VERMILLION, S.D. -- Gifts to The University of South Dakota Foundation remained strong despite the most challenging economic times in recent history. For the year ending June 30, 2009, the USD Foundation reported gift income of $12 million and the assets of the Foundation were $154 million. The Foundation's endowment on June 30 totaled $115 million despite a 12.9 percent investment loss for the fiscal year. New gifts to the endowment helped offset investment losses and distributions from the portfolio utilized by the University as designated by donors.
The five-year and 10-year returns of 3.8 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, placed the Foundation in the top one percentile of almost 17,000 charitable foundations nationwide. USD Foundation President Bryan Benchoff credits the Foundation’s investment committee for the outstanding record. “This is the worst downturn in the market we have seen and our investment committee stayed the course. They have historically achieved an investment return better than most in the country,” said Benchoff. “Our endowment is making a comeback and is nearly back to the peak endowment of $119 million of the previous year. Alumni and friends of the University realize the difference that private gifts make to the University. Their gifts, along with the endowment investment growth, will have a significant impact on the University for years to come.”
The Foundation directly provided $18.9 million to the University for support in fiscal year 2009, including $5.8 million for scholarships. Because of generous gifts, two new buildings were dedicated this year – the Muenster University Center and Beacom Hall, the new home of the Beacom School of Business. Over the past 10 years the USD Foundation has provided $80 million to the University for scholarships, buildings, faculty and other support.