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Belmont University Endowment Fund

Name: Belmont University Office of Development

Assets Under Management: $500 Million (Source: Belmont University on 5/31/2012)

Annual Report: Belmont University Nashville, Tennessee, Consolidated Financial Statements May 31, 2012

Portfolio Insights: “Belmont University (the “University”) is a private, not-for-profit institution of higher education. The University is a student-centered Christian community providing an academically challenging education that empowers men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith.

The University’s investments, consisting primarily of publicly traded fixed income and equity mutual funds, are stated at fair value as of May 31. The investments of the University are exposed to interest rate, market and credit risks. During a volatile market environment when there is a higher than normal level of uncertainty, the level of risk associated with such investments increases. If the level of risk increases in the near term, it is possible that the investment balances and the amounts reported in the financial statements would be materially affected.” (Source)

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Top Belmont University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Endowment income provides critical long-term financial stability to support the students and programs that our University serves.  An endowment can be established to support ongoing operating expenses or for designated purposes such as financial assistance to deserving students, support of academic programs or professorships, missions programs and ongoing support for a wide variety of other programs and activities.  All endowed funds have one objective: to support initiatives not just for one year, or even one generation, but in perpetuity.

A donor may designate an endowed fund in his or her own name, as a tribute to a friend or loved one, or to honor a professor or mentor.  An endowed fund may be established with cash, securities, real estate or through a bequest. (Source)

2) Belmont will provide the state organization a total of $11 million toward a ministry-endowment fund, and Tennessee Baptists will end their attempt to regain control, lost in 2004 when the school’s trustees acted to make it independent.

State convention messengers, or delegates, meeting in Kingsport, received the news from a negotiating committee with applause. The pact ends the convention’s 56-year-old relationship with the school and also likely marks the end of a sometimes bitter dispute. (Source)

3) Belmont University announced today the receipt of more than $10 million from the estate of the late Ed and Bernice Johnson, long-time friends of the university. For 16 years, Ed and Bernice Johnson ran a neighborhood gas station on Belmont Boulevard. During the Depression, the couple often helped Herman Lay keep his potato chip trucks on the road by allowing him to pay on credit. In 1948, Lay offered the Johnsons a chance to buy stock in his company. The couple’s initial investment of $8,000 grew exponentially with the company, which is now part of Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Co Inc. Following Bernice Johnson’s death in January 1998 (her husband died in 1994), $8 million from the Johnson estate was given to Belmont and directed toward scholarships in the College of Business Administration, primarily for accounting students. Additional funds from the Johnson estate were placed in a 10-year charitable remainder annuity trust, and those accumulated monies, $10 million, are now being released to Belmont, making the couple’s total bequest to the university equal more than $18 million. This represents one of the largest gifts in the history of Belmont University. (Source)

4) The Jack C. Massey Foundation, which honors the legacy of one of the country’s greatest entrepreneurs and businessmen, announced today a new gift of $6.75 million to Belmont University. With this donation, the Massey Foundation provides the lead gift in a planned $10 million renovation of Belmont’s Massey Business Center as well as secures a new name for Belmont’s College of Business Administration, now to be known as the Jack C. Massey College of Business.

The late Jack C. Massey (1904-1990) and his family have collectively been among Belmont University’s biggest benefactors. The first person in history to take three unrelated companies to the New York Stock Exchange, Massey’s gifts helped Belmont establish its undergraduate and graduate business programs and built both the Massey Business Center and the Massey Performing Arts Center. In addition, Massey’s gifts have endowed Belmont’s Chair in Entrepreneurship, leading the program to be among the best in the nation, as well as the Massey Center for Financial Information, the first financial training lab in Tennessee when it opened in 2005. (Source)

5) Dr. Robert (Bob) Fisher serves as President of Belmont University, a position he has held since April 2000. During his tenure the University’s enrollment has more than doubled while the campus itself has expanded significantly with the additions of the Curb Event Center and Beaman Student Life Center, the Gordon E. Inman Center, the Troutt Theater complex, McWhorter Hall and several new residence halls and parking garages. Under his leadership Belmont University also broke into the Top 5 for the first time in the Best Regional Universities South category in U.S. News & World Report’s analysis of America’s Best Colleges. Soaring to No. 5 in the 2011 edition, Belmont was also honored for the third year in a row as one of the top schools nationwide for “leading the pack in improvements and innovative changes.” (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson