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Colorado College Endowment Fund

Name: The Colorado College Investment Club

Assets Under Management: $680.4 Million (Source: Colorado College on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: Colorado College Financial Statements June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “The Colorado College (the College) is an independent college of liberal arts and sciences. The College was established as a coeducational, residential institution in 1874. The College provides undergraduate and master-of-arts in teaching degree programs to approximately 2,000 students each year. The College’s distinctive class calendar divides the year into segments called blocks. Under this system, students take, and faculty teach, only one course at a time. The student-teacher ratio is 11 to 1, typically with no more than 25 students per class. The College’s revenues are predominately earned from tuition and fees, contributions, auxiliary enterprises and investments.” (Source)

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Top Colorado College Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Colorado College’s endowment is like the sun. Everything that happens on campus eventually rotates around the $532.53 million that is invested in a diverse mix of asset allocations spread out between over two dozen independent managers. The millions of dollars raised and invested among the many entities fund financial aid, professorships, department funding, and even library books.

“We’re madly spending it, we’re trying to raise it and we are trying to make money off it,” said Robert Moore, Vice President for Finance and Administration/Treasurer.

The endowment has come under intense scrutiny from the CC community because of investments that some call “socially irresponsible,” including companies that have track records of environmental abuses and corporate irresponsibility including Haliburton, Monsanto and Exxon Mobile. (Source)

2) The Colorado College divestment movement took a hit at the end of the last school year when the endowment committee concluded outright not to divest from fossil fuels. The movement’s aim was to convince the college to remove from its endowment all funds invested in oil and gas. The endowment of some $532 million invests somewhere around 4-5 percent in fossil fuel interests.

Some felt that the money could be better spent in a way that more properly reflects the values of the institution. Yet while divestment would have meant revoking some $25 million in investments from fossil fuels, it would have also involved a reworking of all the investments in the endowment. (Source)

3) The Robert & Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust has granted Colorado College $7.9 million over the next eight years to strengthen this leading liberal arts and sciences institution.

“Our highest priority at Colorado College is student success,” said President Richard Celeste. “The Priddys’ generous philanthropy will go a long way in helping us strengthen programs for prospective and current college students. Our aim, with this Priddy Trust boost, is to recruit the very best students from Colorado and the Southwest, and to give them the learning experiences and support they need not simply to graduate but also to become community leaders and productive world citizens.” (Source)

4) The Colorado College Investment Club was established in December of 2003 and was entrusted with the management of the Investment Club’s own portfolio. This portfolio was funded through the generosity of private investors. In May 2006, the club was given a second account, which consisted of a portion of the Schlessman Endowment. However, during the 2011-2012 academic year, the Economics Department took the $50,000 given to the club in 2006 back. Nevertheless, the club retained the gains realized over the period of management. The Investment Club is a student run organization that educates members about the financial markets, investing, and portfolio management. (Source)

5) Founded in 1874 as a private liberal arts college, Colorado College operates on a unique “block plan,” in which students take a different course every three and a half weeks, instead of taking several classes at one time. Students also prepare and serve a meal every Sunday to the community’s hungry and homeless in what is believed to be the oldest student-run community kitchen. Student mentors are available for first-year students, to help develop college writing, critical thinking and exam preparation skills. Bridge Scholars Program is open to pre-college students who are the first in the family to go to college. Colorado College students are less than three hours from 10 ski resorts and less than a day’s drive from seven national parks. Ranking sixth in the United States for number of alumni serving in the Peace Corps (21 are currently on assignment), there have also been 68 Watson Fellows, 31 Fulbright Scholars, 14 Rhodes Scholars and 18 Olympians. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson