Jonathan Veitch, College President and Hometown Boy

In July 2009, Jonathan Veitch took the reins as the 15th president of Occidental College in Los Angeles California. He became the 5th college president in four years and began his tenure when the college endowment fund was at an historic low mirroring the nation’s economic uncertainty. Today, thanks to Dr. Veitch’s leadership, Occidental College has outperformed most other schools similar in size with endowment funding and student success.

Although Dr. Veitch has proven himself as an excellent manager by accomplishing better financial standing and delivering the stability and calm needed by any organization in an uncertain time, he is foremost an educator. A graduate of Stanford University and recipient of a doctoral degree from Harvard in the History of American Civilization, Jonathan Veitch taught at the University of Wisconsin and was an associate professor of literature and history at the New School in New York City. Because he grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Loyola High School only minutes from Occidental College, one could say that Dr. Veitch has definitely come home.

Occidental College is within the community of Eagle Rock and the symbiosis of a college and the community that is its home is a relationship that Dr. Veitch is passionate about. He is responsible for the Eagle Rock community’s involvement on all developmental planning of the college since his presidency began.

Even though liberal arts have taken a back seat to the STEM fields, the broad and diverse nature of a liberal arts degree continues to give students a broad and useful education. The in depth liberal arts background of Jonathan Veitch prepared him well to lead a student body who chooses to go beyond the surface of life and dig deeper.

Occidental College is not only a leading liberal arts college; it is the only liberal arts college in Los Angeles which is home to more than 100 colleges and universities.The shared vision inspired by Jonathan Veitch of both the community and the college has benefited local high schools and given the town of Eagle Rock a more academic flavor.Dr. Veitch encourages his students to embrace Los Angeles as he does. Understanding the complex social issues of this unique city is something he considers an important component of the Occidental College education.

Dr. Veitch has constructed many paths enabling Occidental students to experience the relationship between poverty and social issues, empowering them to use their education to affect meaningful change.

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