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Mississippi State University & Foundation Endowment Fund

Name: Mississippi State University & Foundation

Assets Under Management: $450 Million (Source: Mississippi State University & Foundation on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: Mississippi State University Foundation, Inc. Consolidated Financial Statements June 30, 2014 and 2013

Portfolio Insights: “Mississippi State University Foundation, Inc. (the Foundation) is a not-for-profit entity established to solicit and manage funds for the benefit of Mississippi State University (the University). The Foundation also manages funds for affiliates of the University, including Mississippi State University Alumni Association, Mississippi State University Alumni Foundation, Inc., and The Bulldog Club, Inc.

The overall investment objective of the Foundation is to invest its assets in a prudent manner that will achieve a long-term rate of return sufficient to fund donor-designated directives and maintain each fund’s inflation-adjusted impact. The Foundation diversifies its investments among various asset classes incorporating multiple strategies and managers. Major investment decisions are authorized by the Foundation’s Investment Committee, which oversees its investment program in accordance with an established investment policy.” (Source)

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Top Mississippi State University & Foundation Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Jul 8, 2010 – For a second consecutive year, Mississippi State University has topped the $60 million mark in the area of private gifts, with more than $65 million contributed during the just ended fiscal year. Much of the FY 10 giving was through the specialized initiative StatePride, said John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni and CEO of the MSU Foundation.

“The generosity of donors has sparked the third highest giving year in Mississippi State University history and marked the first time in our fundraising history we’ve experienced back-to-back $60 million plus years,” Rush said. “We were pleased to exceed $61.5 million in FY 09, and we are extremely pleased to surpass $65 million for FY 10.”

Of the total funds raised for FY 10, new gifts accounted for more than $25.9 million, and new pledges totaled in excess of $30.9 million. Deferred gifts made up the remaining $8.2 million plus. (Source)

2) The MSU Foundation administers Mississippi State University’s academic fundraising activities and endowment funds, which currently total over $450 million. The Foundation operates under the control of the vice president for development and alumni for Mississippi State University, who also serves as chief executive officer for the Foundation. The 46 members of the MSU Foundation board of directors are alumni and friends of the institution who are leaders in business and industry across the nation. Board members serve three-year terms, which begin January 1 of each year. Officers for the board serve one-year terms. (Source)

3) The purpose of the Foundation’s investment portfolio is to preserve and enhance the real (inflation-adjusted) purchasing power of portfolio assets, while providing reasonable annual support to Mississippi State University.

The Board of Directors of the Foundation is aware of its responsibility to provide for prudent management of funds given to the Foundation for the benefit of the University. The Board of Directors hereby charges its Investment Committee with the responsibility of proposing fiscal policies and regulations for adoption by the Board, including investment policies and the employment of investment counsel. (Source)

4) The performance goal for alternative investments will be based on the investment strategy and structure of the specific alternative investment strategy. In the case of private equity and venture capital investments, it is expected that the investments will produce a long-term annualized return of 12-15%. Hedge funds investments should produce a relatively consistent return that exceeds the return on treasury bills by 5 percentage points. (Source)

5) Our goal in the Division of Development and Alumni is to channel the efforts, interests and capabilities of our more than 129,000 alumni and friends around the world to better Mississippi State University. Our two interlocking units, the MSU Foundation and the MSU Alumni Association, are set up to complement and enhance the workings of the other.

In 2014, we continue to build on the university’s success through Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign. The multi-year fundraising endeavor will secure funds for the university’s strategic plan. Your gifts to MSU through 2018 will count toward our overall $600 million campaign goal and ensure our success. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson