Hayden Honored with Huntingdon Achievement Award
Montgomery, Ala.—Cullman, Alabama, native Cynthia “Cindy” Barnes Hayden was
honored by the Huntingdon College National Alumni Association with the Young Alumni Achievement Award
during the Reunion Weekend Alumni Awards Banquet, Friday, April 3. Hayden, a member of the Huntingdon
College Class of 1999, is the daughter of Thomas and Bonnie Barnes of Cullman.
A graduate with majors in chemistry and history and a minor in political science, Hayden was named
to the Dean’s List of High Honors and received the 1998 Alpha Omicron Pi International
Collegiate Women of Leadership Award, the Jane Williams Service Award, and the Marion Black Cantelou
Chemistry Award. She was also Miss Huntingdon and Homecoming Queen.
Hayden graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Law, where she had served
as managing editor of the “Journal of Legal Profession” and a member of the moot court board.
During law school, Hayden clerked in the office of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. After taking the
bar exam, she joined the staff of United States Senator Jeff Sessions, becoming the youngest person to
hold the position of chief counsel for Senator Sessions and for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.
In this position, she played a pivotal role in identifying loopholes in the Comprehensive Immigration
legislation, which caused the bill to be fatally flawed. Sessions, Huntingdon College Class of 1969
graduate, says, “From that time on, she not only became my top resource and advisor, but she was
also sought out for information by Senators, well known media personalities, the major groups who favored
or opposed the legislation, and even administration officials. She was constantly working, conducting
research at an academic level, and distilling the complex issues into simple terms all could understand.
I am very proud of her work and deeply appreciative of her efforts.”
In 2008, Hayden left the United States Senate to become director of federal government relations for
Altria Client Services. She is married to Matt Hayden, and they make their home in Alexandria, Virginia.
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is
committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to
succeed in a rapidly changing world. Founded in 1854, Huntingdon is a coeducational liberal arts
college. The College motto, “Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service,”
is inscribed in stone above the front door of John Jefferson Flowers Hall. Celebrating its centennial
year in Montgomery this year, the campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.