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Michigan State University Foundation Endowment Fund

Name: The MSU Office of Investments and Financial Management

Assets Under Management: $3.2 Billion (Source: Michigan State University Foundation on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: The Michigan State University Foundation Annual Financial Report 2013-2014

Portfolio Insights: “The Michigan State University Foundation (the “Foundati on”) is a legally separate entity which meets the criteria set forth for component units under GASB regulations. The Foundation provides financial support for the objectives, purposes, and programs of the University. Although the University does not control the timing, purpose, or amount of its receipts from the Foundation, the resources (and income thereon) the Foundation holds and invests are dedicated to benefit the University.

At June 30, 2014 and 2013, the University’s endowment investments totaled $2,082 million (an increase of $498 million) and $1,584 million (an increase of $215 million), respectively. Endowment gifts and University-designated additions to Endowment investments totaled $50 million in 2014 and $39 million in 2013.” (Source)

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Top Michigan State University Foundation Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) The Michigan State University Foundation has named David Washburn, president and CEO of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, as its new executive director. He replaces George Benson, who retired after 22 years of service. Washburn will start his new position Feb. 3.

At UTRF, Washburn was involved in all aspects of technology commercialization, corporate engagement and economic development across the UT system. He oversaw the technology transfer group, led a variety of strategic partnerships and oversaw a number of UTRF subsidiary organizations.

In addition, Washburn organized and laid the foundation for Volunteer Ventures, a small seed-stage investment fund, developed the Tennessee Venture Challenge business plan competition and served as treasurer of Cherokee Farm Development Corporation, a non-profit subsidiary of UTRF developing the 200-acre Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus. (Source)

2) The funds are going toward entrepreneur services all across the state, and $500,000 is coming into Lansing through the Michigan State University Foundation and Spartan Innovations. The funds will be distributed over two years to help grow the GreenLight Business Model Competition. The last GreenLight Competition had nine universities compete, which according to Sorrel is an impressive number. She says it’s the basis for a strong pipeline, a pipeline they hope to grow. (Source)

3) The Michigan State University College of Engineering will use a $2.5 million gift from Dave and Denise Lamp of Dallas to support scholarships and research in its Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

The college will use $2 million to establish the David L. and Denise M. Lamp Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering and direct the remaining $500,000 to enhance a scholarship fund previously created by the Lamp family.

“I credit a good deal of my professional and business success to my academic experience at Michigan State University,” said David Lamp, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from MSU in 1980. “We are pleased to further the mission of the department and enhance excellence in the MSU College of Engineering.” (Source)

4) A senior software engineer at Google has made a $2 million commitment to benefit the Michigan State University College of Engineering. The gift, established through an estate plan, is from Doug Zongker of Mountain View, California, who graduated from MSU in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. The provision in his estate will establish the first endowed chair of computer science at MSU.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the tools and training that I got during my years at Michigan State University,” Zongker said. “I am pleased to be in a position to be able to give back. This gift is a small way that I can help my industry and my alma mater stay in the forefront of technology advancement.” (Source)

5) At Michigan State University, students, faculty and business advisors are excited about the opportunities and resources that encourage creative thinking to become new business ventures. MSU is a place where students and faculty have the tools, support and opportunity to commercialize their own ideas and capability. “We are building an ecosystem where success becomes contagious and spins off other ideas and other companies,” said Charles Hasemann, executive director of MSU Business-CONNECT.

Revamped curricula and other steps have encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit in students and alumni. Programs and resources for students, alumni and faculty include classes in entrepreneurship, business pitch competitions, business incubators, mentors and coaches, as well as seed funding to help start-ups get off the ground. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson