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Occidental College Names Link Board Chair

San Marino resident Lisa H. Link, a retired labor and employment attorney whose passion for education and expertise in public school financing led her to take a leadership role in local schools, is the new chair of the Occidental College Board of Trustees.

A two-time president of the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education, Link succeeds Stephen Rountree (Class of 71), who completed his term as chair June 30.

An Occidental trustee since 2016, Link served on the search committee that brought President Harry J. Elam Jr. to campus in 2020, as vice chair of the board’s Executive Committee and as a member of its Vision and Strategy Task Force. She particularly enjoyed chairing the Student Life and Enrollment Management Committee given her interest in the student experience and student success.

“I am excited to work closely with President Elam and my fellow trustees to support the mission and goals of the college,” Link said in a statement. “I will continue to work on those key initiatives my predecessors have worked on: increasing engagement, increasing the diversity of our board in all aspects, and increasing our understanding of the issues that our students, faculty and staff face, so that the decisions we make as a board are the best decisions possible.”

Link also intends to press ahead with The Oxy Campaign For Good, the college’s comprehensive campaign that met its initial fundraising goal one year early.

“One thing we learned from the campaign is that there is substantial alumni and outside support for Occidental and its mission, and that we can achieve even more than we already have,” she said. “The Oxy Campaign For Good is just the first step in terms of growing our engagement, growing our endowment and growing support for our students and academic programs.”

A graduate of Wellesley College and USC Gould School of Law, Link practiced labor and employment law for two decades with the Los Angeles office of BakerHostetler. While with the firm, she also served for two years as an adjunct assistant professor and associate director of legal writing and advocacy at Gould.

As a result of her representation of the Los Angeles Unified School District on a case involving public school financing, she was asked to co-author a white paper on that subject for SMUSD, where her two sons were enrolled. That led to her being asked to run for school board, where she served two consecutive terms and twice served as board president. She also served as president of the San Marino High School PTSA and the nonprofit Partnership for Awareness, as well as on the board of the San Marino Schools Foundation. Link served on the San Marino school board from 2011-2020.

Although a Wellesley graduate, Link has deep ties to Occidental: Her parents, Stephen (Class of ’55) and Ann (Hoffmann) Hinchliffe (Class of ’57) met at Oxy. She also has two aunts, an uncle, a brother, a niece and a son (Class of 2018) who attended Oxy. It was as an Oxy parent that she first became directly involved with the college, serving on the Parents Council, which proved to be a steppingstone to trusteeship.

As board chair, Link is following in the footsteps of her father, who was named chair emeritus in 2016 after serving half a century on the board. “Because my parents remained so involved with the college, and so many of their friends were Oxy classmates, when I joined the board I already knew a number of trustees and trustees emeriti — people like John Power (Class of 1958), [former San Marino Mayor] Rary Simmons (Class of 1953), and Ginny Cushman (Class of 1955),” she said. “Oxy has made such a positive difference in the lives of my family and friends, and I look forward to continuing their legacy of leadership and support of the college.”

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