The work of the Alumni Board of Governors builds connections to the College

Greetings to my fellow Oxy alumni. I am Brenda Barham Hill ’71, the new chair of the Alumni Association Board of Governors. I am also an Oxy parent, my daughter Lauren Hill having graduated in 2003. I was among the College’s first American studies majors, and the cross-disciplinary emphasis of the major made a positive impact on my professional career and personal life. My years at Oxy were transformative and occasionally tumultuous against the background of the Vietnam War, the Black Power movement, and general social unrest. Being a part of the Oxy community during this period influenced me heavily.

I enjoyed a 45-year career in higher education as an administrator and consultant, and my interest in and support of the College as an alumna dovetailed strongly with my professional interests.

I have tried to stay close to Oxy through serving on reunion committees and attending a wide variety of alumni and College events. It was a pleasure to co-chair the Class of ’71 50-year reunion committee. Meeting remotely, we organized a robust slate of reunion activities over several months, culminating in a well-attended Zoom gathering during Alumni Reunion Weekend. Thanks to the generosity of our classmates, we raised more than $400,000 to establish the Class of ’71 Endowed Scholarship.

In my four years as a member of the Board, it’s been rewarding to work with members spanning five decades of Oxy graduates to plan and support alumni activities on your behalf. Our goal is always to encourage alumni engagement with the College through our activities and support Oxy’s goals and priorities. Much of what we do is through three primary committees:

  • The Admission Committee works collaboratively with the Office of Admission on such activities as contacting accepted students to encourage them to attend Oxy. (Co-chairs: Dave Poetzinger ’89 and Jacob Stevens ’08)
  • The Careers and Mentorship Committee also works with Oxy staff to assist current students in networking with alumni and offers career preparation activities on campus. (Co-chairs: Jackie Provost ’02 and Talia Robinson ’97)
  • The Engagement Programs Committee has responsibility for supporting a wide range of alumni programming. Their focus this year is on helping to revitalize several regional alumni groups in San Diego and Portland, Ore. (Co-chairs: Steve Case ’80 and Mel Malmberg ’79)

I encourage you to reach out to the committee co-chairs and myself as points of contact if you would like more information and/or would like to volunteer to assist with our many activities.

Please look for columns from members of the Board of Governors in future issues of Occidental magazine. We want to stay in closer contact with you as we continue to support Oxy’s alumni and our connections to the College. Io Triumphe!

Brenda Barham Hill ’71 P’03
President, Board of Governors