Historic Facts About Occidental College

Occidental College has a long history of excellent academic, a beautiful campus, as well as famous alumni that have attended. Occidental was started in 1887 by a clergy of the Presbyterian Church. The college has grown from the original graduating class of 27 men and 13 women, to a more adequate population of 2,178 students in the undergraduate program. The college has a lot of history to the name. It is the oldest liberal arts college in Los Angeles and one of the oldest in the state of California.

Beginning in Boyle Heights, the campus was relocated due to a fire to the temporary Highland Park campus. On the campus, three main buildings were built. These buildings were the Academy Building, the Stimson Library, and the Hall of Arts and Letters. This historical campus takes much pride in having two presidential visits. One visit was in 1909 by William Howard Taft and the second visit was made by Theodore Roosevelt in 1911.

The Occidental College Campus was relocated to Eagle Rock in 1912, when the construction of a new campus began. The campus was designed by architect, Myron Hunt. Hunt took influence from the Mediterranean style to build parts of the campus that would include the Huntington Library, the Art Gallery, and the Rose Bowl. Two years later, in 1914, the Swan, Fowler, and Johnson Halls were built. Shortly after, in 1916, the Patterson Field was opened. Patterson Field still remains and is one of the oldest collegiate sports stadiums in Los Angeles.

Noted historical figures and current celebrities have visited and attended Occidental College. Figures like Booker T. Washington have visited the campus. Famous celebrities, athletes and politicians have attended “Oxy”. Noted people such as Terry Gilliam, Jack Kemp,Ben Affleck, Luke Wilson, Todd Garner, and even the President of the United State, Barack Obama, have all attended Occidental College.

The aesthetic value and location of the College make “Oxy” an academic environment that has produced some of the Country’s finest pupils. The 128 year old school has, over the past century, perfected both the academics as well as community living. Occidental College deserves the title as one of the best liberal art schools in the nation.

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