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University of the South Endowment Fund

Name: The Treasurer of the University

Assets Under Management: $635.7 Million (Source: University of the South on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: The University of the South Financial Statements and Supplementary Information June 30, 2014 and 2013

Portfolio Insights: “The University of the South (the University) is a not-for-profit educational institution composed of the School of Theology and the College of Arts and Sciences located in Sewanee, Tennessee. The University is governed by the Episcopal Church through a Board of Trustees that arises principally from twenty-eight dioceses of the Church, and a Board of Regents elected by the Trustees.

Investments in equity securities with readily determinable fair values and all investments in debt securities are measured at fair value based on quoted market prices. Investment transactions in equity and debt securities are recorded as of the trade date. Certain investments that do not have readily determinable fair values including private investments, hedge funds, real estate and other funds are reported at estimated fair value, utilizing the practical expedient of their net asset values.” (Source)

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Top University of the South Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Sewanee-University of the South is a private liberal arts college in Sewanee, TN. It was founded in 1857 by Episcopal delegates from throughout the South and remains affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Sewanee has produced 26 Rhodes Scholars, 45 Watson Fellows and 30 NCAA Postgraduate Fellows. Students can select from 36 majors, 32 minors and 15 special programs. Over 40% of students participate in a study abroad program. More than 95% of undergraduate students live on campus and Sewanee boasts one of the largest college campuses in the U.S., with over 13,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau. The Sewanee Outing Program lets students and faculty take advantage of Sewanee’s location through outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, kayaking and caving. The Sewanee Union Theatre, or the “SUT,” shows recently-released movies and classic films for less than $5 per ticket. The school’s varsity athletic teams, called the Sewanee Tigers, compete in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) at the NCAA Division III level. (Source)

2) Sewanee, University of the South, is the only university in the nation that is owned and governed by dioceses of the Episcopal Church, specifically the 28 dioceses of the southeastern United States. Sewanee was founded in 1857 by clergy and lay delegates from Episcopal dioceses throughout the south. They selected a site in Sewanee, atop the Cumberland Plateau about 50 miles west of Chattanooga. Local landowners and the Sewanee Mining Company donated nearly 10,000 acres for the enterprise. On October 10, 1860, the founders laid the cornerstone for a campus that would eventually grow to house 1,500 students on 13,000 forested acres.

Sewanee has graduated 25 Rhodes Scholars, five of whom returned to teach at the University. The institution counts among its graduates numerous Fulbright scholars, 40 Watson Postgraduate Fellows, and 27 NCAA Postgraduate Scholars. Fifty-five percent of graduates earn advanced degrees. Of graduates who apply to law school, over 90 percent are accepted, and 85 percent of those who apply to medical, dental, or veterinary school are accepted. (Source)

3) The Treasurer of the University is charged with the safekeeping of the financial and real assets of the University, directing all accounting processes, proper investment of endowment assets according to the policies of the Investment Management Committee, and performing insurance and risk management functions as required. All financial and tax reports relating to the University are prepared and distributed by this office. (Source)

4) Doug Williams, the Frank W. Wilson Professor of Economics, is a summa cum laude graduate of The University of the South and earned his doctorate at Northwestern University. His teaching interests include labor economics, law and economics, the economics of poverty, the economics of financial markets, and living wage legislation. (Source)

5)  Since the founding of the Sewanee Investment Club in 2010, its student members have been learning the skills of financial management using virtual investment portfolios, but with this academic year, there’s a major change: now they’re managing real money.

The club has been handed responsibility for active management of $250,000 of the University’s endowment and an additional $110,000 to participate in loan syndications originated by area community banks and to make early-stage investments in entrepreneurial startups. The University Board of Regents voted to authorize student management of the endowment funds at its September meeting. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson