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Biola University Endowment Fund

Name: Biola University Investment Office

Assets Under Management: $373.3 Million (Source: Biola University on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: annual financial report 2012/2013 Biola University

Portfolio Insights: “Biola University and its wholly owned subsidiary (collectively, the “University”) is a private independent institution that was incorporated in the state of California in 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.

The University reports its investments at fair value, except for real estate, which is recorded at cost or, if donated, at the appraised value at date of donation. Investments in hedge funds are classified as Level 2, as the fair value is based on redemption value in the near term. A significant observable input used in the valuation of the hedge funds as of June 30, 2013 was an actual redemption on June 30, 2013.” (Source)

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Top Biola University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) In the fall, Biola’s endowment crossed a historic threshold, reaching $100 million for the first time — more than quadruple its size from just 10 years ago. Michael Pierce, vice president of business and financial affairs, recently answered some questions about the milestone and what it means for Biola moving forward.

An endowment is similar to a savings account. It represents the accumulated savings of the university over time, established via year-end surpluses, donations and maturing trusts. The endowment is made up of restricted and unrestricted components. For example, a donor may provide an endowed scholarship that is restricted for nursing students. Other pieces of the endowment may be unrestricted, meaning that those funds can be used for any university need. The endowment is invested in a variety of stocks, bonds and real estate funds, and each year a portion of those investment earnings are used to support the operations of Biola. It’s important to have a large and growing endowment as this provides greater financial flexibility and security for us, and helps us to keep tuition rates as low as possible. (Source)

2) Many of the nation’s colleges and universities took a financial hit in 2008 when stock market losses deflated their endowment funds. But according to a report this week in USA Today, most of them have recovered, and nicely. Biola University saw the biggest increase among Christian schools, growing its endowment from $55.3 million in 2008 to $74.5 million in 2011. (Source)

3) More than 2,000 pieces of business clothing, shoes and accessories were delivered to the women of the Los Angeles Dream Center — a residential rehabilitation and relief organization — in March as a result of Biola’s second annual clothes drive in honor of National Women’s History Month. A group of Biola women hand delivered the pieces to residents of the center and hosted “Dress for Success”  — a seminar empowering the women to have confidence in their appearance and to represent themselves best for an interview.

“It’s very important for these women to learn a healthy self-esteem,” said the center’s assistant director of ministry, Monica Quezada. “It means alot to these women to see someone promoting that and encouraging that.” (Source)

4) Wayne B. Lowell (Chair) was elected to the board in November 2000 and is now board chair. He also serves on the Board Nominating and Development Committee and is chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. Wayne is the former executive vice president, chief financial and chief administrative officer of PacifiCare Health Systems and is now a consultant providing strategic and operating advice to boards of directors, CEOs and CFOs of venture capital and publicly owned companies. He and his wife, Nan, live in Irvine. (Source)

5) Biola University is a private, Christian university of nondenominational affiliation located on a 95-acre campus in La Mirada – not too far from Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. Committed to a biblically-centered, conservative education, Biola requires that its students complete 30 units of biblical studies and each student graduate with a minor in biblical studies. Biola offers more than 40 majors and over 80 concentrations in six schools, as well as degrees in Cinema and Media Arts, which teaches the fundamentals of screenwriting, media management and production, preparing students for careers in neighboring Hollywood. In 2012, an underground LGBTQ group emerged online and posted fliers around campus, causing the school to reiterate its code of standards which prohibits both same-sex relationships and extramarital sex. Biola University teams, nicknamed the Eagles, participate in NAIA competitions. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson