In spite of trying financial times for U.S. universities, Georgetown University’s endowment has moved in the rankings to 64th, up from 71st last year, on the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ 2010 endowment list.

NACUBO reported that the university’s endowment fund suffered a 16.6 percent loss, reducing its size from $1 billion to $833 million at the end of fiscal year 2009, which concluded June 30. The association rates 842 endowment funds based on their market value and percentage change from the year before.

The Georgetown University Investment Office has released a preliminary estimate of $958 million for current endowment size as of Nov. 30, a recovery of $125 million in five months.

“Over the long term, our trend has been moving in the right direction,” Chief Investment Officer Lawrence Kochard said in a university press release. “We were No. 77 in 2004, so this gain is positive.”

While the overall value of the endowment has fallen following the recession, the decrease has been smaller than at other universities, according to a university press release.

“I have joked that I never thought I would be extolling the virtues of tuition dependency, but with an endowment of approximately $1 billion before the global financial crisis, the impact for Georgetown is not yet commensurate with our peers,” University President John J. DeGioia said at the spring 2010 faculty town hall meeting on Jan. 22.

According to Kochard, a $75 million philanthropic gift – the largest in university history – was one of the reasons for the higher ranking.

Kochard said in a university press release that they had strived to ensure liquidity and further diversify investments to protect against possible decrease in value. These preventative measures allowed Georgetown to avoid the larger losses of almost 30 percent that many other universities sustained.

According to the Investment Office’s Web site, Georgetown’s endowment is less than those of peer institutions.

“A top 25-ranked school [according to U.S. News and World Report], Georgetown has a modest endowment compared to schools with which it competes academically,” according to the Web site.

According to the NACUBO rankings, the University of Notre Dame suffered a 23 percent loss in fiscal year 2009, bringing its endowment size down to $4.8 billion. Similarly, Duke University’s endowment size is currently $4.4 billion; it sustained a 27.5 percent loss in fiscal year 2009.”

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