Leadership at Occidental College

Since 2009, L.A.’s renowned Occidental College has experienced growth and a renewed sense of purpose under the leadership of native son Jonathan Veitch. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard University, Veitch accepted the role of President at Occidental with a vision to build community cultural associations and increased engagement with the city for Occidental, familiarly referred to as “Oxy,” students. His educational background and experience in leadership put him in a unique position to achieve this goal. His deep cultural ties and familial connections with the movie industry, added to his academic areas of expertise in cultural history and American film, are a winning combination for the task at hand.

Yet even more significantly for the future of Occidental College, Jonathan Veitch has an unbounded enthusiasm and acumen to pursue the financial aspects of the school. To this end, he has traveled to Hong Kong, Singapore and other destinations where he can reach out to spread the good word about L.A. and Occidental College. His approach seems to display a vibrancy for young students from all over the world who can ideally benefit from the intersections of culture and history in L.A. Over the past five years, Veitch has succeeded in building up the economic status at Occidental in the form of endowments, scholarship funds, and increased enrollment for a diverse student body. However, Jonathan Veitch works more as captain of the team than as a president. In an online magazine for Occidental College (https://oxy.edu/magazine/winter-2014/jonathan-veitch), he gives credit for this success to his extraordinary team of faculty members, hard-working colleagues and students. Like a well-loved team captain, he further inspires his team to keep playing well, to step up the game, as an indication of their shared common goals to make Occidental an outstanding educational institution.

The challenges and successes Veitch has experienced during his first five years as President of Occidental College seem only to have strengthened his resolve. His enthusiasm for L.A. culture and diversity, its central importance for college students in conjunction with a fine liberal arts education, and a sustained engagement with community, all have become major proponents of the college. Jonathan Veitch is in a unique leadership position to continue along this strengthening path–to enhance Occidental College’s status in the community for the citizens of Los Angeles and for international students as well.

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