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John Fraser (academic) facts for kids

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John Fraser
John Fraser.jpg
3rd President of the Pennsylvania State University
In office
Preceded by William Henry Allen
Succeeded by Thomas Henry Burrowes
Chancellor of the
University of Kansas
In office
Personal details
Born c. 1823
Cromarty, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died June 4, 1878 (aged 54–55)
Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States
Alma mater University of Aberdeen

John Fraser (c. 1823 – June 4, 1878) was an American soldier and educator. He was the third president of the Pennsylvania State University, serving from 1866 until 1868, and the second Chancellor of the University of Kansas serving from 1867 to 1874.

Fraser was born in Cromarty, Scotland, and studied at Aberdeen University. He graduated with a master's degree in mathematics. He emigrated to Bermuda to teach and then relocated to New York City to take charge of a private school. In 1851, he moved to western Pennsylvania and became professor of mathematics at Jefferson College.

During the American Civil War, he enlisted in the 140th Pennsylvania Infantry in 1862 and rose through the ranks to be the regiment's colonel. He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in the Wheatfield area, taking charge of the 140th when all the senior officers were incapacitated. He was taken as a prisoner of war during the Siege of Petersburg and incarcerated in Charleston, South Carolina.

In recognition of his service, on January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Fraser for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866.

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