Remembering Patrick H. Alexander

Penn State University Press and PSU Libraries mourn the loss of Patrick H. Alexander, former Director of PSU Press. In collaboration with his family, we have established a memorial fund ( to honor his contributions to the Press and to the wider scholarly publishing community. The fund will support the Press’s acquisitions in religious and Near Eastern studies, two areas that Patrick was especially passionate about developing.

Patrick helmed the Press for nearly two decades. Initially appointed Associate Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Press and Codirector of the Libraries’ Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing in March 2007, he was promoted to Press Director in July 2009. Patrick officially retired from the directorship on January 2, 2024.

Patrick’s 40+ years in publishing include more than 25 years in academic publishing working for Walter de Gruyter, Brill Academic Publishers, and Hendrickson Publishers. He was a strong voice in the scholarly publishing industry, assuming various board, committee, and leadership roles in a number of organizations, including the AUPresses, the Charleston Library Society, ALPSP, SPARC, ASOR, Project Muse, and AAU/ARL/AAUP/ALGPU. Patrick also authored multiple articles focused on issues in scholarly publishing, including the peer-review process, open access, and the marketing of scholarly works. In addition to these publications, he for many years conducted workshops on scholarly communication, writing, and academic publishing.

At PSU Press, Patrick expanded the journals department, growing the list from an initial 11 scholarly journals to more than 80 today. He launched the Press’s open-access platform, Unlocked, which now features more than 80 books and journals, and he ramped up the Press’s ebook program. Patrick worked to extend the international impact of the Press, developing partnerships with international publishers, and he cultivated strong relationships between the Press and other Penn State University units.

Over the years, Patrick fostered a creative vision for our books program. He supported the expansion of our list areas in the humanities and social sciences; he acquired the commercial publisher Eisenbrauns, an imprint focused on Ancient Near East and biblical studies; and he supported the launch of the Press’s trade graphic novel imprint, Graphic Mundi. Patrick always reminded us why we do what we do—and how very much we love publishing.

“Those of us who worked closely with Patrick remember his robust advocacy for the Press as well as his expertise and experience in the publishing industry,” said Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, Faye A. Chadwell. “Like so many, I am grateful to have had the chance to work with him to advance the mission of the Pennsylvania State University Press.”

In announcing his retirement, Patrick said, “I have had the opportunity to learn from and work with an incredibly dedicated and talented staff who take seriously the mission and purpose of a university press. . . . Working at Penn State has been an outstanding close to my career of 40 years in publishing.”

From all of us at PSU Press: thank you, Patrick. It was an honor for us, too.

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