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Drexel University Endowment Fund

Name: Drexel University Investment Office

Assets Under Management: $946.3 Million (Source: Drexel University on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: Drexel University’s 2013 Drexel University Audited Statement

Portfolio Insights: “Drexel University (the “University”) is a private research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The University is an exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The financial statements have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America for not-for-profit organizations. All revenues received and expenditures paid prior to the end of the fiscal year which relate to the following fiscal year are recorded and reflected as deferred revenues and deferred charges, respectively.

The University owns 100% of the Philadelphia Health & Education Corporation (“PHEC”), doing business as Drexel University College of Medicine and providing teaching and administrative services for the education of the University’s medical students and students in the health professions.” (Source)

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Top Drexel University Endowment Fund) Headlines:

1) Drexel University believes in the financial acumen of its students, so much so that it has put more than $1 million of the university’s endowment in their hands for investment. The student-managed portfolio, called the Dragon Fund, began in 2007 with a $250,000 contribution from Drexel. The university contributed another $100,000 in 2011 and then $500,000 in May. The fund has gained more than $150,000, due to the investments made by the students.

“The fund has performed quite well. It has beaten its benchmark,” said Daniel Dorn, associate professor of finance, who oversees the fund along with colleague, Ed Nelling, professor of finance.

Students and their faculty advisors recently won a university competition by the LeBow College of Business to come up with innovative classroom educational models focused on technology. The group proposed ways for students to connect with investment professionals outside the school and area for feedback via video conferencing, Dorn said. (Source)

2) As someone who works with the $600 million University endowment, Ulozas knows what’s expected and required to manage the accounts — which is why she treats the Dragon Fund students just as she would any other investment manager. According to Ulozas, some universities have a similar portfolio-management program offered as a club or theoretical practice, but only Drexel combines the classroom with the real-life experience of investment management. (Source)

3) At Drexel University, a private college in Philadelphia, an ambitious expansion by a previous president, Constantine Papadakis, who died in 2009, transformed it from a 9,000-student university on the brink of bankruptcy 17 years ago to a modern campus with 21,000 students and a spot on U.S. News and World Report’s “up and coming” schools list. But the change has come with a price: $467 million in debt and a net price of attendance that is among the highest in the nation.

Mr. Papadakis’s successor as president, John A. Fry, plans to continue that expansion, but without taking on additional debt anytime soon. (Source)

4) Drexel University President John Fry thinks that once Drexel Ventures gets up and running, Drexel faculty, students and alumni will have everything they need to start and grow companies on and around Drexel’s University City campus.

“We’re trying to say to Drexel students and faculty, ‘If you’re someone with an idea you want to take to market, we’ll provide you with the infrastructure to do it,” Fry said in an interview in his conference room Monday afternoon.

The organization, which Drexel announced the formation of on Monday, is part of an effort by the university to boost the region’s economy by increasing the amount of research done on its campus and the amount of that research that gets licensed to startups or existing companies, causing them to set up shop in the area. (Source)

5) Drexel University recently announced the appointment of David L. Unruh to serve as the institution’s next senior vice president for institutional advancement. Unruh will join the university on November 1st. Reporting directly to President John Fry and serving on his cabinet, Unruh will be responsible for leading the university’s institutional advancement efforts and developing a collaborative, transparent, and inclusive culture of philanthropy. Working closely with the deans, he and his team will assess the fundraising potential of the university and craft a multi-year fundraising strategy for sustainable long-term growth in unrestricted, restricted and endowment funds as well as future campaign success. Under Unruh’s leadership, new ways to broaden the reach of Drexel’s alumni relations’ activities will also be identified and fully integrated into the university’s development efforts. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson