Mixed results for Va. schools' endowments
Feb 05, 2013 (Menafn - Richmond Times-Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The market value of the University of Virginia's endowment rose last year while the University of Richmond's slipped, according to a report that found an average decline nationally for returns on higher education investments.
But several other Virginia schools also saw gains, including Washington and Lee University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the College of William and Mary.
The 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments said data from 831 U.S. colleges and universities showed that endowment market values declined by an average of 0.3 percent (net of fees) for fiscal 2012, a steep drop from the average return of 19.2 percent the previous year.
The value of U.Va.'s endowment went against the trend, rising 0.6 percent to 4.78 billion in fiscal 2012.
The NACUBO-Commonfund report, however, does not reflect all the investments managed by the University of Virginia Investment Management Co. UVIMCO puts the total value of all U.Va. funds at 5.43 billion, up from 5.34 billion in fiscal 2011.
The market value of UR's endowment dropped by 0.5 percent to 1.868 billion from 1.877 billion in fiscal 2011, the report said.
Washington and Lee, the third Virginia school with a billion-dollar endowment, posted a gain of 3.6 percent. W&L's endowment rose to 1.26 billion from 1.21 billion.
The market value of VCU's endowment showed the largest increase, rising from 349.69 million to 438.14 million, up more than 25 percent. The Medical College of Virginia Foundation's endowment value rose 16.3 percent, from 256.4 million to 298.2 million.
VCU has been consolidating its investment portfolios, but both endowments have benefitted from major gifts such as the 45 million bequest from the Glasgow trusts and 25 million from philanthropists James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin.
The College of William and Mary Foundations' endowment rose 3 percent to 644.2 million from 624.7 million. The college attributed reaching the endowment high-water mark to a strong flow of gifts and substantial increases in the value of assets held in external trusts.
Showing declines were the Virginia Tech Foundation, down 1 percent to 594.7 million from 600.6 million, and the Virginia Military Institute Foundation, down 9.3 percent to 272.2 million from 300.3 million.
The report found better news over the longer term. It said 10-year returns in fiscal 2012 were 6.2 percent compared with 5.6 percent the previous year, an indication that long-term performance for many institutions continues to improve.
Harvard University remained at the top of the endowment list, although its endowment declined 4.1 percent to 30.43 billion in fiscal 2012 from 31.72 billion the previous year.
U.Va.'s endowment ranked 19th and UR's 33rd in the nation.
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