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Virginia Commonwealth University Endowment Fund

Name: Virginia Commonwealth University

Assets Under Management: $1.16 Billion (Source: Virginia Commonwealth University on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report:  Virginia Commonwealth University Foundation Financial Report June 30, 2014

Portfolio Insights: “Virginia Commonwealth University Foundation, (the “Foundation”) is a Virginia corporation that functions as a nonprofit charitable foundation solely to assist, support, and foster Virginia Commonwealth University in all proper ways that may from time to time be approved by the trustees of the Foundation with the guidance of the University. The Foundation manages and distributes current and endowment gifts for schools, departments, and programs throughout the University, with major emphasis on programs for the Monroe Park Campus.

The Foundation’s endowment consists of approximately 300 individual funds established for purposes that support the Foundation. The endowment is comprised only of donor-restricted endowment funds. As required by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), net assets associated with endowment funds are classified and reported based on the existence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions.” (Source)

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Top Virginia Commonwealth University Headlines:

1) Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, is searching for firms to provide investment advisory services for the university, VCU Health System Authority and six separate foundations, according to an RFP posted by the university. The school will consider outsourced CIO, investment manager and investment consultant services, but “may focus on the outsourced CIO model,” according to an RFP addendum.

VCU and the health system have a combined $1.12 billion in investible assets. The six foundations have a combined $783 million in assets, as of June 30, 2011. Each of the eight entities could select more than one provider. Firms can submit proposals for one, any or all of the following categories: cash and short-term investments, midterm investments, long-term investments, financial advisory services, and financial modeling and analytic support. Each VCU entity maintains a separate portfolio and investment policy. (Source)

2) The VCU Sustainability Committee, three staff in the Office of Sustainability, and more than 15 other staff contribute time to advancing sustainability initiatives on campus. The university is committed to environmental stewardship through a sustainability statement. Cost savings from energy efficiency projects support a revolving loan fund, and the university has an Energy Star purchasing policy.

The university aims to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2008 levels by 2025 and ultimately aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Many energy efficiency technologies have been installed on campus, including high-efficiency lighting and steam trap systems. Departments are given financial incentives to conserve energy, and renewable energy credits are purchased to offset energy use in three buildings. (Source)

3) Virginia Commonwealth University is a public research university located in Richmond. In 2012, Virginia Commonwealth University had more than 31,000 students pursue 222 degree and certificate programs through VCU’s 13 schools and one college. In 2012, VCU invested more than $8 million in hedge funds of its $317 million in total investments. (Source)

4) Last summer, the Virginia Commonwealth University Foundation gave $1.3 million to the school, a portion of the interest earned from the foundation’s endowment in 2007. The money covered more than 200 student scholarships, four endowed chairs and the travel and speaking fees to bring 20 top-notch lectures to the Monroe Park Campus in Richmond.

Then the recession accelerated. The endowment fund lost 28 percent of its value by the end of December. This year its contribution to VCU could be less than $400,000. “We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Thomas Burke, executive director of the foundation. VCU and its foundation can fill in the gap this year with other money, he said, but it’s still a shock. (Source)

5) Aug 15, 2009 – Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond has announced a $1.2 million gift from longtime benefactor Inger Rice to support the Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences. Given in recognition of VCU’s new president, Michael Rao, the gift will be used to establish the Inger Rice Endowment Fund, which will support maintenance of the center’s grounds and the Walter L. Rice Education Building. In 2007, Rice donated $2 million for construction of the 4,900-square-foot building, the first to be certified LEED platinum in the state.

“Mrs. Rice’s ongoing generosity of the VCU Rice Center exemplifies her commitment to the environment, education, and the future of our community and beyond,” said Rao. “I am thankful to Mrs. Rice for her magnanimous generosity and dedication to excellence, and I am confident that important work will continue to be accomplished at the center.” (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson