Huntingdon College

Huntingdon College

Infobox University
name = Huntingdon College

established = 1854
type = Private college
president = J. Cameron West
city = Montgomery
state = Alabama
country = United States
students = 800
faculty = 58
campus = Suburban
free_label = Athletics
free = 11 Varsity Sports,
NCAA Division III
mascot = Hawk
affiliations = United Methodist Church
website = []

Huntingdon College, founded in 1854, is a coeducational liberal arts college in Montgomery, Alabama. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the college is known for its business, and science programs. The college has recently restructured to feature a football team and marching band. The college remains very small in size with fewer than 800 students. Students receive a personal laptop for their use while at the college and to keep upon graduation.


Huntingdon College was chartered on February 2, 1854, as "Tuskegee Female College" by the Alabama State Legislature and Governor John A. Winston. In 1872 the name was changed to "Alabama Conference Female College" as it was now under the auspices of the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. A decision was made in the late 19th century to move the campus to a larger city. The college, renamed the "Women's College of Alabama" relocated in 1910 to a 58 acre (235,000 m²) parcel in the Cloverdale section of Montgomery. A campus plan was commissioned from the Olmsted Brothers and several new buildings were constructed to complement the "collegiate Gothic" style of the main college building, Flowers Memorial Hall.

The college admitted its first male student in 1934 and changed its name the next year to Huntingdon College in honor of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, a notable supporter of Methodism.

Huntingdon College's Red Lady

This is the story of The Red Lady as told by Kathryn Tucker Windham in the book 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey

The ghost was a former student named Martha who had lived a sorrowful life which came to a tragic end in her room on the fourth floor of Pratt Hall. Martha was from New York, and she came to Huntingdon because her father's will specified that his daughter must attend her grandmother's-his mother's-alma mater. This alma mater had been Huntingdon when it was located in Tuskegee. Martha did not especially want to come to Alabama, but her father's fortune was large and she knew his deep love for his home state of Alabama. So, although knowing no one in this area, Martha reluctantly came to Huntingdon. She was dressed in red when she arrived, and she brought with her red draperies for her windows and a red spread for her bed as well as other accessories of the same color. From the beginning she refused to explain her apparent obsession with the color red to the other girls.

Being a stranger and shy as well as unhappy in her unfamiliar surroundings, she could not make friends among the students. They sensed that she was different from them and having heard she was wealthy, they mistook her shyness for disdain.

Martha sat alone and apart from them in the dining hall. She seldom spoke to her roommate, and when the girls dropped in to visit she seemed so cold and unfriendly they stopped coming. Truthfully, many of them had come out of curiosity to see the red prayer rug Martha had bought in Turkey and the odd little red figurines on her bookshelves.

Her roommate found the situation unbearable and asked the housemother if she could move out. The housemother granted this request and put someone else in the room with Martha, who became increasingly aloof and irritable. This second girl also left her after only a week.

This procedure happened again and again as one roommate after another found it impossible to live with the surly girl. At last the president of the dormitory, who was known for her ability to get along with everybody, moved in with Martha and did everything she could to make friends with her, but all efforts were futile. Martha had become embittered as well as withdrawn, and she seemed to resent the presence of this kindhearted girl.

After all her efforts at friendship had failed and after she found herself growing depressed and despondent, the dormitory president packed her belongings and prepared to leave. Just as she was about to go, Martha, who had not known of her imminent departure, returned to the room. With a look of defiance she said, "So you couldn't stand me either - like all the rest of your stuck up friends. I was beginning to think you really wanted me to be your friend but you hate me just like the rest. Well, I'm glad to be rid of you! Take your things and go! But I'll tell you one thing, my dear: for the rest of your life you'll regret leaving this room." The house president was disturbed by this bitter outburst but in the midst of her many activities she soon forgot about Martha's prophetic words.

The sad girl, abandoned by the person she believed to be her only friend, formed the habit of wandering into the rooms where the other girls were congregating, but her presence cast a chill upon the groups and they would soon find flimsy excuses for leaving her alone. Then, with a feeling of alienation from all humankind, she would return to her solitary sleeping quarters, where she would wrap herself in her red bedspread and retreat from the whole world.

Later, her behavior became even more strange. She would wait until the lights were out and then she would visit one dormitory after another, never saying a word but staring into space as if she were in a trance. As time passed, she took to walking up and down the halls during the darkest hours of the night. Often she would alarm the girls by opening and closing their doors, then hurrying away to resume her pitiful promenade.

One evening after Martha had not appeared for classes or meals all day, her former roommate, the dormitory president, had a guilty feeling and decided to go see her, thinking that this time she might be able to help Martha in some way. As she neared Martha's room at an isolated corridor at the top floor of the building, she noticed the first of the now famous flashes of red shooting out into the corridor, down from the room's transom as so many have since seen. She opened the door and screamed. Girls from all over the fourth floor of Pratt rushed from their rooms to see what was wrong.

They found the dormitory president lying in a faint within the doorway of Martha's room. Not more than three feet beyond her lay Martha, dressed in her red robe and draped in her red bedspread, with blood around her on the floor. Martha had carried out her threat by slashing her wrists and bleeding to death.

This happened a long time ago, but students at Huntingdon say that on the date of Martha's suicide each year rays of crimson light flash down from the transom of her room, and the Red Lady in returns to haunt the corridors of Pratt Hall.


The college is recently fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Huntingdon College recently went through a period of accreditation probation, having been notified by SACS that they were not meeting the standards for their type of college.cite news | url= | title=Update on Accreditation Actions Taken by Regional Organizations |publisher=Chronicle of Higher Education | date=Jan. 5, 2007 | first= | last= | accessdate =2007-08-21] The probation came on an emergency review, not as a result of the standard ten-year review process. Huntingdon College was on accreditation probation for two academic years, from 2005-2007 thereby being taken off probration in January 2007.Huntingdon is consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report, as well as the Princeton Review, as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the Southeast. The college is also ranked as a "Best Value" by the Princeton Review.

ocieties, Organizations, and Clubs

There are five Greek organizations on campus, three for women and two for men. There are no fraternity or sorority houses for residential purposes, but each organization has a chapter room located on campus. Women's fraternities include Alpha Omicron Pi (chapter established 1975), Chi Omega (chapter established 1976), and Alpha Kappa Alpha (chapter established 1999). The first men's fraternity was established in 1977 with a chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and which was followed in 1981 by a chapter of Kappa Sigma.

Other organizations focus on political interests, including College Republicans and College Democrats. Service organizations include the Women's Center and Circle K International, while other organizations, such as the Natural Sciences Club and Business Club, have an academic interest as their foundation. Other groups include the Outdoor Recreation Club and the International Students Association.

Campus publications are student-run and include "The Prelude" (literary magazine), "Bells and Pomegranates" (yearbook), and "The Gargoyle" (newspaper).



*Huntingdon can be seen in the Tim Burton movie "Big Fish" where the campus is used to portray Auburn University.
*Students have said that Pratt Hall has a ghost. In the book 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, is the story of Huntington College's Red Lady.
*Men's Golf Team was NAIA National Champions in 1985,'86,'87,'88,'92, and '94. Joe Durant (Class of 1987) currently plays on the PGA Tour.


*cite book | author=Ellison, Rhoda Coleman | title=History of Huntingdon College, 1854-1954 (sesquicentennial edition) | publisher=Montgomery, Alabama, New South Books | year=2004 | id=ISBN 1-58838-171-4
*cite book | author=Windham, Kathryn Tucker | title=Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey | publisher=Huntsville, Alabama, Strode Publishers | year=1969 | id=ISBN 0-87397-008-X

External links

* [ Huntingdon College official site]

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