A message from President Elam about his future at Occidental College.

Dear Occidental College community,


I write to share with you that I was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a neuro-degenerative movement disorder. Please know that I am doing well, with excellent medical care and a strong support system. But in order to prioritize my health and time with family, I have made the difficult decision not to serve the final (2024-25) year of my five-year term as President. June 30, 2024 will be my last day. I have shared this news with the Board of Trustees so it can begin the search for the College’s next President and initiate a smooth transition. 

I imagine you may have questions and concerns. I want to assure you we will not lose the great momentum we have achieved over the last few years in fulfilling Occidental’s highest potential, and I am extremely optimistic about all that we can accomplish in the year ahead. As always, thank you so much for your unwavering commitment to the good work you do here: our faculty’s research, scholarship and unparalleled pedagogy; our students’ boundless curiosity, creativity and compassion for the greater world; our staff’s tireless work, often unseen, in support of all of these vital experiences; and most of all, that sense of community that binds us together. 

To our incoming students and families: it was such a joy to spend the day with you yesterday, moving students into their new home on campus, sharing in all of the excitement and emotion at the Community Welcome in Rush Gym, and getting to more personally know you at the reception for new families.

I and the President’s Office will continue to communicate with you in the days and weeks to come about this year. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel welcome to reach out to my chief of staff, Priya Sridharan, at sridharan@oxy.edu

Very truly yours,

 President Harry Elam

Contact the President’s Office
Arthur G. Coons Administrative Center, 3rd Floor

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M-F 
Call or email to schedule an appointment