Clemson University endowment surpasses $ 1 billion as officials aim to match ACC peers | Greenville News

CLEMSON – Clemson University’s endowment has surpassed $ 1 billion, a milestone that university officials are celebrating with some reservation.

Of the 15 schools that make up the Atlantic Coast Conference, Clemson has the second smallest endowment ahead of just Florida State University, which manages an endowment of $ 574 million as of December 2020.

While most Clemson ACC peers hover between $ 2 billion and $ 5 billion, institutions with double-digit billions include the University of Virginia ($ 14.5 billion), the University of Notre Dame. ($ 13.3 billion) and Duke University ($ 12.7 billion).

“We have passed the billion dollar mark, which is huge for our university,” Brian O’Rouke, vice president of development and alumni relations, told The Post and Courier. “Looking at our peers, we always know we have a long way to go to build the endowment. “

“The power of endowment is really essential for the wealth of the whole institution,” continued O’Rouke. “So big step, but I’m now focusing on 1.5 billion and 2 billion. “

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Most university and college endowments are made up of money and other financial assets that come primarily from donations. Certain endowments are used for specific purposes, such as to finance scholarships or teaching positions.

The Clemson University Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that oversees endowment. The foundation “invests the managed endowment in a way that maximizes long-term returns, while mitigating risk,” according to the annual staffing report published at the end of the university’s 2020-2021 fiscal year.

For the most recent fiscal year, endowment uses were divided into four categories, with the largest financial support, 34 percent, going to student aid. Another 31 percent was allocated to department and program improvement, 29 percent for faculty support and 6 percent to unrestricted funds.

In fiscal year 2021, the university created 115 new scholarships and scholarships and 85 new endowments. Over 20 major grants of $ 1 million or more and $ 3.6 million in unrestricted grants have been awarded. Together, the total cash endowment was almost $ 24 million.

The university received its biggest single gift ever – $ 60 million from Wilbur and Ann Powers for the business school.

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Over the summer, the university’s College of Science received its biggest gift after alumnus Emily Peek Wallace donated $ 1.25 million to establish a staffed leadership position for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

More than 34,000 donors contributed 92,000 donations to build up the $ 202 million fundraiser for fiscal year 2021.

“Our fundraising here in Clemson has really been a key part, and frankly President (Jim) Clements is a big piece of this puzzle. He is raising a lot of money for us,” said the chairman of the board of directors, Kim Wilkerson.

Since Clements started college in 2013, he has helped raise over $ 1.2 billion in private funds. On October 1, the university’s board of trustees approved Clements’ contract extension and a salary increase from $ 901,330 to $ 987,530.

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