No Place Like Home
Student-athlete Cam MacPherson '16 returns to Central New York to carry on family name
Although Cameron “Cam” MacPherson ’16 has been at Syracuse University for only a few months, he already feels at home. Small wonder, considering that the “MacPherson” name is synonymous with Syracuse University football. Cam’s brother, Macky ’14, is an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills; Cam's grandfather, Dick, is a former Syracuse University head coach and recent inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Following a brief stint as a Georgetown University quarterback, Cam is happy to be back in his native Syracuse, where he’s dual-majoring in international relations in the College of Arts and Sciences and in television, radio, and film in the Newhouse School. Cam is also a member of The Renée Crown University Honors Program, the College’s admissions office, and the football team—a tight end, to be exact. (He has to sit out this season, due to NCAA transfer rules.)
Cam recently spoke with the College’s Laura Bulman about all things Orange:
What was it like growing up here?
I grew up in the City of Syracuse, about a 10-minute walk from campus. I have lived here most of my life, and that experience has shaped how I view the city and Syracuse University. After high school [Christian Brothers Academy], I attended Georgetown University for a year and a half and played football. I’m glad to be back home.
Why Syracuse University?
My family has a long and proud history with Syracuse University. My grandfather was the head coach of the football team [1981-1990]. And with the recent graduation of Macky, our family has four Syracuse University degrees to its name. The campus—with its many academic programs, proximity to home, and the opportunity to play football—is perfect for me in many ways.
What do you like most about Syracuse University?
I love the atmosphere. From students to professors, everybody is committed to learning and growing. It’s exciting to be immersed in such a passionate academic culture.
How do you spend your free time?
I usually hang out with friends, doing nothing in particular. I think college is not just about what you learn, but also whom you meet. I like to be with people whom are fun, engaging, and interesting.
Do you participate in any extracurricular activities?
I have volunteered at NYPIRG [the New York Public Interest Research Group] to help raise awareness for statewide and local issues. My teammates and I also do community service work, such as helping out the Building Men Program, which is affiliated with the Syracuse City School District. The Honors Program is another great way to meet people—and to broaden my academic scope.
What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to find a way to combine my interests in international relations and film. I’d love to be like Ken Burns—an independent filmmaker whose work enriches and informs his viewers. Film is a relatable and important medium for storytelling, and I hope to add depth to my work through the context I gain in my international relations studies.
Before I came to Syracuse University, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had many different interests but no clear connection [among them]. Now that I’m here, I know what I want to study. More importantly, I have the flexibility to pursue divergent interests and to merge them, whenever possible. This will be a big help, as I look for a job or think about graduate school.
What’s it like being a student-athlete?
It affects everything—especially in the fall, from the time you wake up, to the time you go to bed. [He says 6 a.m. workouts are not uncommon.] It also influences the people you hang out with. It’s a tremendously rewarding experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.
That said, I really like producing admissions videos for the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m still kind of new to Syracuse University, so it’s a fun way to discover campus, while honing my production skills.