William Graham Principal, Liberty Hall Academy, 1776-1796

While the trustees officially appointed William Graham in 1776, he is noted in some documentation to have served as the "manager" of Liberty Hall as early as 1774. William Graham was born in Pennsylvania in 1746, the son of Scots-Irish parents. He graduated from Princeton in 1773 and became a Presbyterian pastor. During his tenure, due to the Revolutionary War and the economy, the institution moved to different locations near Lexington, but established the name of Liberty Hall Academy and began to confer degrees. It provided a liberal education to prepare young men for the study of law, physics and theology. The Virginia General Assembly granted the school a charter in 1782.