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University of North Texas Endowment Fund

Name: University of North Texas Foundation Endowments

Assets Under Management: $153.7 Million (Source: University of North Texas on 8/31/2012)

Annual Report: Combined Financial Report of the University of North Texas System, Denton, Texas, Lee Jackson, Chancellor

Portfolio Insights: “The University of North Texas System (the System) was established by the 76th Legislature, and legislative funding was provided for the fiscal year beginning September 1, 1999. The System is currently comprised of four components funded by the Legislature: the University of North Texas System Administration (Est. 1999), the University of North Texas (Est. 1890), the University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) at Fort Worth (Est. 1970) and the University of North Texas at Dallas (Est. 1999).

The Foundation carries investments in marketable securities, actively traded mutual funds, and other common stocks with readily determinable fair values and all investments in debt securities at their fair values based on quoted prices in active markets (all Level 1 measurements) in the statements of financial position. Investments in non-publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust and Hedge Funds of Funds are carried at their fair value as determined using significant unobservable i n p u t s (Level 3 measurements). Unrealized gains and losses are included in the change in net assets in the accompanying statements of activities.” (Source)

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Top University of North Texas Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) The University of North Texas Foundation supports and enhances the educational mission of the University of North Texas by accepting, investing and/or managing private gifts, endowed funds and other assets for the benefit of the university and its students; and by supporting and encouraging philanthropic gifts to the University. Under the governance of its Board of Directors, the UNT Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the receipt, investment and administration of private gifts that fund scholarships, research and teaching. Chartered by the State of Texas in 1972, the Foundation manages endowment funds, operating accounts, life-income funds and special gift arrangements. (Source)

2) The University of North Texas has received $1.5 million for a new endowment fund from the estate of Alonzo Jamison to support the UNT President’s Loyalty Fund.

The gift creates the Alonzo and Elizabeth Jamison Endowment Fund, which will provide an estimated $60,000 a year to fund scholarships, strengthen academic programs, enrich co-curricular experiences and support research.

“The way that this gift was directed, it will really have a large impact on the university because we often receive a gift that will be directed for one program … but the needs of the university evolve over time, and this gift allows the president to respond to that evolving nature,” said Michael Monticino, UNT vice president for advancement.

Monticino said this was a gift planned before Jamison died in 2011 at the age of 93, though the final amount was larger than the university anticipated. (Source)

3) Fundraising efforts at the University of North Texas, as with all universities, are based on a cyclical relationship with donors. We recognize that we are nurturing friendships and continuing support. We recognize that our best prospects for future gifts are those who already have an affinity for the university, demonstrated through previous gifts, and we reinforce that affinity.

Communication is essential to a “donor centric” fundraising process. The university and its asset management partner, the UNT Foundation Inc., follow established guidelines and best practices at the UNT System, state and federal levels to assure that donors realize the essential nature of support to the more than 38,000 students, faculty and staff who make up the UNT community. (Source)

4) The interim president of the University of North Texas, V. Lane Rawlins, will be making his first appearance before the Legislature at today’s hearing. “I’ve been doing this in various states for about 20 years,” Rawlins says of his previous run-ins with lawmakers in Washington and Tennessee, “and every time I’ve had the chance to speak with the legislature, my main point is that we need more money.” His message today, when lawmakers check in with the schools on how they are handling the legislation, will be no different.

Multiple pools of cash are in play. Since the legislation went into effect, much of the focus has been on the Texas Research Incentive Program, or TRIP, which matches state money with gifts and endowments geared toward research: The larger the donation, the greater the percentage the state matches. Gifts of $2 million or more are matched 100 percent by the state. The money comes from a $50 million pool of TRIP money, which took some legislative wrangling — and was quickly snatched up by the universities. (Source)

5) The University of North Texas (University) manages its endowments in accordance with appropriate endowment management principles.

The University’s overall investment policies are consistent with modern endowment management principles as embodied in the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act (Texas Property Code, Chapter 163).

The modern endowment principles the University has incorporated into its investment policies include focusing on long-term growth of endowment principal (to maintain or increase purchasing power over time), spending a prudent portion of endowment income, and delegating responsibility for managing endowment assets. The University’s delegation of asset management responsibili ties to outside parties allows it to have access to the investment expertise of professional asset management firms. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson