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President J. Cameron West
Core Educational Values
J. Cameron West (“Cam”) took office as Huntingdon’s 14th President on June 1, 2003. He believes that the purpose of a liberal arts education at a College of the Church is preparation for 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 to explore and understand the Judeo-Christian tradition and other major religious and philosophical traditions, to consider what they are called to do with their lives, to think critically and ethically, to communicate with clarity and civility, and to extend themselves in service far beyond their own backyards. President West’s vision for Huntingdon, rooted in the College’s 168-year history, is expressed in three words: Faith, Wisdom, Service.
President West’s Career
Prior to his arrival at Huntingdon, President West served as a parish minister from 1978 to 1999 in congregations of the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of the United Methodist Church. He served as Chair of the Board of Worship in the North Carolina Conference and as the Bishop’s Ecumenical Representative in the Western North Carolina Conference. He also served for seven years as a Mentor in the Western North Carolina Conference Residency in Ordained Ministry (RIOM) program. From 1999 to 2003, he was a Vice President and Dean at Brevard College, Brevard, North Carolina.
President West is an ordained Elder in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 2013, he was presented the Francis Asbury Award by the Alabama-West Florida Conference in recognition of leadership excellence in United Methodist higher education. In 2014, he served as Conference Preacher at the annual sessions of the Alabama-West Florida Conference and the Western North Carolina Conference. He currently chairs the Board of Directors, Alabama Independent Colleges and Universities (AAICU), and is a member of the Board of Directors, Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts (MABCA). Formerly, President West chaired the Presidents Council of the USA South Athletic Conference and served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). He is also a former member of the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and an emeritus member of the Duke Divinity School Board of Visitors. President West is a member of the 2008-2009 class of Leadership Alabama.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.”
President West at Huntingdon
During President West’s tenure, Huntingdon has experienced a time of revitalization and renewal, with an enrollment growth of 50 per cent. He has led the redesign of the general education core curriculum and the introduction or reintroduction of majors or programs in accounting, criminal justice, elementary and secondary education, religion, music education, physical education, sport management, and African-American studies, as well as the Master’s of Athletic Training (M.A.T.) in the W. James Samford, Jr. School of Graduate and Professional Studies. The Center for Career and Vocation, the Thomas and Emma Staton Center for Learning Enrichment, the Phyllis Gunter Snyder Center for Campus Ministries, the Women’s Center, the Black Student Union, the Joyce and Truman Hobbs Honors Program, the Presidential Fellows Program, and the College Counseling Center have been established or reestablished.
The College has expanded campus ministries, community service programs, campus recreation, and Greek life, and added a marching band (the Marching Scarlet and Grey), a concert band (the Huntingdon Winds), and a pep band (the Ball Hawks). The Huntingdon Hawks football team, established in 2003, has become one of the nation’s premier NCAA Division III programs. Women’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s and men’s lacrosse, women’s beach volleyball, men’s wrestling, and women’s and men’s cross country and track have been introduced as Division III intercollegiate sports.
President West has made new facility construction and renovation of existing facilities a priority of his administration. The College has constructed a new football and lacrosse stadium, a new tennis center, and a new theater, and has completely renovated the natural sciences building, the religion and campus ministries building, the art gallery, the fine arts building, the first-year women’s residence hall, the gymnasium, the dining hall, and Trimble Apartments (now fraternity housing and meeting space). Fourteen neighborhood homes and three neighborhood apartment buildings have been purchased and renovated on College Court, Woodley Terrace, and Fairview Avenue for use as junior and senior leadership housing and sorority/fraternity housing and meeting space. The fully renovated, 10 acre Cloverdale Campus was dedicated in November, 2015. The Huntingdon Bands Rehearsal Hall and the W. James Samford, Jr. Soccer and Softball Complex, including the Lucinda Cannon Softball Field, were completed and opened in academic year 2017-2018.The Phyllis and Gene Stanaland House (formerly Capitol Book and News), home of the Scarlet and Grey Shop, was dedicated in September, 2019, following complete restoration. Caroline Slawson Campus Commons was opened in Fall, 2019, following major repurposing and renovation of the original section of Houghton Memorial Library. The Wanda A. Howard ’81 Black Student Union Center was formally opened in Fall, 2021, after complete restoration of the first floor of the YWCA Hut. Also in 2021, new seating was installed throughout historic Ligon Chapel in Flowers Hall, site of major religious, cultural, intellectual and arts events serving both the College and the Montgomery community.
President West, his wife, Elizabeth West, and their Sheltie, Bonnie, 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 (B.S.B.A.) from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. She worked outside the home most recently as Comptroller of Kanuga Conferences, Inc., the international retreat and conference center of the Episcopal Church, located in the North Carolina mountains. For seven years she was a member of the Council on Finance and Administration of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. At Huntingdon, she enjoys her friendships with students, faculty, and staff, and she serves as a trip leader for Huntingdon Plan Travel/Study.
President and Mrs. West’s daughter, Grace West, is a 2014 graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, where she was a Baldwin Scholar. She is employed as Assistant Director of Alumni and Leadership Giving for the Duke University Annual Fund, Durham, North Carolina. Their son, William West, is a 2018 graduate of Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he was a Charles E. Daniel Scholar. He is a student at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University, White Plains, New York.