U of I Foundation Receives $151.5 Million in Private Gifts During Past Year for Support of University Programs

Sep 23, 2005 10:00 AM

Gifts to the University of Illinois and the U of I Foundation for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2005, totaled $151.5 million, according to Stephen K. Rugg, U of I chief financial officer and treasurer of the U of I Foundation. Of the $151.5 million received, $36.9 million was subscribed to the U of I directly and $114.6 million was contributed through the Foundation.

Rugg announced the private gift figures during the business session of the Foundation’s 70th Annual Meeting, held today (Friday, Sept. 23). The Foundation is the private gift procurement arm of the University of Illinois.

Rugg told the audience of over 400 elected Foundation members and Presidents Council donors: “Despite these difficult times in our state, our nation, and our world, it is reassuring to know that the global reach of the University of Illinois continues to make strong advances in education, research, public service and economic development. Many of these advances come at a cost underwritten, in part, by the generosity of the private gifts that you and thousands of others entrust to our stewardship.”

Of the $151.5 million in private support received last fiscal year, $55.4 million, or 36 percent, came from alumni and friends, $45.1 million (30 percent) was from corporations, $36.1 million (24 percent) was from foundations and $14.9 million (10 percent) was from associations.

Private gifts support a number of programs across the campuses at Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign. Last fiscal year, $30.4 million of the $151.5 million raised was added to the endowment. Student financial aid in the form of scholarships, fellowships and student loans received $4.9 million in contributions. Donors to the University of Illinois provided $22 million to academic divisions, $41.3 million for research, $10 million for buildings and equipment, $12.6 million for public service and extension, and $3 million for faculty and staff compensation. Gifts to U of I athletics at all three campuses increased by $1.5 million over the preceding year totaling $7.1 million.

Of the $151.5 million received last year, 77 percent or $116.1 million was designated by donors for current use. Those funds provided support to a number of programs across all of the University’s campuses. Twenty percent or $30.4 million was invested in endowed funds, which are held in pooled investment accounts under the policy supervision of the Investment Policy Committee of the Foundation Board and the Finance and Audit Committee of the University Board of Trustees. Earnings from endowed funds help support an array of University endeavors, including student financial aid, faculty and programs. Such investments also provide specified annuity and life-income funds for many donors.

The University of Illinois’s combined active and deferred endowment stood at $1.656 billion as of June 30, 2005. The active endowment, which represents 69 percent of the University’s endowment picture, grew to $1.148 billion by the end of last June.

Also included in the U of I’s total endowment is $374.3 million designated as revocable deferred gifts. Another $133.1 million of the endowment is in charitable trusts and other irrevocable gifts held by the U of I Foundation and others.

The Foundation’s endowment goal is to provide a distribution to the University each year to meet its spending needs coupled with a desire to protect the purchasing power of the endowment against inflation. Over the past 10 years, the investment return allowed the Foundation not only to meet the spending and inflation objectives, but also permitted a net real return to the endowment of 1.6 percent.

Growth of the endowment over the past decade, Rugg said, has enhanced many important academic efforts at the University of Illinois. For instance, the library’s endowment has risen from $10.3 million in 1995 to $29.6 million as of June 30 this year. Endowment for professorships has increased from $26.2 million to over $74.9 million. Graduate fellowships have climbed from $29.1 to $79 million. Endowed chairs have soared from $35.4 million ten years ago to $120.8 million by the end of FY 05. And undergraduate scholarships and student aid endowment jumped from $41.7 million to $154.9 million over the past ten years.

“Total market returns,” Rugg said, “combined with new-gift development have produced a total endowment today that is nearly three times what it was ten years ago, rising from $589.9 million to $1.656 billion. That translates to total endowment growth of 11 percent annually over the past decade.”