Bowdoin College has announced the appointments of a new admissions dean and a new chief investment officer.

Claudia Marroquin of Portland has been named senior vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Bowdoin, effective July 1.

Claudia Marroquin DENNIS GRIGGS photo

A 2006 graduate of Bowdoin and a first-generation college student, Marroquin currently serves as director of admissions. In her new role, she will oversee Bowdoin’s admissions program and a financial aid program that this year is distributing more than $43.6 million in need-based aid to more than half of the student body. She will succeed Whitney Soule, who was recently named vice provost and dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania.

Marroquin’s appointment was announced by Bowdoin President Clayton S. Rose.

“Claudia brings to this critical leadership role deep experience and great skill in the work, remarkable creativity, and an unwavering commitment to bring to Bowdoin the most amazing students.” Rose said in a statement from the college. “And she knows the college. She knows just how special a Bowdoin education is, and how it changes lives. She has lived it. Bowdoin could not be more fortunate to have Claudia leading admissions and student aid, and helping to guide the college for many years into the future.”

As senior vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, Marroquin will join Bowdoin’s senior leadership team, reporting directly to the president of the college, and will lead one of the nation’s most successful undergraduate admissions and financial aid programs. Last year, Bowdoin received 9,325 applications for approximately 500 spots in the first-year class.

Applicants came from all states, the District of Columbia, and four US territories, 63 foreign countries, and 4,845 high schools. Bowdoin is also one of 19 colleges or universities in the U.S. that provide need-based financial aid, meet full demonstrated need for all four years and do not require loans in student aid packages. This year, half of Bowdoin students are receiving need-based aid from the College, with an average grant — money that does not have to be repaid— of nearly $48,000.

“I am incredibly humbled to continue working for Bowdoin in this new capacity and for the trust the College has placed in me,” said Marroquin. “As a high school senior, I could not have anticipated how much Bowdoin would come to mean in my life. The education I have received as both a student and professional have been impactful beyond words and have led to this point. I am thrilled to continue helping to shape the Bowdoin of tomorrow and to be working with my talented and committed colleagues in admissions and student aid and our partners across campus.”

Marroquin is originally from the Koreatown neighborhood in central Los Angeles, California, where she lived after immigrating to the United States from Guatemala with her mother and two sisters. She discovered Bowdoin through her association with the One Voice College Scholars Program, an organization that prepares and supports low-income students from Los Angeles who are seeking a college education.

An art history major with a minor concentration in government and legal studies, Marroquin joined the Bowdoin admissions staff in 2010 as assistant dean following four years with EF Educational Tours in Boston. In 2012, she was named associate dean of admissions and director of multicultural recruitment, responsibilities she retained when she was named director of admissions in 2016. She completed the Harvard Institute’s Management Development Program and is currently working toward a master’s degree in higher education at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Marroquin is a member of Northeast Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College, where she has served as chair of the finance committee; Coalition for College; the National Association of College Admissions Counseling; the International Association of College Admissions Counseling; and the Council of International Schools. She is a past member of the Institute for Civic Leadership and a past board member at Hardy Girls, Healthy Women, both in Portland, Maine.

Bryant named Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer 

K. Niles Bryant will become the next senior vice president and chief investment officer at Bowdoin College, where he will be responsible for managing the College’s $1.8 billion (as of June 30, 2020) endowment, the largest portion of which is permanently restricted to the support of student financial aid.

Niles Bryant Lindsey Turner photo

Bryant’s appointment is effective July 1. He will succeed Paula Volent, who announced in February that she intends to step down in June after more than 20 years in the position.

“Niles’s exceptional experience and skills, his record of achievement, and his deep commitment to Bowdoin’s mission make him the ideal person to succeed Paula in this work that is vital for the College and especially for the students and families supported through our endowment returns,” said Rose.

As senior vice president and chief investment officer, Bryant will be a member of Bowdoin’s senior leadership team, reporting to the president.

“I have known Paula for my entire investing career and have always admired her investment judgment, passion for markets, and dedication to Bowdoin,” Bryant said. “The portfolio she has built is truly one of a kind and her devotion to Bowdoin’s success is unmatched.”

Bryant joined Bowdoin’s investment office in April 2020 as director of investments, following 16 years as an investment professional and earlier as an attorney specializing in capital markets and mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, he served on the investments team as director of real assets at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a Bay Area private foundation with an $8 billion endowment.

From 2004 to 2008, Bryant was associate director of investments at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, one of the nation’s oldest private foundations, where he worked with Chief Investments Officer D. Ellen Shuman, a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1976.

“Niles is uniquely positioned for this leadership position at Bowdoin,” said outgoing Chief Investment Officer Paula Volent. “During this recent challenging period, Niles has worked side by side with me and our Investment Committee on managing Bowdoin’s portfolio, augmenting the investment team, and carrying out our due diligence on potential opportunities. I have great confidence that the Bowdoin endowment will be in the very best of hands going forward. I look forward to working with Niles over the next four months to facilitate a smooth leadership transition.”

Prior to his work in the field of investments, Bryant was an associate at the New York City law firms of Dewey Ballantine and Winston & Strawn. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned his undergraduate degree magna cum laude in classical archaeology, and where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his law degree at the Duke University School of Law in 1998 and his MBA in 2003 at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

The Bowdoin endowment consists of more than 1,700 individual funds earmarked for the perpetual support of a variety of College initiatives. On June 30, 2020, the endowment was valued at $1.8 billion and provided $71.8 million to the annual operations of the College. Of the total endowment distribution in 2019–2020, approximately $33 million supported financial aid, accounting for approximately three-quarters of Bowdoin’s $45 million financial aid budget in the last fiscal year.

As of June 30, 2020, the three-, five-, and 10-year annualized returns for Bowdoin’s endowment were 10.7 percent, 8.5 percent, and 11.6 percent, respectively — all in the top fifth percentile among comparative college and university annualized returns, where the respective median returns were 5.2 percent, 5.0 percent, and 7.4 percent.


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