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Wright State University Foundation, Inc. Endowment Fund

Name: Wright State University Foundation, Inc.

Assets Under Management: $119.8 Million (Source: Wright State University Foundation, Inc. on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: Wright State University Foundation, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, Financial Statements June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “The WSU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission includes the cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, management and distribution of private gifts for the exclusive benefit of Wright State University (“WSU” or the “University”).

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, the value of the Foundation’s endowment increased more than 9%, finishing the year with a value of $84.2 million. Once again, strong investment earnings, coupled with a sharp net decline in the amount appropriated for expenditure, provided the greatest impetus to this increase. Unprecedented losses experienced during fiscal years 2008 and 2009 have reduced the values of some of the Foundation’s endowment funds to less than the amount originally donated, a condition known as “underwater endowments.” (Source)

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Top Wright State University Foundation, Inc. Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) David R. Hopkins previously served as provost of Wright State University from 2003 until his appointment as president in February 2007.

A central theme to his administration has been the creation of a culture for innovation throughout the university that is reflected through the development of several Centers of Excellence. Six of these multidisciplinary units have been designated Ohio Centers of Excellence by the state and reflect a commitment to technology-based economic development by attracting and retaining national researchers, educators, artists, students, and investments to produce a quality of life conducive to future growth that will transform our region.

These centers incorporate current and future collaborations with business, industry, and government in such areas as human-centered innovation, medical readiness, knowledge-based computing, neuroscience, product reliability, micro air vehicle research, and visual and performing arts innovation and leadership. (Source)

2) Sundaram Narayanan, former dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science who helped create and lead the Wright State Research Institute, began serving as university provost March 18, 2013.

The appointment marks the continuation of an exemplary 18-year career at Wright State for Narayanan, Ph.D., P.E.

Narayanan came to Wright State as an assistant engineering professor and served as chair of the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering (BIE) for nine years. He was later appointed executive director of the Wright State Research Institute and then named dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, serving both positions concurrently.

Under Narayanan’s tenure as dean, the engineering and computer science college experienced its highest enrollment in its history; the school’s research funding grew by 67 percent from $9 million in 2009 to $15 million in 2012; and the college created Ohio’s only master’s degree program in cyber security.

Narayanan was also instrumental in creating and directing the Wright State Research Institute, which in five years has grown to more than 75 employees with annual research awards of more than $20 million. (Source)

3) Making one of the largest alumni gifts in the history of the university, Wright State graduate Ron Bullock has pledged $3 million to the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Bullock’s gift will help fund the college’s initiatives in engineering design and innovation.

Bullock, a 1970 graduate of Wright State University, is chairman of Bison Gear & Engineering Corporation in St. Charles, Ill. His gift will establish the Bison Gear & Engineering Innopreneurship Laboratory. Scheduled to open in Fall 2016 in the Russ Engineering Building, the Innopreneurship Laboratory will promote creative thinking and problem solving across the various engineering disciplines.

“The Bison Gear & Engineering Innopreneurship Laboratory will play a vital role in the education of Wright State’s engineering students,” said Nathan Klingbeil, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This cutting-edge facility will bridge the gap between classroom theory and true engineering practice, providing students with both the creative space and the state-of-the-art technology required to take their ideas from concept to market.” (Source)

4) The Reynolds and Reynolds Co. Foundation has committed $240,000 in scholarships to Wright State University.

The Reynolds and Reynolds Leadership Scholars Program, established in 2009 with a $100,000 gift from the Dayton-based auto dealer software company, is for students entering the school’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. The increased gift is in recognition of the success of the program.

“Attracting highly qualified students and keeping talent in the Dayton region are the goals of these scholarships,” Jon Strawsburg, Foundation trustee and vice president of product planning at Reynolds and Reynolds, said in a news release. “We want to focus on those things that will have a lasting impact on our communities where Reynolds has a significant presence.” (Source)

5) Wright State University will open a new engineering lab in 2016 funded with a $3 million donation from one of its graduates. Ron Bullock, a 1970 graduate, chairs Bison Gear & Engineering Corporation in St. Charles, Ill. He pledged the gift Thursday morning at the school’s Joshi Research Center.

The gift will provide for a new laboratory named for Bullock’s company. The lab, designed to promote creative thinking and problem solving in various engineering disciplines, is scheduled to open in fall 2016. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson