Campus News

Bowdoin Announces Key Administrative Appointments, Promotions in Finance, Development, Human Resources, and Planning

Story posted June 21, 2002

Bowdoin College has announced two new appointments and three promotions to its senior administrative staff in the areas of finance, development, human resources, and planning.

S. Catherine Longley of Brunswick has been named senior vice president for finance, administration and treasurer, while Tamara Spoerri of Cumberland has been named director of human resources.

William A. Torrey of Bath has been promoted to senior vice president for planning and administration and chief development officer. In addition, Nigel S. Bearman of Brunswick has been promoted to vice president for finance and controller, while Paula J. Volent of Cape Elizabeth has been promoted to vice president for investments.

The announcement was made today by Bowdoin College President Barry Mills.

"As Bowdoin College continues to compete vigorously and successfully for top students worldwide, it is vital that we manage our financial and human resources and plan for the future with intelligence, creativity, and good sense," said Mills. "I have great confidence in this team of professionals. They are certainly up to the tasks ahead and I look forward to working with them for the good of the College."

Longley, a 1976 graduate of Bowdoin, is currently commissioner of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. She will take up her new post in early September.

At Bowdoin, Longley will serve as the senior financial officer of the College, and will oversee the departments of human resources, dining service, campus services (including the bookstore), and the administrative component of information technology. She will report directly to Mills, and manage a staff of 155.

The College has an operating budget of $100 million, with an endowment of approximately $450 million. Nearly 40% of its student body receives financial aid on a "need blind" basis. Longley's role will focus heavily on overseeing and enhancing the financial management of the College.

Longley was appointed to her Maine state government post by Governor Angus King in 1995. As commissioner she acts as the chief administrative officer of the department that regulates banks, credit unions, insurance companies, investment advisors, and other professional and occupational trades. She manages a department budget of $16 million and a staff of 220.

Prior to her appointment to King's cabinet, Longley was a partner in the Portland law firm Verrill & Dana, where she practiced corporate and public finance law and co-chaired the firm's corporate law department.

Longley, the former S. Catherine Palevsky, earned her law degree cum laude from Suffolk University Law School. She earned her undergraduate degree in history from Bowdoin in 1976.

Spoerri is currently senior vice president in the area of human resources at Fleet Financial Group in Portland, a position she has held since 1995. She will have responsibility for the development and implementation of human resources policies and programs at the College including staff recruitment, employee relations, employee benefits, compensation, performance management, recognition, payroll, and staff development. She will also work with other campus departments to ensure compliance with environmental and safety regulations for employees. She will supervise a staff of 12 employees and report to the senior vice president for finance, administration and treasurer.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Spoerri formerly served as manager of human resources for The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company in Quincy, Mass. She is a graduate of the Cornell University CORE Human Resources Executive Development Program and a member of the Society for Human Resources Management.

Torrey has been at Bowdoin since 1988, when he was named director of development. He was appointed vice president for development and alumni relations in 1991 and vice president for development and college relations in 1993. He rose to the position of vice president for planning and development in 1998.

In his new post, Torrey will continue to serve as Bowdoin's chief development officer, and will have oversight of institutional planning; communications and public affairs; the College's relations with the town of Brunswick, state and federal government relations; the facilities management department; campus security; the Bowdoin Children's Center; the College's Breckinridge Public Affairs Center in York; and the office of the secretary of the College, which provides staff support to the Board of Trustees. He will oversee a staff of over 200, and will now be responsible for annual budgets of over $25 million.

Prior to coming to Bowdoin, Torrey was a managing director for the national fundraising consulting firm Staley/Robeson/Ryan/St. Lawrence in Boston. He spent seven years as a member of the development staff at Bucknell University, his alma mater, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees.

As controller, Bearman supervises a staff of 14 and is responsible for the financial accounting activities of the College, including day-to-day operational accounting and financial reporting. In his expanded role at the College, Bearman will work in conjunction with the senior vice president for finance, administration and treasurer on the College's collaborative budget process, which includes developing a budget to recommend to the College's trustees and allocating the approved budget to the individual management units of the College. Bearman will report to the senior vice president for finance, administration and treasurer.

Bearman is a certified public accountant who earned his undergraduate degree at the University of North Texas. He joined the Bowdoin College staff as controller in December 2000, having previously served as a consultant to the College for seven months. Bearman has also served as controller for YWCA Boston and as an auditor at the public accounting firm of Grant Thornton LLP in Madison, Wis.

Volent is responsible for the oversight and management of the College's $450 million endowment and planned giving investments. She will report directly to the president of the College. Volent joined the administrative staff at Bowdoin in July 2000 as associate treasurer, having previously served as senior associate at the Yale Investments Office where she collaborated on the management of Yale University's endowment. She previously worked in the Investments Office of the Getty Trust in Los Angeles.

Volent is a cum laude graduate of the University of New Hampshire. She earned a master's degree in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 1987, receiving her certificate in conservation from the Conservation Center at NYU in 1988. From 1984 through 1995, Volent worked as a paper conservator at the New York Historical Society, the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She also established and operated a private conservation studio in Los Angeles from 1989 to 1994.

Volent earned an M.B.A. at Yale University in 1997. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a trustee at the Maine College of Art.

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