John Davidson Letcher, a Virginia native and son of Virginia's Confederate Governor, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1873 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He joined the staff of the State Agricultural College in 1888 with a double appointment as Professor of Mathematics and Engineering and Professor of Military Science and Tactics. Following the death of President B. L. Arnold, Letcher was named Acting President of the college until the appointment of John M. Bloss later that year. In 1894, Letcher took a position as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oregon. In 1896 he returned to Virginia where he remained until his death in 1938.
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