Jonathan Veitch has gone home to Los Angeles. His plan is to help Occidental College to excel. Almost 6 years since his tenure began and he, his wife and 3 children moved on campus and into the Wallis Annenberg President’s House, he has done just that. He has made great inroads in healing the rift between the college and the community that surrounds it. He has reached out to some of Southern California’s premier cultural institutions to form partnerships. Veitch has also overseen the construction, renovation, and expansion of student and faculty housing.
Veitch has brought stability to the leadership of Occidental College which since 2005 had 4 presidents. A skilled fundraiser, he has brought an unprecedented amount of funding to the school. He has created space for the new McKinnon Family Center for Politics and Global Affairs. He has also unveiled a 1-megawatt solar array. The ground-mounted array, one of the largest of its type ever built in Los Angeles, will generate about 11% of the electricity the college uses. Quite a list of accomplishments for the first native Angelino president of Occidental College.
Jonathan Veitch was born in Los Angeles in 1959. He attended southern California’s Loyola High School and later earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a PhD. from Harvard University in the History of American Civilization. He left the University of Wisconsin for a position at New York’s The New School’s Eugene Lang College. There he held positions including associate professor of history and literature, associate provost, chair of humanities, associate provost, and was even Eugene Lang College’s deacon.
Not only does Veitch come from Hollywood royalty, his step-grandfather is famed actor Alan Ladd and John Veitch, his father, was Columbia Pictures’ president of worldwide productions, he is an English and American literature scholar and an award-winning author. He wrote the best-selling book American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s.
Jonathan Veitch seems like the perfect person to lead Occidental College into the future. He’s created a strategic planning process which engages the local community, made civic engagement a priority, and has the support of the faculty, staff, and students. Jonathan Veitch also has a clear vision for the school’s future.