April 10, 2011
In 1936, Oklahoma native George Benson left his position as a missionary in China to become the second president of Harding College (now Harding University) in Searcy (White County). While serving as president, Benson became a national figure due to his crusade against the spread of communism and his founding of the National Education Program, an organization dedicated to promoting the free enterprise system and what it considered to be American values. He retired as Hardings president after twenty-nine years. He died in 1991.