George White officially took over as the third President of Anatolia College at the 1914 graduation, when Anatolia was at its height in Turkey and only weeks before the outbreak of war in Europe, having been a member of faculty since 1890. With the door to Merzifon closed, Dr. White turned his attention to Greece and chose Thessaloniki as Anatolia’s new location, as suggested by Eleftherios Venizelos. The city at that time was in shambles, overrun by destitute refugees. The first class took lessons in a renovated casino in the Harilaou district, and consisted of only thirteen students. The first years in Thessaloniki proved to be very difficult, but his belief that “love is stronger than hate, and kindness has more power than tyranny” gave him the strength to continue his uncertain new venture, securing funding from the United States. Thanks to him, Anatolia moved from its temporary accommodation to permanent facilities in Pylaia. From there, White adapted the school’s character, its faculty and curriculum, laying the foundation for Anatolia’s later success, supporting it well after his retirement in 1933.

Ruth McGavren Compton
Elsie Hoesley White

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