school fielded a successful basketball team in the 1950s and 1960's, and will be bringing basketball back to its array of sports for the 2010-11 season.

Baseball coach Rick Robinson earned his 500th win at Young Harris in April 2009, and has been highly successful in placing players in Division I schools. The Young Harris Baseball Team has captured eight Georgia Junior College titles and five Region XVII titles since 1999, and advanced to the Junior College World Series in 2007. The team has averaged 49 wins per season each year since 2004. The team plays on the Zell B. Miller field, one of the most outstanding junior college baseball facilities in the nation.

Women's soccer coach Kathy Brown originally served as the assistant coach at Jacksonville State University, before coming to Young Harris in 1997 and starting the women's soccer team. In just her first season as a head coach, Kathy celebrated her first state championship. Since then she has led the Lady Mountain Lions to seven more state titles.


  • 1886-1887 Marcus H. Edwards
  • 1888-1889 Edward A. Gray
  • 1889-1894 C. C. Spence
  • 1894-1899 William F. Robison
  • 1899-1916 Joseph A. Sharp
  • 1916-1917 George L. King
  • 1917-1922 John L. Hall
  • 1922-1930 Joseph A. Sharp
  • 1930-1942 T. Jack Lance
  • 1942-1947 J. Worth Sharp
  • 1947-1950 Walter L. Downs
  • 1950-1963 Charles R. Clegg
  • 1963-1964 Robert P. Andress
  • 1964-1966 Raymond A. Cook
  • 1966-1971 Douglas Reid Sasser
  • 1971-1991 Ray Farley
  • 1991-2003 Thomas S. Yow III
  • 2003-2004 Clay Dotson
  • 2004-2006 W. Stephen Gunter
  • 2006-2006 John Wilson Wells
  • 2007-present Cathy Cox[1]

Organizations/Greek Life


  • Alpha Iota
  • Sigma Beta Sigma
  • Phi Delta
  • Phi Alpha Phi


  • Alpha Xi
  • Chi Delta Phi
  • Zeta Pi "who's f*cki^g number one"
  • Alpha Omega
  • Epsilon Delta Sigma


  1. ^ a b [1] New Georgia Encyclopedia, Young Harris College

External links

Coordinates: 34°55′58″N 83°50′48″W / 34.93281°N 83.84676°W / 34.93281; -83.84676



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