College Endowment Continues to Be a National Leader in Generating Returns
Oswego College Foundation’s endowment investment returns have exceeded the national average for 13 years straight, and for 16 of the past 17 years, according to the latest data released Jan. 30 by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The results are based on data gathered from 774 participating U.S. colleges and universities from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019 (fiscal year 2019).
SUNY Oswego’s returns during 2019 were 7.5 percent, or 2.2 percentage points higher than the national average of 5.3 percent. Oswego’s investments also outperformed our peer group of colleges and universities with endowments of $25 million to $50 million (who earned 5.5 percent) as well as our aspirational peer group of universities with endowments larger than $1 billion (who earned 5.9%).
As of Jan. 31, the Oswego College Foundation endowment was valued at more than $45 million, nearly double the $22.7 million it was at just five years ago.
The strong long-term endowment investment results and its steady growth allow spending rates to be maintained at 5
percent and still cover the current 2 to 2.5 percent inflation rates. That translates to consistent funding for our more than
600 privately funded scholarship recipients and the nearly 600 endowed and unendowed funds managed by the Oswego College Foundation, and more money being returned to campus to support academic pursuits and operational expenses.
SUNY Oswego’s endowment also outperformed the national average as well as our peers and aspirational peers when looked at over the past 10 years. The college’s 10-year rate of return stands at 10.1 percent, which is better than the 8.4 percent NACUBO and peer group average and the 9-percent returns of our aspirational peers.
“Our Investment Committee is doing remarkable work on behalf of our endowment,” said College President Deborah F. Stanley. “This dedicated group of alumni volunteers and college supporters has consistently achieved record returns for our college—which, in turn, benefits our wonderfully talented students and campus members. Just as our small, caring community along the shores of Lake Ontario nurtures tremendous outcomes from our students and alumni, so, too, does this diligent work of the Investment Committee secure the long-term fiscal success of the institution.”
During fiscal year 2019, the Oswego endowment assets grew from $37.4 million to $41.8 million, almost 12 percent. Total fundraising reached more than $6 million, including $2.6 million in planned gifts. The successful fundraising enabled the Oswego College Foundation to provide $3.3 million to the college to support SUNY Oswego students, departments and programs. These funds come from both endowed dollars, as well as our annual restricted fundraising dollars.
“We are moving the dial on our mission to build meaningful relationships with donors to our college and foster philanthropic support,” President Stanley said. “The growth of the endowment augments the resources needed to raise SUNY Oswego to—in the words of college founder Edward Austin Sheldon—its ‘highest degree of usefulness,’ in perpetuity.”
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