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2014 another outstanding year for USD Foundation

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Not only did the University of South Dakota Foundation again in FY 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) place in the top 25 percent ranking by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)-Commonfund Study of Endowments, it topped its average earnings over the previous fiscal year.

NACUBO annually measures endowment earnings of 832 participating U.S. colleges and universities. The 2014 survey, which compares foundations such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, puts the USD Foundation (USDF) ahead of all other participating colleges and universities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming and Idaho.

The 832 institutions participating in this year’s study represented $516 billion in endowment assets as of June 30, 2014. At $206,978,000, the USD Foundation endowment is listed top 300 in the national ranking size of the reporting institutions.

The USD Foundation posted a return of 19.3 percent (net of fees) as compared to an average of 15.5 percent among all participants. Those institutions’ trailing three-year returns averaged 9.0 percent as compared to USDF’s 11.7 percent; trailing five-year returns averaged 11.8 percent, with USDF at 15.0 percent; and trailing 10-year returns averaged 7.1 percent as compared to USDF’s 8.9 percent.

The annual NCSE analyzes return data and a broad range of related information gathered from private and public U.S. colleges and universities and institution-related support foundations. The size and scope of the study makes it the most comprehensive annual report on the investment management and governance practices and policies of institutions of higher education across the U.S.

Nearly 35 percent of USD students received scholarships in FY 2014. The effective spending rate that year for scholarships and programs by participating institutions was 4.4 percent. The Foundation’s effective spending rate was 4.09 percent.

While some institutions don’t emphasize building their endowments, USD Foundation CEO Steve Brown, says that Onward: The Campaign for South Dakota — the foundation’s seven-year $250 million fundraising campaign — seeks to significantly grow the endowment. “In the short term we strive to meet the funding challenges of the university while adhering to a principle of building intergenerational equity for future generations of students.”

For additional information:

The complete report is available for purchase to non-members.

Download a photo of Brown.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News