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Vassar College Endowment Fund

Name: Vassar and the Economy

Assets Under Management: $1.30 Billion (Source: Vassar College on 6/30/2012)

Annual Report: Vassar College Financial Statements June 30, 2012 and 2011

Portfolio Insights: “Vassar College (the “College”) was founded in 1861 and is a coeducational, independent, liberal arts college located in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The College is the beneficiary of various trusts created by donors, the assets of which are not in the possession of Vassar. The College has legally enforceable rights or claims to such assets, including the right to income generated. The fair value of these interests is recorded in the permanently restricted net asset class and the net realized and unrealized gains or losses are recorded in the permanently or temporarily restricted net asset catego ries as designated by the donor (s).” (Source)

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Top Vassar College Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) May 8, 1996 – The $391 million Vassar College endowment fund, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., hired Templeton to manage a $7 million emerging markets equity portfolio, increasing the college’s allocation to that asset class to $21 million, said Jay Yoder, investment analyst. The fund also increased its allocation to two hedge fund managers by $3.5 million each. Elliott Associates now manages $8.2 million; Everest Capital, $11.5 million. Funding for the changes came from termination of a market-neutral manager that Mr. Yoder declined to name. (Source)

2) Career Transitions (CCT) program, an $850,000, multi-year program is supporting postdoctoral positions in three departments in 2010-2012. Vassar College is actively seeking funding to expand this program. Vassar College’s $1,000,000 Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Minority-Scholars-in-Residence Endowment supports faculty of diverse backgrounds early in their careers. At Vassar, the endowment has funded annually at least one Consortium for Faculty Diversity at Liberal Arts Colleges (CFD) postdoctoral fellow since 2004 and has, on occasion, been able to support two fellows. (Source)

3) Vassar College, with a stronger endowment, increased its discount rate from 35 percent to 50 percent and increased its share of minority students from 20 percent to 35 percent. In Vassar’s case, it appears the institution must have increased campus aid to low-income, non-majority students, and this strategy was successful. (Source)

4) Vassar College opened with an endowment of over $400,000. The first class had 353 students from 22 of the 36 states, and a thirty member faculty which included 22 women. Despite Matthew Vassar’s large initial gift to fund the school, he believed that students should pay the operating costs of their education. “It not my purpose to make Vassar Female College a charity school,” he told the college trustees at their first meeting.10 The college was the first institution in the country to be heated by a main plant in a separate structure, and boasted hot and cold running water when it opened. One student wrote her family in 1865,” I took a splendid bath today. I think you will have to get a bathing place fixed up by the time I come home or I don’t believe I can hardly stand it, for I enjoy it so much taking them here.” (Source)

5) Vassar Scholarships come from Vassar’s endowment, money raised by Vassar clubs, and gifts from friends of the college. In addition, students who qualify under the federal guidelines may receive grants from various federal programs — the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, the Pell Grant program (for students from low to lower-middle income families). Students apply for these programs by completing the FAFSA which is required of all financial aid applicants. (Source)

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