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Aitchison Joins USM as New VP for Advancement, President and CEO of the USM Foundation

Cecile Aitchison, USM’s new vice president for advancement

Cecile Aitchison has been named the University of Southern Maine’s new vice president for advancement and president and CEO of the USM Foundation, effective Tuesday, February 19.

The vice president for advancement, who reports directly to the president, serves as the chief development officer and is responsible for directing capital campaigns and other fund-raising efforts. The vice president also oversees alumni and corporate relations. 

Aitchison joins USM with over 25 years of community-based and university development experience. Most recently she served 13 years at the University of Michigan-Dearborn as director of the annual fund, director of planned gifts and major gifts, director of university development, and most recently, as associate vice chancellor for institutional development.

She succeeds Margaret Weston, who left USM last spring to accept a position as president of Maine Media Workshops + College, and Kelly Frost, who served USM as advancement consultant and interim head of advancement. 

“Cecile brings us significant advancement experience at a university with a mission, student body and set of challenges and opportunities not unlike those at USM.” said USM President Theo Kalikow. “She will be a great asset for us as we build USM's capacity to attract private sources of financial support.”

Aitchison began her advancement career as development director and associate director of Alternatives for Girls in Detroit, followed by appointment as vice president for fund development at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit.

“I was attracted to USM by its ties with the community and the potential to build upon those for the benefit of students and the communities it serves,” said Aitchison. “I look forward to working closely with USM’s faculty, staff, volunteers and alumni to ensure the university is widely recognized as a public institution worthy of philanthropic support.”

She holds a B.A. from Wayne State University in Detroit and studied at Indiana University’s Center for Philanthropy.