Who is Jonathan Veitch, and what is his tie to Hollywood? As the scion of a well known Hollywood family, Veitch has carved his career out of being a top of the line fundraiser amidst hard economic times.
He was born in Los Angeles in 1959. After doing stints at both Harvard and Stanford, he served as dean in New York of the New School’s Eugene Lang college. Later, he went on to become Occidental College’s president. The liberal arts school, located in Eagle Rock, was also attended by President Barack Obama for two years. Veitch’s hiring at Occidental was an answer to a lot of prayers, due to the college’s unstable leadership in previous years. The campus has had four presidents since 2005.
With degrees from both Harvard and Stanford, Veitch made Lang’s student body increase dramatically while connecting the college with outside arts and social service organizations.
Born in Los Angeles, his ties to Hollywood run deep. His step grandfather was Alan Ladd. Jonathan’s father, John, was also president of Columbia Pictures for many years.
Attending Stanford during his undergraduate years, Veitch moved on to get a doctorate in History of American Civilization from Harvard. As a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Veitch was a teacher of English for four years.
Veitch began as president of Occidental College in 2009. The private liberal arts school was founded in 1887. Veitch’s specialty is American Literature and 19th-20th century film. He is very well acquainted with the works of American author Nathanael West.
While working at Occidental, Veitch has made attempts to improve community relations with those residents who live near the campus itself. He has also made strides on alcohol awareness with college students, reassuring the neighborhood residents that the college will not make an aggressive expansion outward. Various issues have been met on and discussed between Veitch and other community members.
Veitch has recently presided over the solar array introduction. The solar array can give off one megawatt of power to the campus. As a skillful fundraiser in his own right, Veitch has helped with larger private endowments for Occidental. He has also expressed his gratitude to be back in Los Angeles for his work at Occidental. He was gone from Los Angeles for many years, the home he came from. He is the first Los Angeles native to be president at Occidental.
The value of liberal arts and the education that comes with it are very important to Veitch. After all, it is his strong liberal arts background that has made him so successful.