Dr. Vietch Experiences Success and Challenges as Occidental College President

Jonathan Veitch received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University before attending Harvard University, where he earned his master degree and his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization. Dr. Veitch taught in the English department of the University of Wisconsin, Madison for four years and wrote the award-winning American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997). He went on to become an associate professor at The New School in New York City where he taught history and literature, and served as chair of humanities and associate provost.


In 2009, Dr. Veitch became president of Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, the fifth president in five years. Viewed as a stabilizing force in the college’s leadership, his first years focused on improved community relations, upgrade of campus facilities, and environmental programs. Under his direction, construction was completed on the Samuelson Alumni Center as well as the renovation and expansion of 98-year-old Swan Hall, a residence that serves over one-third of the faculty. Renovations of the historic Johnson Hall were also completed and it is now home to the new McKinnon Family Center for Politics and Global Affairs and the Johnson Student Center.

Despite the positive campus growth, Occidental College became the focus national scrutiny and public criticism over its handling of sexual assault claims. In a January, 2014 interview, Dr. Veitch admitted that the college did not adequately meet the needs of its students, in part due to misunderstanding when college personnel could and could not report to authorities. Internal and external reviews of campus policies and practices were conducted and several changes have occurred with regard to addressing sexual assault issues on campus. These include:


  • Expanded staffing to include a Title IX compliance officer and full-time victim’s advocate.
  • Expanded education from prevention-focused program for females to behavioral education for the male student body.
  • Improved support of victims to contact the police in cases of assault.
  • Revamped alcohol education to include a sexual awareness component.
    Veitch concluded his discussion of this issue by stating that he did not communicate his empathy and concerns for the student body as well as he should have. His goal is to have Occidental College be a safe and challenging educational environment for all students.

The Antique Wine Company: Fine and Rare Wine Merchant

An entrepreneur is a risk taker. Stephen Williams seemed to understand the meaning of the statement. For three decades now, his company has flourished to be one of the best wine merchants of his time. Venturing into the wine business was a real risk given that wine is not taken by a high percentage of people. It’s considered expensive by most people and as a result it’s always left to the “rich”. Wine is good for the stomach so does the doctor says; however only a few can afford it.
Stephen Williams, the founder and the managing director of the AWC, come from a poor background. He was the firstborn in a family of three. They lived in an industrial town in Ripley, Derbyshire. Having being brought up by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet; he knows very well what it means to sleep on a partial empty stomach. His father who used to sell cigarettes left them when he was 10 years.
He used to sneak out and attend parties in his neighbor’s houses. Wine was mainly served for the principal guest and adults. However, he would hide and taste wine that was left by the guest, and he enjoyed the taste. Little did he know that one day he will be the owner of one of the best wine producer company. In 2010, the Antique Wine Company made 20 million pound business turnover. In 2011 July, the Antique Wine Company that has 15 staff was voted as the best company in producing exceptionally rare, fine wine. The Antique Wine Company, which is based in London, operates in more than 70 countries and has a client base of more than 20000.
His journey to success started when he failed to receive a call from someone who was interested in buying an insurance policy. He wanted to sell something that people will keep on coming back for. At the back of his mind, he knew that this thing should be unique.He also wanted to find pleasure in selling the commodity. Not knowing what will become of him he turned into the wine business. His company mainly specialized in making rare vintages. Ever since 1982, he has never looked back; the Antique Wine Company has flourished beyond his imaginations.