After more than two decades of service to the College, Senior Vice President for Planning and Development William Torrey announced Monday he will leave his post at the end of the academic year. “This is a job I have loved for more than two decades,” says Torrey, “particularly because of the people I have worked with and for whom I have the utmost respect and affection.”
In a message to the Bowdoin community, President Barry Mills lauded Torrey for his significant contributions to the College, saying, “When historians look back on this period of the College, there will be an extensive chapter or two devoted to Bill and his transformational work.”
President Mills’ message:
To Members of the College Community:
Bill Torrey announced this morning that he has decided to step down as senior vice president for planning and development at the end of the current academic year. His announcement appears below.
Bill isn’t actually going anywhere immediately. He will stay on for one additional year as secretary of the College while he considers his next big challenge after Bowdoin. I understand how difficult it can be to make these decisions, and I respect Bill’s determination that this is the time in his life and career to see what else is out there.
We will have many months to talk about Bill’s significant contributions to Bowdoin over the past two dozen years, and to thank him for his service. I simply want to take the opportunity now to highlight a few of the more important aspects of Bill’s work here and to say a word about what’s next for the College.
In the twenty years since Bob Edwards named Bill chief development officer, Bowdoin has secured more than $600 million dollars in contributions. That is a remarkable number, given the size and history of Bowdoin, and it has quite simply transformed this College. Of course, this has been the work of many, made possible by the generosity of our donors, but fundraising is a very person-to-person business, and one that requires skill, leadership, patience, determination, vision, and teamwork. Bill brought each of these to the task, and he is widely recognized as having assembled one of the finest development teams at any college or university in America.
Bill has also been an important and candid advisor to Bob Edwards, to me, and to our trustees on virtually every important issue before us. He was an instrumental voice and presence in the deliberations aimed at creating a new vision for residential life that took place here in the 1990s, and he was a bulwark for the College as we moved through that challenging transition.
During his time here, Bill has met and developed lasting relationships with literally thousands of alumni, and he has worked tirelessly and with optimism and enthusiasm to help students, faculty, and staff realize their goals for programs and facilities throughout the College.
In due course, we will create a search committee for Bill’s successor that will include representation from across the College. In the interim, Randy Shaw ’82, our vice president for development and alumni relations and assistant secretary of the College, has agreed to step in and work with me to maintain the momentum and cohesiveness of our development efforts when Bill steps aside at the end of June. I am grateful to Randy for taking on this role.
I know each of you joins me in extending a warm and heartfelt thank you to Bill Torrey for everything he has done and built at the College. Bowdoin College is, in large measure, the place it is today due to Bill’s commitment to the mission and future of this College. When historians look back on this period of the College, there will be an extensive chapter or two devoted to Bill and his transformational work at Bowdoin.
Sr. Vice President of Planning and Development William Torrey’s announcement:
To the Bowdoin Community:
I am writing to let you know that, after a great deal of thought, I have decided that now is the time for me to pursue the next great challenge in my professional life. Accordingly, I will step down as Bowdoin’s senior vice president for planning and development, effective at the end of the current academic year in June. I will stay on as secretary of the College for one additional year, while I explore other opportunities.
I have come to this decision with some reluctance, because this is a job I have loved for more than two decades, particularly because of the people I have worked with and for whom I have the utmost respect and affection. The College has made remarkable progress these past twenty years. We have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, participated in the physical and programmatic transformation of this historic campus, and built strong and lasting relationships with alumni, donors, and trustees. All of this success must continue in order to maintain Bowdoin’s rightful position among our nation’s very best liberal arts colleges. I have every confidence that the planning and development staff is well-positioned to continue its good work on behalf of the College, but I have to admit a personal need-after nearly a quarter century and at this stage in my life and career-to look at other things that I might do, and to conclude my professional career with new and different challenges.
I have had several conversations about my decision with President Mills, who will announce specific plans for the transition that will begin in July. Since I’m not going anywhere for a while, I look forward to several more months of working with all of you on behalf of Bowdoin. It has been a great privilege to lead the development division and to have had a hand in shaping the future of Bowdoin. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I know the future is bright for both the College and for my wonderful family and me.
William A. Torrey