The Reverend J. Cameron West

President West PhotoThe Reverend J. Cameron West

President, Huntingdon College

Montgomery, Alabama

 

  • Th.M., The Divinity School, Duke University
  • M.Div., The Divinity School, Yale University (cum laude, Rockefeller Brothers Fellow)
  • B.A., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Phi Beta Kappa, North Carolina Fellow)

 

Biography

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 world religions, 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 160 year history, is expressed in three words:  Faith, Wisdom, Service.

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.  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 and also served for eight years as a mentor in the Western North Carolina Conference Residency in Ordained Ministry (RIOM) program.  From 1999-2003, he was a vice president and dean at Brevard College. President West is an elder and member in full connection of the Alabama-West Florida Conference and was named in 2012 to membership in the University Senate 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.

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, elementary and secondary education, religion, Christian education, youth ministry, worship ministry, music, music education, physical education, and sport management; the establishment of the Center for Career and Vocation, the Women’s Center, and the Black Student Union;  the expansion of campus ministries, community service, campus recreation, and Greek life programming; 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 established in 2003 has become one of the nation’s premier Division III programs. Women’s golf, men’s tennis, and women’s and men’s lacrosse have also been introduced as highly-competitive 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 science building, the religion and campus ministries building, the art gallery, the first year women’s residence hall, the gymnasium, and the dining hall.  A lead gift for renovation of the music building has been secured, and work will begin in summer 2014 on a complete renovation of that facility.

President West has been married to Elizabeth Batchelor West for 25 years.  She has been active in the teaching ministry of First United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, and for seven years was a member of the Council of Finance and Administration of the Western North Carolina Conference.  The Wests are the parents of two children, Grace Louise West and William Cameron West.