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Washington State University Endowment Fund

Name: Washington State University

Assets Under Management: $$349.8 Million (Source: Washington State University on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: WSU Foundation Endowment Fund Overview 2013

Portfolio Insights: “The investment objectives of the Washington State University Foundation’s Endowment Fund reflect its long-term nature. It is recognized that the desire to grow endowment gifts and to produce a large, stable, and predictable payout stream involves tradeoffs that must be balanced in establishing the investment and spending policies.

WSU seeks to achieve these investment objectives by diversifying across major asset classes (e.g., marketable equities, non-marketable investments, absolute return, fixed income), as well as within each asset class (e.g., investment style, capitalization, industry).

For the period of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, the Endowment portfolio produced a total return of 10.00 percent. Additions to the Endowment Fund for this fiscal year totaled $17,611,092. The Endowment Fund distributed $12,907,954 in support of programs at Washington State University.” (Source)

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Top Washington State University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Washington State University is a public institution that was founded in 1890. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 23,070, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 1,742 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Washington State University’s ranking in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 138. Its in-state tuition and fees are $12,428 (2014-15); out-of-state tuition and fees are $25,510 (2014-15).

The main campus of Washington State University is located in Pullman, though there are also regional locations throughout the state in Spokane and the Tri-Cities, as well as in Vancouver. The school has a sizeable Greek community that recruits about 20 percent of the student population. In addition to fraternities and sororities, there are about 300 other student clubs and organizations to check out. The school’s sports teams, including the Washington State University football squad, compete in the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference. Freshmen must live on campus, unless they’re older than 20 or are married. Students with children or who are enrolled in graduate school may apply to live in university-owned apartments. (Source)

2) As of June 30, 2012, Washington State University, located in Pullman, has an endowment valued at $318.1 million. The endowment enhances education, research, programs, and the overall academic experience at Washington State University. As of December 31, 2012, WSU Foundation’s asset allocation invested 20% in absolute return equity which includes hedge funds. (Source)

3) The Washington State University Foundation’s Endowment is starting to snap back. Endowment funds like the WSU Foundation’s are essentially a large pool of money, usually donated by alumni, which is placed in an account with a high rate of return. The interest is then invested in the hopes of yielding money that can then be used for the benefit of the university. The endowment money is allocated by an investment committee of seven people. The committee divvies the money up into eight different areas, which include hedge funds, U.S. equity and private equity. WSU Foundation’s Endowment Fund increased by 5.8 percent from April 1 to June 30, tying off the 2009 fiscal year. The endowment increased another 3.4 percent in July. This fiscal year’s endowment totaled $261.5 million. (Source)

4) Washington State University offers employees the option of participating in Voluntary Investment Programs.  These accounts allow employees to tax defer additional retirement savings over and above their regular plans, including the Department of Retirement System plans (PERS, LEOFF), the WSU Retirement Plan (WSURP), as well as, individuals who participate in the Federal Retirement Plan.

Unlike the regular WSU Retirement Plan and DRS retirement plans, these accounts are not matched by WSU.  An employee may contribute as little as $30 a month, and up to the maximum tax deferral allowed by Federal IRS tax laws.  Contact Human Resource Services for information regarding maximum limits. (Source)

5) The University of Washington and Washington State University – the two largest public colleges in the state – have been awarded federal grants worth $80 million to create a biofuel industry in the Pacific Northwest.

Awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the purpose of the funding is to discover a way to turn trees into fuel for cars and jet engines, thereby creating a source of sustainable energy and reducing the United States’ dependence upon foreign oil.

The move has been widely praised for its potential to create thousands of new jobs and drive economic development within rural communities here in Washington state and throughout the country by building the framework for a competitively-priced, American-made biofuel industry.

The UW and WSU will each manage $40 million of the awarded funds. And for its part, WSU will be joined by a team from Weyerhaeuser, a global leader in the timber industry that will function as a subcontractor on the project. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson