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Wayne State University Endowment Fund

Name: Wayne State University

Assets Under Management: $497.5 Million (Source: Wayne State University on 9/30/2013)

Annual Report: Wayne State University Financial Report 2013

Portfolio Insights: “Wayne State University is a nationally recognized public research university with
urban roots and a global reputation. The main campus, located in Detroit’s University Cultural Center, includes more than 350 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, certificate, and professional programs offered through the University’s schools and colleges. With fall 2013 enrollment of approximately 27,900 students, the University ranks among the top 55 public and private not-for-profit universities in the nation in terms of enrollment and has the most diverse student body of any university in Michigan.

The University’s financial position remained stable and strong at September 30, 2013 with assets and liabilities of $1.4 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively. Net position, which represents the residual interest in the University’s assets after liabilities are deducted, was $605.8 million as of September 30, 2013, a decrease of $25.1 million compared with the prior year. The University has credit ratings of “Aa2” and “AA-” with the rating services of Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, respectively.” (Source)

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Top Wayne State University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Wayne State University has received a $5 million gift from Mort and Brigitte Harris to create scholarships for the School of Medicine and provide resources and ongoing support for the university’s community outreach adult literacy program. With each initiative receiving $2.5 million, the gift will create the Mort and Brigitte Harris Endowed Scholarship Fund (Harris Scholars) in the School of Medicine and the Mort and Brigitte Harris Office for Adult Literacy Endowment Fund in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College.

“The friendship and support Mort and Brigitte Harris have provided to Wayne State University is reflective of their commitment to scholarship, research and community,” Wayne State University President Allan Gilmour said. “This is simply the latest in a wonderful history of giving, and it is difficult to find an area or issue that concerns them that remains unaided by their generosity.” (Source)

2) Oct 8, 2014 – Wayne State University will launch a $750-million capital campaign this morning, hoping to raise money for student scholarships and endowed faculty positions, among other items.

“As everyone knows, this is an unprecedented time in Detroit’s history,” university President M. Roy Wilson said in an interview with the Free Press. “Wayne State doesn’t want to just take advantage of the revitalization of Detroit, we want to keep helping it. An investment in Wayne State is an investment in Detroit.

“Our goal is to become one of the premier urban public research universities in the nation. When you look at others like us, our endowment needs some work.” (Source)

3) Wayne State University’s endowment grew to $277 million during the endowment reporting period ending June 30. The university’s annualized investment return was a strong 10.5 percent. Wayne State’s rate of investment return was 8.7 percent during the past three years and 5 percent during the past five years.

Wayne State’s endowment provides annual income to support university programs and initiatives in accordance with donor-specified terms. Although some of the endowment is unrestricted, most of it is designated for a specific purpose. Nearly two-thirds of the endowment supports students and faculty.

The Wayne State University Foundation Investment Committee is responsible for managing endowment investments with assistance from university staff and an external advisor, NEPC, Inc. The committee has designed an investment policy to grow the endowment and protect the purchasing power of its assets over time. (Source)

4) Apr 15, 2014 – Wayne State University, Detroit, is searching for an investment consultant for its 401(a), 403(b) and 457 defined contribution plans that had aggregate assets of $1.5 billion as of Dec. 31.

According to the RFP, the contract for traditional defined contribution investment consulting services will be for one year, beginning in fall 2014, with a possible one-year extension beginning in fall 2015, the RFP said.

Services sought include development and implementation of an investment committee, and investment policies and guidelines; assistance with selection of investment options in the retirement plans; quarterly performance analysis and monitoring; and risk management assistance. (Source)

5) Wayne State University’s business school will host an investment conference for students. The ENGAGE International Investment Education Symposium is March 26-27 at Cobo Center. It is designed to help students learn about effective investment strategies. The conference will host several high-powered guest speakers, including Dennis P. Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. WDET’s Laura Weber-Davis spoke with Wayne State School of Business Dean Robert Forsythe about the ENGAGE International Investment Education Symposium. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson