Pitzer President Melvin Oliver Diagnosed with Rare Protein Condition


Man smiles into camera
Melvin L. Oliver, the sixth and current president of Pitzer College, will continue to lead the college as he begins chemotherapy. (Courtesy of Pitzer College)

Pitzer College President Melvin L. Oliver has been diagnosed with AL amyloidosis, a disease that causes abnormal protein production in bone marrow, he wrote in an a campus-wide email Tuesday.

In Oliver’s specific diagnosis, protein chains have attached to his heart, and “are causing fatigue and shortness of breath,” he wrote.

Oliver will continue to fulfill his duties via “video and audio conference calls” as he begins weekly chemotherapy in Santa Barbara. He will additionally consult with the Amyloid Center at Stanford University, one of the largest treatment centers for amyloidosis in the nation.

“The prognosis for a quick, full recovery is excellent and I should return to full strength in two to three months,” Oliver wrote. “I often speak of our core and community values, including the importance of community, diversity and intercultural understanding. Now is indeed a time for community. I hope the entire campus – faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, parents and friends – will work together during these upcoming months for Pitzer’s continued success.”

This is a developing story, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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