Journal Archive > 2002 > March

Endowment growth

While other university endowments fall, Tufts posts 4.9% gain

While tumbling financial markets caused most university endowments to lose between 3 and 4 percent of their value last year, Tufts' endowment grew by 4.9 percent, from $523.5 million to $549 million.

University Treasurer and Vice President for Finance Tom McGurty attributed that growth to a combination of solid investment strategies and increased philanthropy. The university is in the final months of an aggressive $600 million capital campaign.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, "two out of every three endowments declined in value. The average endowment lost 3.6 percent of its value." The Chronicle report was based on information from 610 institutions that responded to an annual survey conducted by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Among the schools with the 100 largest endowments, including Tufts University, only 22 percent reported endowment gains. Of them, only 12 exceeded Tufts' growth.

McGurty told the Boston Business Journal that Tufts' 4.9 percent endowment growth is "substantially due to new gifts." He said Tufts invested about 20 percent of its endowment in alternative investments, mostly hedge funds, 30 percent in bonds and the rest in stocks. "The board [of trustees] is studying the issue of asset allocation, but I suspect we'll continue to see our allocations remain relatively constant," McGurty told the BBJ.

Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Johns Hopkins and Brown were among the universities that reported endowment losses in 2001.