News 2011: University of Massachusetts Endowment Surpasses $500 Million

News 2011: University of Massachusetts Endowment Surpasses $500 Million
University of Massachusetts Endowment Surpasses $500 Million

Fund grew by 23 percent in Fiscal Year 2010

LOWELL -- The University of Massachusetts endowment has surpassed $500 million for the first time in the school's history, President Jack M. Wilson announced today as the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees met at UMass Lowell. 

The University's endowment stood at $506 million as of December 31, 2010. 

"This represents tremendous progress for the University of Massachusetts and shows how much our alumni and the community value UMass," said President Wilson. "The idea that our endowment would reach $500 million might have seemed unthinkable not that long ago." 

Fifteen years ago, in Fiscal Year 1996, the UMass endowment stood at $47 million. 

"An endowment is an important springboard for access and for academic quality," President Wilson added. 

An endowment is a fund that exists in perpetuity, the principal of which remains intact. The proceeds that flow from investing the endowment fund student scholarships and also allow universities to attract and retain distinguished faculty members. 

From Fiscal Year 2009 to Fiscal Year 2010, the University's endowment grew more than 23 percent -- from $372,341,000 on June 30, 2009, to $459,368,000 on June 30, 2010 -- placing it second only to Syracuse University in the percentage of total growth of endowment, according to an analysis of the 200 largest university endowments released in January by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and Commonfund.   

UMass's 23 percent endowment growth rate was nearly triple the 8.1 percent national growth average for all university endowments 

President Wilson attributed the endowment's growth to the generosity of the University's donors, astute investments, and the leadership and guidance of the Chancellors and the University's Board of Trustees. 

"The UMass Foundation's Investment Committee, led by University of Massachusetts Boston alumnus Edward D'Alelio, has done an excellent job building our endowment in difficult economic times," President Wilson said. "I want to thank him and the other members of the committee, all of whom serve on a volunteer basis. Additionally, the Chancellors of each of the five campuses are integrally involved in creating a culture of giving among our alumni. I am grateful for their efforts." 

James J. Karam, chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, called the endowment growth "impressive and important." 

"A strong endowment is necessary to maintain the university's world-class ranking and to continue our quest to remain affordable for the students and their families. Because of our success in this area, UMass can attract top faculty while also providing aid to students whose academic capabilities must never be sidetracked by financial need," Karam said. 

Examples of the endowment's activities include the funding of: 

*         The Charles J. Hoff Scholarship, created by former University of Massachusetts Trustee and UMass Lowell alumnus, Charles J. Hoff and his wife Josephine Hoff. The Hoff Scholarship has provided financial support to more than 1,000 students since its creation and will assist more than 2,500 students by 2017. 
*         Three professorships at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst created by UMass Amherst alumnus Eugene M. Isenberg and his wife Ronnie. The professorships were established to develop collaborative teaching and research programs focused on technology innovation driven by interdisciplinary work in management, engineering and natural sciences. 
The University of Massachusetts endowment now ranks as the 137th largest among colleges in the United States and Canada, according to the NACUBO-Commonfund study, putting the school just ahead of Florida State University and Arizona State University. 

University leaders recently announced that research spending at UMass passed $500 million for the first time in FY2010, representing a 9.5 percent increase in research expenditures over the previous year. Additionally, the Association of University Technology Managers published a report in December that ranked UMass the number eight university in the nation for income derived from the licensing of faculty discoveries and products. Annual intellectual property income at the University of Massachusetts has risen from $20 million in Fiscal Year 2003 to $71 million during Fiscal Year 2009. 

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073; Cosmo Macero, 617-646-1017