According to survey results from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), SUNY Oswego’s endowment recorded a rate of return that outpaced the higher education industry by nearly 2 percentage points (17.7 percent vs. 15.5 percent) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014.
“President Deborah F. Stanley and the Oswego College Foundation Board members are loyal and steadfast stewards of our growing endowment,” said Kerry Casey Dorsey ’81, vice president for development and alumni relations. “These alumni and friends take their fiduciary responsibilities very seriously and utilize their collective professional expertise to help fortify a margin of excellence for SUNY Oswego.”
Mark Slayton, the foundation’s director of finance, said the Foundation Board and its Investment Committee took a conservative approach to growing the endowment since the 2008-2009 market crash by investing heavily in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which has done well over the past few years.
“The move was somewhat non-traditional in the sense that many endowment portfolio managers would say that we’re not as diversified as we should be,” Slayton said. “But our Investment Committee and board made a decision that this is where there’s the best potential benefit for our endowment, and it’s paid off well over the last four or five years, as evidenced by our continued strong performance.”
Perhaps even more impressive is the 10-year rate of return, which is used as a determining factor for the value of the scholarships the school can award, Slayton said.
Oswego targets a greater than 8 percent 10-year rate of return so that scholarships can fund not only annual awards, but also offset the effect of inflation, Slayton said. Oswego recorded a 10-year 8.5 percent rate of return.
“The industry average is only at 7.1 percent,” Slayton said. “That really cuts into their ability to award scholarships. It affects potential payouts. Our strong historic performance has led to that strong foundation.
“So many donors have made so many investments in Oswego in the form of endowed scholarships,” Slayton said. “We do our very best to steward their dollars and grow the scholarship payouts. That was their goal, after all.”
—Edwin Acevedo M’09