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Bowdoin College

Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc. has been retained by Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine, to conduct a national search for an Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.

Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College is a highly selective liberal arts college, enrolling approximately 1,800 students. Through a need-blind admissions policy, the College meets 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need with no loans. Bowdoin is a highly diverse community of students and faculty from around the United States and the world.  A typical entering class will have students from 47 states and 30 countries; 32% of students identify as students of color, an additional 6% are international, and 45% receive financial aid. Bowdoin is a dynamic living and learning community committed to fostering pluralism, building intentional community, and nurturing a commitment to the Common Good. The current endowment of the college is $1.4 Billion. For more information about Bowdoin College please visit

The College seeks academically and culturally diverse faculty and staff, welcoming applicants from diverse backgrounds, and/or who have experience working collaboratively with diverse populations. Bowdoin is set in the coastal New England town of Brunswick, Maine. Brunswick, a town of 22,000 residents, brings together elements of both city and country living including cultural offerings, a variety of restaurants, and four season activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Bowdoin’s historic 215-acre campus, comprising 120+ buildings, is a brief walk to downtown Brunswick, and is 25 miles from Portland and about 120 miles from Boston.

Bowdoin today is consistently recognized in the academic community and among prospective students as one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.  The College had a record 7,271 applicants for its Class of 2021 and the admit rate was an all-time low at about 13%.  Bowdoin’s unique character as “a small college in Maine” reflects its intimate size, strong sense of community, socioeconomic diversity, and deep treasured links with the people, history, and natural beauty of Maine.

The Position

Bowdoin College seeks a senior development professional who will play a key role in advancing the College’s Development and Alumni Relations.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the Senior Vice President, responsible for the successful planning, execution, and management of the College’s programs to seek annual, capital and planned gifts from alumni, parents and friends.
  • As a key member of the development and alumni relations staff, the Associate Vice President shares in the development of comprehensive strategies for all aspects of the college’s fund-raising programs, including annual and long-term goal setting in the context of a comprehensive campaign.

The Associate Vice President reports to the Senior Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations and leads a staff of 28 professional and support staff in the following functions: Leadership Gifts, Planned Giving, Alumni Fund, Polar Bear Athletic Fund, and Parent Giving.

Education/Skills Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 10+ years front-line fundraising experience, including successful solicitations, and familiarity with annual and reunion giving and/or alumni.
  • Development experience, preferably in an academic setting.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, and strong analytical skills, required.
  • The ability to prepare solicitation materials and work collaboratively with other development staff is essential.
  • Ability to manage, motivate and inspire a front-line advancement team to achieve inspirational goals.
  • Extensive experience working with and motivating staff including a wide-spectrum of volunteers required.
  • Demonstrated success as a front-line fundraiser in positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Priority will be given to candidates with a proven history of motivating, training, evaluating and developing direct reports to achieve goals and grow within an organization.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects at once in a deadline driven environment.
  • Experience with a capital campaign strongly preferred.
  • Extensive travel is required.

Experience Requirements and/or Equivalents

  • A minimum of 10 years of increasingly responsible development and alumni work experience in an educational institution or a similar setting.
  • Raise money for Bowdoin and build successful lifelong connections to the College.
  • Articulate the value of the liberal arts and make the case for Bowdoin’s ambitions.
  • Provide the leadership and judgment required in a key position in a high-performing area.
  • Coordinate the efforts of Bowdoin staff in Gift Planning, Leadership Gifts, the Alumni Fund, Parents Fund and Polar Bear Athletic Fund both within the division of Development and Alumni Relations and with other important campus colleagues.
  • Develop annual, capital and planned objectives including the identification and cultivation of high-level prospects; guide the efforts of annual giving programs to secure maximum unrestricted support and achieve a high rate of participation.
  • Trustee and Emeriti Board member solicitations in conjunction with the Senior Vice President and other staff as appropriate.
  • Travel extensively to cultivate, solicit and steward top prospects and volunteers, and help to identify and cultivate prospects who may be capable of making capital gifts as well as annual gifts to the college.
  • Prepare solicitation materials for all types of gifts; work with the capital/planned /annual giving staff to develop solicitation strategies; prepare reports, briefing materials, correspondence, proposals, and related documents for solicitation of prospects.
  • Support the Senior Vice President with respect to Trustee and Presidential requests for information and analysis.
  • Work in collaboration with the Assistant Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations to coordinate front-line fundraising activities with Gift Operations, Information Systems, and Research. Guide all staff members to achieve exceptional coordination within the division.
  • Possess an understanding of and appreciation for the culture of a small, highly selective liberal arts college and effectively articulate the college’s mission.
  • Work effectively with others and perform to the best of personal abilities to successfully accomplish individual, departmental, and College goals.
  • Adherence to and enforcement of College policies as necessary.
  • Other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibility

  • 25-30 staff members and 3 -7 student employees at any time.

Clayton S. Rose

President, Bowdoin College

Clayton S. Rose, PhD, is the fifteenth president of Bowdoin College. As president, he has underscored the essential importance of a liberal arts education for living lives of meaning, for civic engagement, and for professional success and satisfaction.  He has also emphasized the themes of discourse and inclusion. Specifically, that a central mission of the College is to foster an environment of vigorous and respectful intellectual engagement on the most challenging and uncomfortable ideas, where students question their beliefs and develop the skills, knowledge, and disposition to become “intellectually fearless.” Rose also continues to stress that Bowdoin must be a community where everyone will have the opportunity for an equally robust experience, regardless of their economic status, background, or identity.

In February 2016, Rose announced a lead gift of $10 million that enables the College to build the new Roux Center for the Environment and to create programs to enhance the College’s leadership in study of the environment.

Rose, 58, previously served as a member of the faculty at the Harvard Business School (HBS), where he taught and wrote on the responsibilities of leadership, managerial values and ethics, and the role of business in society. He joined the faculty at HBS in 2007 and was named professor of management practice in 2009. He was also engaged administratively at HBS, dealing with issues of community values and standards and the school’s honor code, and was part of a faculty group advising on improving the experience of women faculty and students. He was recognized at HBS for innovation in teaching and for service to the community.

Originally from San Rafael, California, Rose earned his undergraduate degree (1980) and MBA (1981) at The University of Chicago. In 2003, following a highly successful twenty-year leadership and management career in finance, he enrolled in the doctoral program in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania to study issues of race in America, earning his master’s degree in 2005 and his PhD with distinction in 2007

Rose is a member of the board of trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the nation’s largest private supporter of academic biomedical research, having joined in 2009. He previously served on the board of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. He is also a member of the board of directors of XL Group.

His wife of thirty-three years, Julianne H. Rose, originally from Rosemont, Pennsylvania, earned her undergraduate degree in biology magna cum laude at Boston College and her MBA at The University of Chicago. She began her career in finance, held elected office at the municipal level for many years, and now owns a business in Maine. Julianne and Clayton Rose live on campus with their Labrador retriever, Emmie.

Images of Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College Benefits

Bowdoin College is committed to diversity, inclusion and equality, and is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will enrich and contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our College. Bowdoin College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, marital status, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability status in employment, or in our education programs.

Bowdoin College offers a dynamic and supportive work environment, competitive salaries and a generous benefits package including a retirement plan, paid vacations, and medical insurance.

Bowdoin College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The successful candidate will be subject to a criminal history background check.

Contact Information

To explore this superb career opportunity on a highly confidential basis please send a letter of interest and a resume (both as Microsoft Word documents) to:

Doug Cooney, Executive Search Consultant, Deerfield Associates Executive Search, Inc.
572 Washington Street, Suite 15, Wellesley, MA 02482
Telephone: 781.237.2800

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