Riverside Military Academy’s Board of Trustees has selected retired U.S. Army Col. William J. Gallagher as its ninth president.
Gallagher is set to begin leading the school in June 10, as Dr. James H. Benson, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, retires from Riverside at the end of the school year.
Benson has been president of Riverside since 2009.
“Col. Gallagher is coming to Riverside with vast experience in education and the military, to include key administrative roles in a secondary and junior college military school,” said Kenneth McKelvey, board chairman, in a press release. “We are confident we have identified the right leader to build on the sound foundation Dr. Benson has established in the last seven years.”
The nationwide search for a new president attracted a large pool of applicants.
“The candidate pool was deep and offered a diversity of experiences that enabled us to select finalists with the types of work and military experience that would be most beneficial to Riverside in the coming years,” said Dr. Dan Kaufman, president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and a former Riverside trustee, in the press release. Kaufman chaired the search committee.
Col. Gallagher is currently serving as the dean of the College and Commandant of Cadets at Valley Forge Military Academy and College, which is comprised of a middle school, high school, two-year junior college and international scholars program.
The Philadelphia native’s 35-year career spans the military, business and education.
Under Benson’s leadership from 2009-2016, the academy’s enrollment grew from 293 to 540 cadets, and the operating revenue grew from just more than $9 million to more than $19 million. The Academy raised more than $8 million in contributions during the same time frame.
Benson will be relocating to North Myrtle Beach, S.C.