J. Cameron West ("Cam") took office as Huntingdon's 14th president June 1, 2003, and was inaugurated April 16, 2004. President West believes that the ultimate end of a liberal arts education is responsible citizenship, which places the well-being of our communities at the center of our beliefs, our decisions, our actions. His goal for Huntingdon students is that they be educated in the liberal arts in order to think critically and ethically, communicate with clarity and civility, and extend themselves in service far beyond their own backyards. President West’s vision for Huntingdon, rooted in the College’s historic motto engraved above the entrance to Flowers Hall, is expressed in three words: Faith, Wisdom, Service.
In May 2011, the College Board of Trustees formally adopted the Huntingdon Tomorrow Capital Campaign, a 7-year, $16.5 million campaign offering an exciting array of new and improved facilities and academic and student life programs, some of which have already been completed. The addition of academic and co-curricular programs in theater and dance will be supported by the renovation of the Cloverdale Auditorium as a theater facility, for which the College has received a $1 million gift, and the creation of a dance studio and performance space in Roland Student Center. Last year, Charles Lee Field was expanded and resurfaced in support of use as a multi-sport facility on which new teams in men's and women's lacrosse compete. A gift from Mr. George Gibbs provided for the renovation of the College's tennis facilities, which reopened last fall. Additional student housing and space for student life programs will be accomplished through the renovation of Pratt and Hanson Halls into a student center and modernized housing for upper-level students, respectively. Finally, a natatorium will be constructed on the Cloverdale Campus, affording space for the College to add intercollegiate programs in swimming and diving.
Since 2003, Huntingdon has undergone a time of revitalization and renewal with President West at the helm. He led the redesign of the core curriculum; the introduction or re-introduction of majors or programs in accounting, biology teacher education, digital art, elementary education, Christian education, music, music education, physical education, religion, worship leadership, and youth ministry; the establishment of the Staton Center for Learning Enrichment, and the Center for Career and Vocation; the expansion of Student Life, Greek Life, Campus Recreation, Campus Ministries, and Community Service programs; and the addition of the Marching Scarlet and Grey, a concert band, a jazz band, and various specialized instrumental groups. In Huntingdon's NCAA-III intercollegiate athletics, the Huntingdon Hawks Football Team took the field in 2003 and was followed by new teams in women's golf, men's and women's cross country, men's tennis, and men's and women's lacrosse. The College joined the USA South Athletic Conference earlier this year and will begin Conference competition in participating sports in the fall of 2013. Facilities and grounds improvements have included the renovation and expansion of the College's science building, Bellingrath Hall; the construction of Java City internet cafe; the relocation and modernization of the bookstore; the creation of Massey Beach in the former footprint of Massey Hall and of Jean Rodgers Chapel in the second floor of Flowers Hall; a $1 million renovation to Ligon Hall; the construction of Charles Lee Field and W. James Samford Jr. Stadium; and the renovation and renaming of the Catherine Dixon Roland Arena, the Catherine Dixon Roland Student Center, the Dr. Laurie Jean Weil Center, the James W. Wilson Jr. Gymnasium, the Will and Kelly Wilson Community and Athletic Center, and the Seay Twins Art Gallery.
Huntingdon has enjoyed tremendous enrollment growth since 2003, with an overall increase of more than 60% in full-time day students and more than 90% in all students, including the Adult Degree Completion Program, which has grown from two locations to ten locations around the state. The value of endowed funds under direct College management has more than doubled since 2002, while the faculty has grown by more than one-third.
At the May 19, 2007, Commencement Exercises, the Huntingdon College Board of Trustees awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to President West. In his citation, Board of Trustees chair W. Kendrick Upchurch III stated that President West's "unwavering leadership has transformed Huntingdon College."
Prior to his arrival at Huntingdon, President West served as a parish minister from 1978 to 1999 in United Methodist congregations throughout North Carolina; taught at Duke Divinity School's Center for Continuing Theological Education and its field education program, as well as for the United Methodist Church's Residency in Ordained Ministry program; and served as a vice president and dean at Brevard College (N.C.). He is a clergy member in full connection with the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves on the board of directors for Bridge Builders of Alabama and as a member of the University Senate of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Leadership Alabama selected President West for its 2008-2009 leadership development class.
President West and his family—wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Grace; and son, William—live in The Delchamps Residence on the Huntingdon campus. Mrs. West, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, holds the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. She worked outside the home most recently as comptroller of Kanuga Conferences Inc., the international retreat and conference center of the Episcopal Church located outside Hendersonville, North Carolina. Grace is a junior at The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee; while William is a junior at The Montgomery Academy.
President West interviewed with WSFA (NBC) news anchor Bob Howell for Newsmakers, April 2012. Watch the interview.
Updated January 15, 2013