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John Chester (1785 - 1829) was the second president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut in August 1785 and graduated from Yale College in 1804. He studied theology under Dr. Joseph Lyman of Hatfield, Massachusetts and received a license to preach in 1807 from the Hartford Association College. He first preached in several towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut and then moved to New York State, where he first preached in Cooperstown, New York and between 1810 and 1815 in Hudson, New York. In 1815, he moved to Albany, New York where he was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church. He was a founder and an early president of the Albany Female Academy, which became the Albany Academy for Girls and was also a trustee of The Albany Academy. He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1821 from Union College. He was appointed president of Rensselaer on June 25, 1828. He died at Philadelphia on January 12, 1829.[1][2]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Rev. Dr. Samuel Blatchford
President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1828 – 1829
Succeeded by
Eliphalet Nott


  1. ^ Nason, Henry B., ed. Biographical Record of the Officers and Graduates of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1886. D.H. Jones & Co.: Troy, NY (1855).[1]
  2. ^ "John Chester". Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Archives.,j.html.  


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