Bishop Neil Alexander of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta was elected the 23rd chancellor of the University of the South -- familiarly known as "Sewanee" -- this week by the university's board of trustees. Alexander succeeds the Rt. Rev. Henry N. Parsley Jr., who had served as chancellor since May 2003.
Alexander has served on the university's board of regents since 2005 and as a trustee since 2001. He was the Norma and Olan Mills Professor of Divinity at Sewanee's School of Theology from 1997 to 2001, and received an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 2002 from the university. He holds a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and a doctor of theology degree from General Theological Seminary (GTS). Alexander was ordained bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta in 2001.
Alexander has served in a variety of parish settings and taught at GTS, Yale University, Drew University and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. He has been a board member of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation (formerly the Episcopal Evangelism Foundation) and a faculty member and chaplain of the Preaching Excellence Conference of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation. He currently serves as president of the board of directors of the College for Bishops.
Alexander is the author of numerous journal articles, four books (and one forthcoming) on liturgical studies and pastoral care, book reviews, and essays in liturgics, homiletics, sacramental theology, and pastoral practice. Alexander has led pilgrimages and mission trips to dioceses in Africa, South America, and the British Isles.
During Parsley's tenure, Sewanee enjoyed record applications to the College, growth in the influence and reach of the School of Theology, and increasing recognition as a leading national liberal arts university. Parsley, bishop of the Diocese of Alabama, was a member of Sewanee's class of 1970 and received an honorary degree from the university in 1998.
The chancellor is elected from the bishops of the university's owning dioceses for a term of six years. The chancellor is chair, ex officio, of the board of trustees and a member of the board of regents.
The University of the South (Sewanee) comprises a college of liberal arts and sciences and a school of theology. The University enrolls approximately 1,500 undergraduates and 100 seminarians.