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Oberlin College Endowment Fund

Name: Oberlin College

Assets Under Management: $713.9 Million (Source: Oberlin College on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: Oberlin College & Conservatory Financial Report Year Ended June 30, 2013

Portfolio Insights: “We are pleased to present Oberlin College’s Annual Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 2013. This report includes our audit report, audited financial statements and related footnotes to the statements.

Oberlin’s total assets at June 30, 2013 were $1,143.0 million, an in crease of $63.6 million, or 5.9%, from the previous fiscal year’s $1,079.4 million. Total liabilities as of June 30, 2013 were $246.0 million, a decrease of $ 9.2 million from the prior year’s $ 255.2 million. Total net assets f  or the College were $897.0 million, compared to $824.2 million as of June 30, 2012. This represents an in crease of $72.8 million, or 8.8%, during this fiscal year, as compared to the previous fiscal year’s decrease of $ 36.2 million, or 4.2% decrease from June 30, 2011. The following chart reflects the total net assets of Oberlin College at June 30, 201 3 and for the previous five fiscal years.” (Source)

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Top Oberlin College Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Oberlin College is an independent coeducational institution. It comprises two divisions, the College of Arts and Sciences, with approximately 2,600 students, and the Conservatory of Music, with around 500 enrolled. The University offers a wide range of Bachelor and Master Degrees in Arts and Science. Oberlin places a great deal of importance on the sound management of its endowment fund in order to push the college upwards in academic rankings. In June 1997, Oberlin College ratified a new endowment spending policy. The goals of this policy were: to increase the value of the endowment in real terms, protect the purchasing power of the endowment from inflation, provide stable and predictable increases in spending in real terms and maintain equity between current and future generations who are beneficiaries of endowment spending. (Source)

2) Oberlin College’s master plan identifies sustainability as a key strategic direction, and the Committee on Environmental Sustainability has drafted a climate action plan. The college employs a full-time sustainability fellow. Additionally, the Green EDGE revolving loan and sustainability grant funds, and EnviroAlums alumni fund, help finance on-campus sustainability projects.

Oberlin aims to be carbon neutral by 2025. Numerous energy efficiency technologies have been installed, including energy management systems and lighting upgrades. The college has installed two solar arrays and heats three buildings with geothermal pump systems. Forty percent of electricity purchased for the campus comes from renewable energy sources. (Source)

3) The 15% and $6.9 Million Annual Shift: Our commitment is to shift local investing within Oberlin from Fortune 500 international companies over the next five years by 20% while advocating for shifting Oberlin College’s Endowment by 1/2% of funds under management (June 2011 levels) to local and regional investment vehicles. We aim to complete this through local investment tools for local businesses including pre-sale, local CDs, and DPOs, creating three pilots during 2013, holding workshops on Community and Institutional employee powered direct investing/self directed IRAs, and by working with anchor institutions that can control their investments to utilize local investment resources, including within the opportunity created by financing needs in energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure. (Source)

4) Oberlin College has received a two-year, $500,000 grant that will endow the college’s entrepreneurship programming.
The endowment, provided by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, will provide support for the college’s entrepreneurship program, allowing students, alumni and faculty to take their innovative ideas and put them into practice through start-up businesses and internships. Specifically, the grant will support the college’s Creativity & Leadership initiative — a multidisciplinary program designed to encourage students to put their ideas into practice. The endowment also will support Launch U, an entrepreneurship accelerator and public pitch competition where students can refine their entrepreneurial ideas, network, develop skills and compete for seed funding. Dean of the Conservatory Andrea Kalyn said the 7-year-old program has provided students the chance to start software companies, nonprofits, record labels and other ventures through pitching ideas and receiving start-up grants to fund their projects. It also opens the door for internship opportunities to work with start-up companies, allowing them the chance to become successful entrepreneurs. (Source)

5) Spear Library was Oberlin College’s first real library, built in what is now Tappan Square between 1884 and 1885, dedicated 2 November 1885, and torn down in 1927. The Oberlin College Museum and the Natural History and Biology departments were also originally located in Spear. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson