Alex Harman was born in War, West Virginia in 1921 and graduated from Concord College in 1941. He was a member of the W&L law class of 1944. An exceptional law student, Harman was elected to ODK and the Order of the Coif, and was a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity and Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity.
From 1944 to 1964, Harman practiced law in Pulaski, Virginia where he was active in local and state bar associations. In 1964, the General Assembly confirmed Harman as Judge of the 21st Judicial Circuit for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1969, he was appointed to the Virginia Supreme Court, where he served as a Justice from 1969-1979, and then as Senior Justice until his retirement in 1986.
A generous supporter of the law school, Harman established a scholarship fund in honor of his parents in 1984. He left a substantial addition to this fund in his estate. In a gesture evocative of "Jockey" John Robinsonís act at the 1824 dedication of Robinson Hall, Harman provided a 45-gallon wooden keg of fine blended Scotch for the 1977 dedication of Lewis Hall. That keg is now displayed in the law libraryís rare book room.
Justice Harman died in 1996. His portrait hangs near the faculty library in Sydney Lewis Hall.