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John Fraser
John Fraser.jpg
Penn State University
Term 1866 – 1868
Predecessor William Henry Allen
Successor Thomas Henry Burrowes
Born c. 1823
Cromarty, Scotland
Died June 4, 1878
Allegheny, Pennsylvania
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.

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. He ended the war with the rank of brigadier general in the volunteer army.


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