University of Calgary

Endowment returns

U of C endowment generates best ROI second year in a row

By Kelly Exner

For two years running, the University of Calgary’s endowment fund has had the highest rate of return on investments among the 10 largest university endowments in Canada.

As reported by the Canadian Association of University Business Officer’s (CAUBO) investment survey, the U of C’s endowment fund’s rate of return for the year ending December 31, 2006 was 15.7 percent. The survey reported that other Canadian universities in the top 10 had rates of return of up to 15.1 percent.

“Our endowment fund continues to outperform other post-secondary institutions, and I attribute this success to how the university approaches investing,” said President Harvey Weingarten. “With the guidance of experts in our community, our leadership at the U of C has been able to direct significant resources from endowment earnings to top quality education, research and teaching at the university. We are extremely proud of this accomplishment.”

The university’s endowment fund is managed by an investment committee of four experts in the Calgary business community and two U of C board members. The fund has grown to $426.5 million in 2007, from $256 million in 2001. Each year, the university allocates five percent of endowment income to projects and priorities at the U of C, which translates to more than $20 million.

Along with successful investment strategies, donor support has been a driving factor behind this growth. In 2006/2007 the university received more than $101 million in community support, setting a new fundraising record and significantly boosting the resources directed to improving the student experience.

The milestone places the U of C among the top three in Canada among post-secondary institutions for annual fundraising.