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Fund Directors

Fund Directors

The Fund Directors board is comprised of eight to twelve alumni from different eras. They work closely with the Annual Giving staff throughout the year as advocates, advisors and devoted volunteers to ensure that the Alumni Fund remains a vibrant resource for Bowdoin. Fund Directors are asked to serve based on their record of dedication to the Alumni Fund as Class Agents and as donors. A Fund Director’s term is three years and entails attendance at four meetings per year, two in person (Fall and Spring Annual Conferences) and two conference calls.

Meeting Dates

  • 2013 Fall Volunteer Conference:  September 19-20, 2013
  • 2014 Spring Volunteer Conference April 4-5, 2014

Joe Curtin '84 - Chair

Joe CurtainWhy do you volunteer to serve on the Fund Directors?
I volunteered to serve as a Fund Director because I love the school and understand that, without strong fundraising initiatives and loyal alums and parents, Bowdoin cannot provide its students with the highest level academic and social experience and attract world-class faculty members.   
 
Describe what you do professionally:
I am a partner in the Boston office of Mintz Levin, which is a national law firm with over 460 attorneys in 7 offices throughout the Country as well as in London and Israel. I am a member of the Firm’s Litigation and Employment law sections. My practice includes a variety of civil and criminal litigation, including general business, insurance contract, tort, unfair trade practices, environmental and employment matters. For example, I recently concluded a 5 week jury trial in Hartford Federal District Court involving a class action and two other consolidated cases with over 200 plaintiffs who had lost their pensions, IRAs and educational funds as a result of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Thankfully, I was able to obtain a favorable defense verdict of no liability for the defendant Bank I was representing.

What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
Being lucky enough to have strong and lasting friendships with many different Bowdoin graduates from all eras.

Cali Tran '97 - Vice-Chair

Cali TranWhy do you volunteer to serve on the Fund Directors?
Because Brannon asked me to... (just kidding, but not really...)

The College provided the environment that encouraged me to challenge my personal, intellectual and emotional limits; and, not surprisingly, the Bowdoin experience helped shape who I am today. The privilege of serving as a Fund Director is an opportunity to give back to the community that has impacted my life is such a meaningful way.  

Describe what you do professionally.
I invest in and work closely with fantastic entrepreneurs who aim to change the world with innovative technology and great products. 

What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
The appreciation that the relationship is ever dynamic - as Bowdoin continues to adapt to a fast changing world, so does the nature of our relationship as alumni. As advocates of the College, it is our responsibility to ensure that what made the Bowdoin experience unique to us, remain open and available to the many future generations of Polar Bears. 

Doug Bates '66

Doug BatesWhy do you volunteer for the fund directors?
I have come to realize the many benefits that have accrued to me over the years as a result of many experiences that sharpened my awareness of the world through my time at Bowdoin.  Good times and interesting opportunities were abundant, and there were some disappointments along the way.  I am grateful for the revelations and educational programs that have enhanced my critical thinking of our ever changing world.  Now, I am appreciative of the chance to help Bowdoin continue to strive for excellence and the highest academic standards that will be needed for the generations of the future. I have had the opportunity to meet and enjoy many alumni/ae and learn how they contribute to the world around us.  I wish everyone could engage themselves and find out just how terrific the Bowdoin environment is today- outstanding management in an extraordinarily challenging time; outstanding campus facilities and academic faculty; extremely capable and creative students; talented alumni/ae and friends of the college. It’s a privilege to be connected to the Bowdoin community.

What did you do professionally?
Following my years at Bowdoin and a stint in the US Coast Guard in the Viet Nam era, I completed an MBA degree and eventually became a financial advisor for more than thirty-five years, mostly in Boston, initially with Merrill Lynch, and eventually A. G. Edwards and successively Wachovia. It was a wonderful experience in which I focused on global investment opportunities and a continual curiosity about investor and financial behavior. It was a very stimulating and rewarding career for me since I enjoy greatly meeting and working with people.  My wife and I have been able to travel broadly which has contributed to my academic and vocational interests.

What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
The friendships and communication with the Bowdoin community. The older I become, the more I appreciate the differences and capabilities of the Bowdoin family. 

Chris Day '99

Chris DayWhy do you volunteer to serve on the Fund Directors?
Being a Fund Director allows me to give back to a place that gave so much to me.  I met my wife at Bowdoin.  I met many of my best friends at Bowdoin.  I made many of my favorite memories at Bowdoin.  When I was approached by the Alumni Giving office regarding the Fund Director position, it was the logical next step in trying to help provide today’s students with the same experience that I had at the College.   
 
Describe what you do professionally:
Upon graduating from Bowdoin, I entered the financial services industry with Putnam Investments. I then spent three years as an institutional salesman at Decision Economics, a macro-economic consulting firm.  Following my time with Decision Economics, I decided to move to the buy-side and joined Breckinridge Capital as a member of their Consultant Relations team.  I have been with Breckinridge for close to nine years, focusing most of my efforts on business development and relationship management.

What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
It goes directly against the identification of one aspect, but I love that my relationship with the school is so multi-faceted.  As I mentioned, my wife and best friends are Bowdoin graduates, but I also enjoy speaking with students regarding their careers, staying in touch with the school through the sports teams, meeting other Bowdoin graduates professionally and helping to raise money for the school.  It is a testament to the greatness of the school that it can stay a relevant part of so many aspects of my life. 

Jacqueline Deysher '09

Jackie DeysherWhy do you volunteer to serve on the Fund Directors?
I absolutely loved my four years at Bowdoin and learned a lot not only from my professors and in the classroom, but also from my friends and peers in day-to-day life. I volunteered to be a Fund Director because Bowdoin had an invaluable impact on me personally and professionally. I know that alumni/ae support is an important way to maintain and improve the academic and social life of the college for future generations of alums.   
 
Describe what you do professionally:
I work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as the Development Associate for Corporate Relations. My role at the MFA is focused on fundraising for the Corporate Membership program, which offers a number of ways for companies to partner with the Museum to meet marketing, philanthropic, community engagement, employee benefit, and client hospitality objectives while also providing support for the Museum's annual programs. Before the MFA, I worked in alumni/ae fundraising at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, MA.

What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin? The friends that I met during my time at Bowdoin will be lifelong friends, and the memories that I had on campus will always connect me back to the college and to Maine. 

Leo Dunn '75

Leo DunnWhy do you volunteer to serve on the Fund Directors?
Bowdoin has always meant a great deal to me. I loved the College when I was there and I have continued to love it ever since. I have willingly and without hesitation served as a Class Agent for 24 years; I served as a Fund Director once before, from 2003 to 2007; I was a Hall of Honor Committee member in 2007; and I have served on various capital campaign committees. When Bowdoin calls me to ask for volunteer help, I do it because of my deep affection for Bowdoin; for the people that work in the administration and the fundraising side of the college; and for the alumni that I met while a student at Bowdoin. And selfishly, I also do it for the Class of 1975!     
 
Describe what you do professionally:
Those who know me best would probably say that I have had a career as a volunteer for Bowdoin, and that I practice law on the side. Following my graduation from Bowdoin, I received a law degree from Suffolk Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. I then worked in a few different firms before forming Crowe & Dunn approximately 20 years ago, which is a small litigation firm in Boston. My practice involves almost exclusively personal injury litigation matters. Working essentially as a solo practitioner has allowed me to be very selective in the clients that I decide to represent and the cases that I accept. It has also afforded me, particularly as of late, the opportunities to represent elderly clients who often feel overwhelmed with the legal system and unable to pursue their rights.

What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
At different times it has meant different things. My father was a Bowdoin graduate, and my youngest son, Will Alden-Dunn '10, also graduated from Bowdoin. My relationship with my classmates has been the most enduring and consistent aspect of my relationship with the College. I see many of them on a regular basis and count them as my closest and very best friends.

Wheeler Gemmer '79

Wheeler GemmerWhy do you volunteer for the Fund Directors?
Basically because Bowdoin has become a priority of mine, and I have the time.  I have really enjoyed acting as a Class Agent; it, along with having a house in Maine again, rekindled my interest in the school.  I am thrilled to be able to give back something to the place that gave so much to me. 
 
What do you do/did you do professionally?
For almost thirty years I worked in international banking.  I started at the old First National Bank of Boston in the commercial bank training program and ended at Bank Julius Baer, a Swiss-based private bank, in New York.  Although I had various roles over the years, the one  I enjoyed most was acting as a relationship manager for Latin American families who invested in the U.S., and without a doubt my most rewarding professional years were those living and working in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. 
 
What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
That it does not have to be something from the past.  By working on the Alumni Fund, interviewing prospective students, and going to lots of Bowdoin games and concerts when I am in Maine, I almost feel like a current student (who is just a tad older and who doesn't have to live in the library).

Martha Robinson Higgins '78

Martha HigginsWhy do you volunteer for the Fund Directors?
I volunteer because I believe in Bowdoin. It is and always has been a college that challenges an outgoing and compassionate student body with the highest academic standards, while rewarding them with unique natural beauty.  You cannot graduate from Bowdoin without treasuring your four years there, and I like to think that, in some small way, my volunteer efforts help future generations of students to share in my good fortune. 
 
What do you do/did you do professionally?
Upon graduation, I joined Morgan Guaranty Trust Company and worked in the firm’s nascent corporate finance department. After I married, my husband and I lived in the Asia-Pacific region for about ten years where I very happily devoted myself to raising our two young sons. When we returned to the United States and our youngest had made his way to middle school, I enrolled at Columbia University, earning a master’s degree in American Studies. I then taught middle and high school U.S. history for several years. 
 
What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
Without a doubt, it is the sense of community. Having lived overseas for many years, we travel quite a bit, and it seems wherever we are, we run into “Bowdoin people.” I have had fellow alumni throw their arms around me in the middle of a formal reception in downtown Tokyo or tap me on the shoulder in a line for ice cream on Cape Cod; I have learned that once you are a Polar Bear, you always will be a Polar Bear. It is your support group for life!

Kristin Pollock '04

Martha HigginsWhy do you volunteer for the Fund Directors?
Because I believe in Bowdoin and the offer of the college and see firsthand the positive impact that Bowdoin graduates have on their communities. I treasure my under-graduate experience and want to ensure every Bowdoin Polar Bear has as rich and unique an experience as I did. 
 
What do you do/did you do professionally?
Over the last decade, I have served as a development officer at several cultural institutions in Chicago. I currently serve as Director of Individual and Major Giving for Shedd Aquarium. The most important aspect of my role is in building and maintaining relationships, and I have had the opportunity to help advance some fine cultural institutions in Chicago. I’m honored to do my part to help advance an institution, Bowdoin, that I care so much about! 
 
What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
My relationship with Bowdoin is constant and dynamic. Although my four years on campus ended in 2004, the college continues to inform my approach, perspectives and outlook—guided by the relationships that I’ve made through the Bowdoin community, both on campus and post-graduation. With such a diverse and engaged student body, the personality of the college is hard to define precisely, but I recognize some qualities—curiosity, wit, compassion and a respect for community—in alums of all ages.

Sean Marsh '95

Sean MarshWhy do you volunteer on the Fund Directors? I am serving as a Fund Director and I support Bowdoin in other ways for two reasons.  The first is that my Bowdoin experience, both as a student and as an alum has been formative for me in numerous ways.  The second reason is that Bowdoin is an institution that truly changes the lives of people who otherwise might not have the opportunities to better themselves, their families and the world.  With nearly half the students benefitting from some form of financial aid, it is clear that Bowdoin offers students the opportunity to obtain an education that can lift them up in the world and allow them to become great leaders and improve the lives of countless numbers of others.  Bowdoin relies on many forms of financial contributions well beyond tuition revenue to deliver this important service to society and I am honored to be able to help raise some of that money.

What do you do/did you do professionally?
I am a venture capitalist and I invest in innovative and daring entrepreneurs who want to change the world.  I am also, to an extent, an entrepreneur in that I started my firm with some partners and 11 years later we are still going strong.
 
What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
The relationships I have with alumni, students, faculty, and administrators.  Life is really about the people around you and the "Bowdoin people" in every aspect of my life are exceptional.

Sara Beard Schiller '92

Amanda LazarusWhy do you volunteer on the Fund Directors?
I am deeply grateful for my Bowdoin education and I understand the Alumni Fund’s value in creating opportunities for students.  Serving as a Fund Director allows me to contribute to Bowdoin through my areas of expertise: strategy and marketing.  I also believe that Bowdoin has something to offer Alumni and that through the Alumni Fund graduates can reconnect with Bowdoin and spark new relationships with the College that so deeply shaped their formative years.  Helping others reconnect with Bowdoin is a rewarding experience.

What do you do/did you do professionally?
I manage the day-to-day operations of Meet At The Apartment, a creative meeting space that I co-founded with my husband. Meet At The Apartment offers companies an amazing space to hold a strategy or brainstorming session, product launches or focus group. I am also the co-founder of Wooster Collective, which showcases and celebrates ephemeral art placed on city streets around the world. Our mission is to discover and document authentic art experiences via salons, lectures, publishing, gallery shows, and online at www.woostercollective.com. This year we celebrated our 10th Anniversary by curating an exhibit of over 55 of the top street artists in the world. We have published many books and in 2010 released “Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art” with Taschen. In 2006, we organized one of the most significant exhibitions of street art ever at an abandoned building in downtown New York, and "11 Spring" was chosen by the NYTimes as one of the top art exhibitions of the year. As a global voice for street art we have spoken at the Tate Modern, TedX Bloomington and The New Museum. I earned my MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU and for many years did strategy work for Starwood Hotels and as a management consultant. I live in downtown New York with my husband Marc and my daughters Samantha and Charlotte.
 
What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
I am always learning from the people I meet and work with at Bowdoin. It is these ongoing relationships that are so rewarding and motivate me to continue to support the College.

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