Occidental College’s Renovator and Innovator
In 2009, Jonathan Veitch was elected to lead Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. He has become admired in both the college community and the community at large thanks to his being an advocate of a liberal arts education and forward thinking policies that represent the values of Occidental College as a whole and distinguish him from his predecessors.
Veitch acquired his bachelor’s degree from Stanford before moving on to complete his doctorate at Harvard University. He went on to serve as dean of the Eugene Lang College of The New School, a university based in Greenwich Village, New York City. He published a book in 1997, “American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s”, which is just one example of his commitment to his area of expertise, 19th and 20th century American History. However, his most important legacy originates from his work in Occidental College. He has been able to find a middle ground between community concerns and expansion and growth of Occidental College, which has lead him to be respected among community members.
Under Veitch, the college has added new expansions to its campus. Swan Hall, a century old faculty residence hall, has been expanded to accommodate Occidental College’s growing staff. In 2012, under Veitch’s leadership, Occidental College opened the Samuelson Alumni Center, which stands as a testament to Occidental College’s commitment to its alumni. Apart from new buildings, Jonathan Veitch has also overseen numerous renovation projects to the interiors of several other buildings on campus, adding to the buildings that are already there instead of expanding out into the surrounding community.
In order to support this expansion, and to encourage a greener lifestyle, Veitch has also overseen the construction of a 1 Megawatt solar panel to provice over 10% of Occidental College’s electricity needs. Both in the past and in the present, Jonathan Veitch proved himself to be worthy as a leader, an educator, and an advocate of these traits. Occidental College is lucky to have him as its president and will surely feel the effects of his leadership for years to come.