As an author and researcher of culture and history, a Harvard University doctoral graduate, and a husband and father of three, Jonathan Veitch has a proven track record for being successful in whatever he puts his passions behind, and as the 15th President of Occidental College in California, the former Los Angeles native returned home to his roots over five years ago with the desire to strengthen ties between the college and its surrounding communities.
With a focus on renovating campus structures and developing a unique solar plant to generate a portion of the school’s annual power, he has lasted years in a position where several predecessors in his position lasted mere months. Perhaps his success is due to his ability to build the college toward a solid infrastructure and positive community relations, but it is also certainly benefited by his focus on boosting Occidental’s connection with the cultural, civic, and social service organizations in the Eagle Rock area.
Veitch’s engagement with the college community itself is also demonstrated through his commitment to the needs of the student body, even when it comes to difficult topics and issues. When it came to light that there were some sexual assaults on campus last year, perhaps alcohol fueled by student acquaintances, Veitch supported the hiring of a new first-responder compliance officer and a new full-time advocate for victims.
He stated in a 2012 address that he wants Occidental to help them “flourish as human beings.” Veitch endorses diverse cultures, backgrounds, and ideas among the student body, and wants to provide Occidental students with opportunities to go on to successful futures after graduation.