A former professor, author and American college administrator, Jonathan Veitch was born January 31, 1959 in Los Angeles, California. Succeeding Robert Skotheim as president, Veitch became president July 2009. He served as dean at the New School’s Eugene Lange College and served as professor at University of Wisconsin.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California John Veitch, his father was president of Columbia Pictures and Alan Ladd (actor) was his step-grandfather. Jonathan Veitch received his bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature from Stanford University and attended high school in southern California. He went on to obtain his doctoral degree from Harvard University in the History of American Civilization.
Jonathan Veitch became an associate professor of English in 1993 at University of Wisconsin. During his time there, in 1997 the University press published “American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1030’s, which was his first book. In the same year he became an associate professor at The New School when he moved to New York. He taught course such as, American history, cultural history and American film which pertained to the 19th and 20th centuries. He remained in tenure for four years as Dean of Eugene Lang College until he stepped down in 2009 to become the president of Occidental College.
Jonathan Veitch was the first native Angeleno of Occidental College coming from Los Angeles. He followed Robert Skotheim as the 15th president in He worked diligently to improve the relations between the community and the college, limiting the political strategy into the community in reference to neighborhood concerns. In August 2010, his first Anniversary, he hosted a public forum for activists in Los Angeles and the local officials to speak about the environmental future for the city.
In 2011 he announced a new name for Occidental College football stadium, which was renamed Jack Kemp who was an alumnus and former pro football player. Jack Kemp was also a Republican in the United States House of Representatives, he passed away in 2009. A new statue was also unveiled in the former student’s honor.
In April 2012, the university’s 125th anniversary, President Jonathan Veitch announced that Occidental College would receive a $5 million donation for renovations to Johnson Hall, which is one of the three original campus buildings.
Jonathan Veitch is married to former director of international licensing and distributorship for Calvin Klein, Sarah Ann Baxter Kersh. They were married December 1992 and they reside in the Wallis Annenberg President’s quarters on Occidental campus with their three children.