USD Foundation Continues to Lead in National Survey

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Foundation again outpaced its peers in an annual report measuring endowment earnings of 809 participating U.S. colleges and universities according to the 2017 National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)-Commonfund Study of Endowments. The 2017 survey, which includes Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton, put the USD Foundation ahead of the average return for other participating colleges and universities, and on pace with the average return for participants with endowments categorized as large (total assets between $101-$500 million).

USDF had a 12.5 percent return (net of fees) as compared to an average 12.2 percent among all participants. Those institutions’ trailing three-year returns averaged 4.2 percent as compared to USDF’s 4.8 percent; trailing five-year returns averaged 7.9 percent as compared to USDF’s 9.9 percent; and trailing 10-year returns averaged 4.6 percent as compared to USDF’s 6.6 percent.

Steve Brown, USD Foundation president and chief executive officer, credits the Foundation’s investment committee for its success. “The volunteer leadership of our Investment Committee plays a vital role in our positive investment performance as we continue to outpace our national peers.”

He also noted an emphasis on providing current support for the University while assuring the future of the endowment through Onward: The Campaign for South Dakota — the Foundation’s $250 million fundraising campaign. The Onward campaign, launched in 2012, surpassed its $250 million goal in October 2017 with more than 15 months remaining in the campaign. “In the short term,” Brown said, “we strive to meet the funding challenges of the university while building equity for future generations of students.”

The annual NACUBO study 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.

The 809 institutions participating in this year’s study represented $566.8 billion in endowment assets as of June 30, 2017. The USD Foundation endowment is listed 297th in the national ranking.  

The FY 2017 spending rate (payout) for scholarships and programs by participating institutions averaged 4.7 percent. The spending rate of the USD Foundation was 4 percent.

Access a copy of the report.

ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The USD Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, aims to inspire alumni and friends and secure support for the development of the University of South Dakota. The current capital campaign, Onward: The Campaign for South Dakota, is advancing four key priorities for the university: educational opportunities for students, faculty support, student and faculty enrichment, and the renovation and expansion of numerous facilities on campus.

ABOUT USD

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 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, 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 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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