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Carnegie Institution of Washington Endowment Fund

Name: Carnegie Institution of Washington

Assets Under Management: $1.04 Billion (Source: Carnegie Institution of Washington on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: Carnegie Institution of Washington Financial Statements and Schedule June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “The Carnegie Institution of Washington (Carnegie) conducts advanced research and training in the sciences. It carries out its scientific work in six research centers located throughout the United States and at an observatory in Chile. The centers are the Departments of Embryology, Plant Biology, Global Ecology, Terrestrial Magnetism, the Geophysical Laboratory, and the Observatories. For the years ended June 30, 2013 and 2012, Carnegie had net investment gains of $108 million and $36 million. Carnegie’s other sources of income are primarily from gifts and federal grants and contracts.” (Source)

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Top Carnegie Institution of Washington Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) In 1903 the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW), the privately-funded scientific research organization founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1902, approved a plan to establish a biological experiment station to study evolution. The Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE) formally opened on June 11, 1904 in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, to study heredity and evolution through breeding experiments with plants and animals. Under the initial directorship of Charles Benedict Davenport (1866-1944), the unit would flourish and operate for 67 years, undergo name changes as it fine-tuned its research focus, combine with and then close down a eugenics research operation, and eventually merge with neighboring Long Island Biological Association’s Biological Laboratory (LIBA Bio Lab.) This union eventually became Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a research and educational institution which played a pivotal role during the 20th century in the emergence of molecular genetics, the scientific foundation of the revolution in biology and biotechnology. (Source)

2) The Carnegie Institution of Washington is an independent, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Andrew Carnegie founded the institution in 1902 to encourage scientific research and discovery. Since 2007 the institution has also been known as the Carnegie Institution for Science. (Source)

3) The Carnegie Institution of Washington completed fiscal year 2007 in strong financial condition due to the excellent returns of the diversified investments within its endowment; a disciplined spending policy that balances today’s needs with the long-term requirements of the institution and the interests of future scientists; and the generous support of organizations and individuals who recognize the value of nurturing basic science. The primary source of support for the institution’s activities continues to be its endowment. This reliance on institutional funding provides an important degree of independence in the research activities of the institution’s scientists. (Source)

4) Examining the experience of Harvard, Yale, and the Carnegie Institution over the past 95 years provides insight into the importance of gifts. The Carnegie Institution of Washington, one of Andrew Carnegie’s many philanthropies, pursues cutting-edge scientific research in astronomy, plant biology, embryology, global ecology, terrestrial magnetism, and earth sciences. Establishing the institution in 1902 with a $10 million gift, Carnegie made subsequent gifts to bring the 1910 endowment to $22 million, nearly equal to Harvard’s 1910 fund balance of $23 million and vastly exceeding Yale’s $12 million. (Source)

5) Oct 2, 2006 – Washington, D.C. – The Carnegie Institution of Washington announced today that its endowment earned a 16.2 % return in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006. This latest return, coupled with a disciplined spending approach over the last several years, has increased the value of the endowment to $719 million. The Endowment’s value at the end of the preceding fiscal year was $648 million. During the last decade, the Endowment has more than doubled, growing from $338 million to $719 million.

President Richard Meserve remarked, “The outstanding performance in the past year will allow the Institution to continue to support a high level of scientific excellence that would otherwise be unattainable. Carnegie and its scientists benefit immensely from the excellent financial stewardship of our Board of Trustees, and in particular the work of our Finance Committee, which is chaired by David Swensen, the Chief Investment Officer for Yale University.” (Source)

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