March 18, 2021
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Huntingdon Dean of Students Fran Taylor Announces her Retirement
Montgomery, Ala.—Huntingdon College vice president for student affairs and dean of students Fran Taylor announced today her intention to retire at the end of the current academic year. Ms. Taylor is completing her forty-seventh year in the field of education and her ninth year in leadership at Huntingdon College.
“This has been such a difficult decision, because I have loved my career in education and my time at Huntingdon,” said Ms. Taylor. “I leave knowing that there are strong, capable staff in place to continue the programs we have developed. I hope students know how much I have enjoyed knowing them and working with them. This work has been so close to my heart. I just feel like this is the right time to step away.”
Fran Taylor came to Huntingdon in 2012 as director of the College’s Center for Career and Vocation. In that role, she counseled students individually about academic and career options; oversaw the creation of internships and externships; created on-campus career-specific job fairs with area professionals, as well as on-campus graduate and professional school fairs; advised students on the building and polishing of professional resumes and interviewing skills; built a network of relationships between the CCV and Huntingdon faculty, staff, and the community; and cheered for new graduates as they accomplished their first career milestones.
She moved to the role of dean of students in 2015, where she assumed primary oversight of student leadership programs, student activities, Greek life, and health services. In 2017 she was appointed vice president for student affairs and dean of students, taking leadership of the Huntingdon Village of residential communities in addition to all programs in the Office of Student Affairs.
“I have always said that our first priority is to make this campus each student’s home-away-from-home,” said Ms. Taylor. “Huntingdon has a tight-knit family feel, and the Office of Student Affairs is at the center of making each student’s college experience complete.”
Prior to her work at Huntingdon, Ms. Taylor taught, coached, and served as a guidance counselor during three decades of educational leadership serving Pelham High School, Elmore County High School, and Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School. She served as principal of Montgomery Catholic from 2008 to 2012.
“Fran Taylor’s work at Huntingdon has been exemplary,” said Huntingdon President J. Cameron West. “She built a career services legacy that has continued to grow under the care of her mentee, Sherry Leigh Lacey Farquhar ’13. Dean Taylor has shepherded more than a dozen young higher education professionals in the Office of Student Affairs and has created a warm, caring atmosphere for students, which is of paramount importance to this College. Students always tell me that Huntingdon makes them feel like they are at home, and I credit Dean Taylor’s good work for that sentiment, which has continued even as we observed distance learning during spring 2020 and socially-distanced, in-person learning during the 2020–2021 academic year. I look forward to spending the rest of this spring celebrating her work at Huntingdon.”
President West announced that he has asked Dr. Anthony Leigh, senior vice president for student and institutional development, to add the role of dean of students during the 2021–2022 academic year, until a national search for Ms. Taylor’s replacement can be conducted.
Huntingdon College continues a legacy of faith, wisdom, and service through a liberal arts academic tradition grounded in the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United Methodist Church.