List of Occidental College people

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Here follows a list of notable people associated with Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. This list includes alumni, attendees, faculty, and presidents of the university.

Notable graduates and attendees[edit]

Business and industry[edit]

Entertainment and the arts[edit]

Terry Gilliam
Ben Affleck

Government, diplomacy, and law[edit]

Jack Kemp
Barack Obama

Higher education and academia[edit]


Patt Morrison

Literature and writing[edit]



Social action, philanthropy, and community service[edit]

  • Howard Ahmanson, Jr (philanthropist for fundamentalist Christian causes)
  • Cameron Townsend (founder, Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics)
  • Rex Weyler (author, journalist, ecologist and co-founder of Greenpeace International; did not graduate)

Sports and athletics[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

Many Occidental faculty have received awards and honors and some have held prominent positions in government and the private sector.

Some faculty are notable in recent years:

Eric Garcetti
  • Eric Garcetti, former assistant professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs; currently mayor of Los Angeles
  • Juergen Pelzer, Professor of German Studies, is an expert on Brecht and Contemporary Critical Theory contributes to a variety of German newspapers, journals, and magazines, commenting on recent developments in German and European culture and politics.
  • Derek Shearer, director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs and Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs, is former United States Ambassador to Finland.[3]
  • Lisa Wade, Associate Professor of Sociology, is the founder of, and a key contributor to, the popular social science blog Sociological Images.


Herrick Interfaith Center, built 1964, with Water Forms II in the foreground.


  1. ^ "Building a Better Cocktail". Occidental College. 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  2. ^ Occidental College. "Peter Dreier". Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Derek Shearer" (Archive). Occidental College. Retrieved on August 5, 2014.