1772-1851. Presbyterian theologian and educator. Born near Lexington, Virginia, he studied at Liberty Hall Academy (now Washington and Lee University). Shortly after confessing faith in Christ, he began theological studies under William Graham, who encouraged him to preach. Two years after ordination in 1794 he assumed the presidency of Hampden-Sydney College, a position he held for almost a decade. Early in 1807 he became minister of Pine Street Church, Philadelphia, one of the largest congregations in the nation. In 1812 the general assembly (whose moderator he had been) established a theological seminary at Princeton and selected Alexander as its first professor.