Laura Pavlenko Lutton ’94: Raising the Bar

The Luttons
As chair of the Colby Fund, Laura Pavlenko Lutton ’94 oversees hundreds of Colby Fund volunteers and is the engine behind the College’s efforts to restore Colby Fund participation to 50 percent. She keeps the Colby Fund volunteers up to date, runs conference calls and training webinars, rallies excitement and momentum, and keeps everyone on track toward reaching their goals. "I want to pass the Colby experience down to succeeding generations," she said.

“Colby was a great fit for me. I got plenty of leadership opportunities both in and outside the classroom, and they all helped me develop practical skills and intellectual self-confidence. By volunteering for the Colby Fund, I’m helping to make sure that the students who come after me will have similar experiences. Plus, I’ve enjoyed getting to know other volunteers and reconnecting with my classmates,” she said.

Laura met her husband, Josh Lutton ’94, while working for the Colby Echo, and the job helped her find her career path as well. “I have really fond memories of my time at the Echo, writing and working with my peers. That experience had a direct impact on my decision to be a journalist and a financial analyst,” she said.

Armed with a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Laura is now editorial director of mutual fund research at Morningstar in Chicago. The job involves a lot of writing and talking with fund companies and the media about Morningstar’s research, and she recently completed a project developing new ratings and reports on 529 college savings plans.

Laura’s job allows her to work from home a couple of days a week, which helps her balance work and family. She and Josh, who is a managing partner at the management consulting and advisory firm Woodlawn Associates, have two sons—Ted, 9, and Cal, 7. Said Laura, “We’re a pretty active family—my boys play on a lot of sports teams. We like to hike, bike, swim, fish, camp, and travel as a family. Josh and I both run to stay fit—very necessary because we’re serious about cooking and eating.”

On top of juggling a career and family, Laura is youth education chair of her church’s board. And she never wavers from her dedication to Colby. “I hope we can get the participation rate back up to fifty percent and beyond, where it belongs,” she said.

The Colby Fund staff is a grateful beneficiary of Laura’s talent and energy. Said Assistant Director Betsy Danner, “Laura is a creative thinker and is constantly offering fresh ideas and solutions. I can’t really do justice to all the work she does—she is amazing.”
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