Endowment spending is the primary source of scholarships awarded to undergraduates and allows many qualified students of widely diverse backgrounds to afford a University of Rochester education. Endowment spending also supports faculty, libraries, laboratories, clinical practices, medical research, new technologies, growth and vitality of the arts, and physical assets of the University. The approximately 2,300 individual funds that make up the endowment touch all parts of the University. Some funds, such as the 288 endowed funds that support the Eastman School of Music, provide support for a broad range of purposes. Others, such as the Social Science Fund for Rush Rhees Library, support very specific needs. Each provides vital support for the many endeavors of the University’s faculty and students.
Since 1848, when founding Trustee John Wilder started a campaign to establish an endowment at the University of Rochester – leading the effort with a gift of $10,000 – continuous growth of the endowment has remained critical to Rochester’s future. As of June 30, 2018, Rochester’s Long Term Investment Pool (most of which is endowment) was valued at approximately $2.47 billion and is one of approximately 45 college and university endowments valued above $2 billion.
Rochester’s endowment is allocated to both publicly traded investments (domestic and international stocks and bonds) as well as alternative investments, including hedge funds, private equity, real assets (real estate and natural resources) and other assets. It holds more than half of its investments in alternatives. The allocation between traditional and alternative investments helps assure growth in favorable economic conditions and offers a measure of protection against severe losses during economic downturns. It is highly diversified and managed by approximately 90 external investment advisors located around the globe.