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Deborah Dutton is the new vice president for development and alumni relations at Colby College, President William D. Adams announced Monday, Feb. 14.

Dutton has served as Colby’s associate vice president for college relations for the past five years and has, since the summer of 2010, been interim vice president.

Her 20-year career in development began at the Maine chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She has held development positions in major gifts and management at three Harvard teaching hospitals: the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Children’s Hospital, and the Joslin Diabetes Center. She also was a senior leadership giving officer at Bates College. While at Joslin Diabetes Center, just before coming to Colby, Dutton was associate vice president for development. There she built and a led a team through the strategic planning process and the silent phase of a major capital fundraising initiative.

At Colby Dutton was associate vice president and director of development during the recently completed Reaching the World campaign, which raised $376 million. At Colby she has led efforts to revamp the gift planning, major gifts, and the annual Colby Fund areas of Colby’s development activities. She also created a five-year philanthropic plan in support of the Colby 2013 fundraising initiatives now underway.

“In a competitive field of candidates for this position, Debbie emerged as a strong leader with the experience Colby requires to take its development and alumni programs to a new level of success,” Adams said.

“I’m eager to work with the Colby community, including the faculty,” Dutton said, “with a particular focus on our partnership with Colby alumni as we shape programs for the future.”

Dutton earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Maine and a master of science degree in business management from Lesley College.

Colby, founded in 1813, is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. Colby provides a rigorous academic program that fosters transformational relationships between students and faculty. Graduates emerge as committed leaders ready to make an impact on their world. The college enrolls 1,850 students.