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Col. Benson named new Riverside Academy leader
Riverside Military Academy's new president, Col. James Benson - photo by For The Times

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Riverside Military Academy’s Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of Col. James H. Benson as the academy’s next president.

Benson will take over as the academy’s seventh president on June 1.

Benson, a retired U.S. Marine, is currently president of Marion Military Institute in Marion, Ala. He’s served as the Alabama institute’s president since July 2004.

Dan Kaufman, Riverside trustee and chairman of the presidential search committee, announced the move Friday.

“The members of the search committee were continually impressed by Col. Benson’s intellect, his global expertise, his ability to build consensus and introduce innovation and his devotion to educating young people,” Kaufman said.

“When we formed the search committee, we stated that we would be looking for a replacement that would bring considerable gifts of both heart and mind who would be deeply committed to the value of single-gender education for young men,” Kaufman said. “I have no doubt that we have found just such a person in Col. Benson.”

Benson will replace Col. Guy Gardner, who has served as Riverside’s president since April 2006. Gardner announced in November he would retire once a new president was appointed.

“I would like to thank Col. Gardner for his invaluable leadership, guidance and dedication to Riverside over the past three years,” Kaufman said.

He said Gardner and his wife, Linda, will be dearly missed when they relocate to Pennsylvania to be closer to family.