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Saint Mary’s College of California Endowment Fund

Name: Saint Mary’s College Investment Group

Assets Under Management: $311.6 Million (Source: Saint Mary’s College of California on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: Saint Mary’s College of California Financial Statements Including Independent Auditors’ Report As of and for the Years Ended June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “Saint Mary’s College of California (the “College”) is an independent Liberal Arts, Catholic, and Lasallian institution of higher education that is operated by the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers), the oldest religious order in the Catholic Church devoted exclusively to teaching.

The College’s endowment consists of approximately 301 individual funds established for a variety of purposes. Its endowment includes true endowment funds, funds functioning as endowments, and board reserves. True endowment funds are subject to the donor restrictions on gift instruments. These restrictions require that the principal be invested in perpetuity and that only the income and gains may be utilized.” (Source)

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Top Saint Mary’s College of California Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) The endowment is composed of assets that are invested for the long term to support the College’s educational purposes. As the cornerstone of the College’s financial stability, the endowment provides program support funding that is not dependent upon enrollment, tuition or annual giving.

The College’s endowment consists of approximately 300 individual funds established to support scholarships, professorships, programs and College priorities. It includes both donor-restricted assets and assets designated by the Board of Trustees to function as endowment.

Donors gifts made to the endowment buy “units” in the College’s endowment investment pool. This pool operates similarly to a mutual fund — the value of untis changes quarterly based on investment returns. (Source)

2) Saint Mary’s has received a $500,000 grant from the Fletcher Jones Foundation to establish a new scholarship fund. The new Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund will help qualified under-resourced undergraduates at Saint Mary’s pay for their education.

“Making higher education affordable is a major concern at the College and across the nation. This new endowment reflects Saint Mary’s ongoing commitment to this important issue,” said Saint Mary’s President James Donahue.  “We are extremely grateful to the Fletcher Jones Foundation for establishing this new endowment which will grow over time and continue to provide much needed assistance for deserving students annually.”

Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church’s oldest order devoted solely to teaching and to service to the poor in society, Saint Mary’s has a commitment to helping low-income students receive a quality education, with a mandate that at least 25 percent of its undergraduates are Pell Grant-eligible. However, as a result of the economic hardships experienced by the families of many Saint Mary’s students during the great recession, such as the loss of jobs and real estate equity, the percentage of Pell Grant-eligible students at the College is now at 27 percent, a rate higher than most of our peer institutions. (Source)

3) Saint Mary’s College of California is a private college located in Moraga, CA. It was established in 1863 and is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in the tradition of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Saint Mary’s was originally a school for men, and remained that way until 1970. By 2013, around 60% of students were women. The Collegiate Seminar is the foundation of the college’s core curriculum and consists of four courses that explore major works of Western civilization. January Term is a unique academic session in which students travel abroad or take only one class, which is encouraged to be outside of their major. De La Salle Week is a week-long event that includes activities like a 5k run, a campus BBQ, service opportunities, meditation retreats and prominent speakers. St. Mary’s College of California competes in NCAA Division I athletics. (Source)

4) Recognizing that the paths to knowledge are many, Saint Mary’s College of California offers a diverse curriculum that includes the humanities, arts, sciences, social sciences, education, business administration and nursing, serving traditional students and adult learners in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

As an institution where the liberal arts inform and enrich all areas of learning, it places special importance on fostering the intellectual skills and habits of mind, which liberate persons to probe deeply the mystery of existence and live authentically in response to the truths they discover. This liberation is achieved as faculty and students, led by wonder about the nature of reality, look twice, ask why, seek not merely facts but fundamental principles, strive for an integration of all knowledge and express themselves precisely and eloquently. (Source)

5) The President’s Circle is Saint Mary’s most prestigious recognition level, honoring donors who support the College with vitally important annual leadership gifts of $5,000 and above. To show deep appreciation for these significant annual gifts, the College honors President’s Circle donors at a black-tie dinner and by featuring their names on a campus donor wall. This elite group of donors comprises the top five percent of contributors to Saint Mary’s and demonstrates a significant investment in the mission of the College through their philanthropy. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson