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Western Carolina University Endowment Fund

Name: Western Carolina University – Endowments

Assets Under Management: $392.8 Million (Source: Western Carolina University on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: Western Carolina University Cullowhee, North Carolina Financial Statement Audit Report For The Year Ended June 30, 2013

Portfolio Insights: Current assets, which consist primarily of cash, accounts and notes receivable, and operating inventories, increased by $4.4 million. This increase was due in great part to a $4.3 million increase in cash and cash equivalents. The increase in current cash balances is the partial result of an increase of $0.6 million in funds the University was able to keep instead of reverting to the State, $1.2 million of Educational & Technology fees being moved from State Funds to Trust Funds, distribution of indirect costs to departments that were unspent of $1.2 million, movement of application fees from State Funds to Trust Funds of $0.3million, and an increase in auxiliary reserves of $0.4 million.

Endowment investments include the principal amount of gifts and bequests that, according to donor restrictions, must be held in perpetuity or for a specified period of time, along with any accumulated investment earnings on such amounts.” (Source)

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Top Western Carolina University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Endowments create financial stability, allowing Western Carolina to be less dependent on unpredictable sources of revenue, such as state appropriations. Endowments allow for a rich variety of activities, including scholarships and fellowships for talented students; support for distinguished and dedicated faculty members through professorships, or chairs; and support for research and other programs.

An endowment is created through the establishment of a permanent fund that is invested and managed. A portion of annual investment growth and income generated is used to carry out the donor’s designated purpose. Endowment yield in excess of the annual amount spent is added back into the fund so that it continues to grow and maintain its purchasing power for future generations.

Outright gifts and planned gifts such as charitable trusts and bequests are popular ways to fund the initial endowment or add to it in later years. Donors may fund endowments with a single gift or multiple gifts spread over time. (Source)

2) Western Carolina University’s slated to get a brand new building on Centennial Drive in place of the one destroyed by fire in November 2013, which was home to businesses such as Rolling Stone Burrito, Subway and Mad Batter Bakery and Café.

The project, expected to break ground in May and reach completion by August 2016, will entail a 120,000-square-foot building that mixes student housing on the upper floors with commercial and dining businesses on the ground floor. The facility will add 380 student beds to campus and give businesses affected by the fire or currently operating along that commercial strip first right of refusal to occupy the new building, according to a press release from WCU.

“The concept will create a new town-like environment in the heart of the campus, with a mix of commercial and dining establishments on the ground floor, while also adding additional student beds to help accommodate the demands of increasing enrollment,” said Bill Studenc, communications director for the university. (Source)

3) Part of the 20.6 percent increase at Western Carolina University, which was the biggest jump across WNC institutions, could be found in the university’s first comprehensive capital campaign, said Jim Miller, associate vice chancellor for development at Western Carolina University.

The campaign ended in June 2009 and donors are still paying on their commitments. While not all of the campaign’s contributions were directed to the endowment, it could explain a portion of the increase, he said. (Source)

4) David O. Belcher was named Western Carolina University’s 11th chancellor on April 8, 2011, by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and assumed his duties on July 1, 2011.

Belcher was installed as chancellor of Western Carolina during a traditional ceremony Thursday, March 29, 2012 in the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Read his remarks from the ceremony.

Thomas W. Ross, president of the UNC system, presided at the official installation ceremony. A week of activities leading up to the ceremony highlighted and celebrated the accomplishments of Western Carolina University’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners. Watch the slideshow from the activities. (Source)

5) Western Carolina University students recently donated more than $12,000 worth of food and merchandise to help the Community Table in Sylva alleviate hunger through the end-of-year C-Store Buy-Out program. “It’s almost overwhelming,” said Brian Boyer, a residential case manager with the WCU Department of Residential Living and program coordinator. “Our students have shown a lot of heart.”

Through the annual program, students donate canned goods and other items that they purchase at the campus Courtyard C-Store or designate a portion of unspent money from their Campus Dining meal plans to the program to benefit The Community Table. With the money designated for donation, Aramark, WCU’s food service partner and a partner in the C-Store Buy-Out program, purchases items The Community Table needs.

Amy Grimes Sims, executive director of The Community Table, was thrilled to hear about the size of this year’s donations. “This food will be a huge help to so many people who visit our food pantry and will be used to fill in the gaps between our twice monthly shipments from MANNA FoodBank,” said Sims. “Believe it or not, a truckload of food is typically gone within two days because the need for our pantry is so high.” (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson