Kurt “Cameron” Feist ’04, Director of Financial Aid, Hamilton College
If you majored in religious studies, what do suppose your career would be after graduation? As a student at Hamilton, Cameron Feist started down the pastoral road as a volunteer youth minister at St. James Church in Clinton. His career path shifted, however, after he took a job in the College’s admission office after his graduation in 2004. As a member of the admission team, he worked as assistant dean and moved up to associate dean before leaving the College in 2009.
After serving as Director of College Guidance at University School of Milwaukee, Cameron returned to his alma mater in January 2013 as director of financial aid. Although his job keeps him busy year-round, his focus changes with the “seasons.” This time of year is spent on the reporting and planning of federal government required reports. He works with Central Information Systems and Institutional Research to help support the development of new financial aid policies and procedures. Later he will work with students and families to ensure that they receive the best possible financial aid packages in order to maintain an affordable education.
Cameron works closely with his mentor, boss and friend Monica Inzer, dean of admission and financial aid, and is familiar with the cycles of the admission process. From the first Early Decision deadline in November, to helping current students through the renewal process, to working with colleagues on various campus committees, Cameron loves every facet of his work.
You may not know that Cameron met his wife, the former Liz Bowman, while working for the Admission Office. They happened to be stationed side-by-side in a middle school gym in Denver, Colo., Liz representing Grinnell and Cameron representing Hamilton at a college fair. They spent the week getting to know each other and then dated long distance (Iowa/New York) for two years. Liz eventually moved to Clinton and they got married in 2009.
While his parents were not graduates of Hamilton, Feist is a common name among alumni. His brother Corey graduated in 1995 (also a religious studies major), and his sister and brother-in-law Megan Feist Whitlock ’98 and Jedd Whitlock also graduated from Hamilton. The Feists grew up in southern Florida but found common ground in Central New York on College Hill.
Cameron, Liz, their 1-year-old son Benjamin “Benji” and dog Toby live in College housing on College Hill. Over the summer they celebrated the baptism of Benji in the Hamilton Chapel. Jeff McArn presided at the ceremony, and godparents were not only family but also Hamilton alumni (Corey and sister-in-law Amanda Bowman ’10). “It was perfect and meaningful for my family,” Cameron said.
Cameron’s family life is as fulfilling as his work. He is obsessed with the family dog, busy with child-proofing their home and extremely proud of his wife’s recent running accomplishments. Last year Liz was picked for WKTV’s “Go the Distance” team. The team trained and ran the Boilermaker together. And while Liz would like them to be a running family, Cameron says that if he were not at Hamilton, he would be playing golf. He admits that he is a terrible golfer but very much enjoys the game. He also says that he and Liz like to travel; ever since he visited New Zealand as a Hamilton student, he has always dreamed of returning there with Liz and Benji.
While Cameron likes all aspects of his job, he finds helping people, regardless of their financial background, to afford a Hamilton education very fulfilling and meaningful. If you get a chance, stop in and welcome Cameron back to the Hill.