Newsmakers

A new ASOC president, a woman of the year, a visit from Nancy Pelosi, and good news for Upward Bound

Margeau Valteau '13 (right), an urban and environmental policy major from Window Rock, Ariz., was elected president of Associated Students of Occidental College—Oxy's first student body leader of Native American descent. "I want to make sure everyone is informed," she says of her goals for the coming academic year. "I plan to do more outreach and talk to more people, and our new senators will go to more club events and be more active in the community."

Ginny (Goss) Cushman '55 was among 13 honorees lauded at the 27th annual Women of the Year awards luncheon sponsored by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and L.A. County Commission for Women, held March 12 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Among her many musical activities, Cushman was a member of the board of the L.A. Philharmonic for eight years and was also conference chairwoman and president of the National Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers. Cushman was the first woman to serve as president of the Occidental Board of Trustees (1996-99).

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) met with President Jonathan Veitch and others  (including Fulbright Scholar Juan Germán '12) to discuss the hot-button issue of college affordability and student loan interest rates. "Nothing brings more revenue to the public treasury than education," she said. "We have a moral imperative to educate our children and prepare for the future."

Occidental's Upward Bound program has been awarded a five-year, $2.74-million grant by the U.S. Department of Education. The federal program helps motivated low-income high school students and students who would be the first in their families to attend college reach their academic potential and complete a postsecondary degree. In June, all 26 of Oxy's Upward Bound seniors graduated from high school. UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge, and Occidental are among the colleges and universities they will attend this fall. Launched in 1966, Oxy's program serves about 114 students a year.