Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Endowment Ranked 78th

Georgetown’s endowment rose 8.9 percent last year to just over $740 million, giving the university the 78th largest endowment among colleges nationwide, according to a recent survey.

The annual report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers recorded Georgetown’s endowment as $741,062,000. The university fell one place from its position in the group’s fiscal year 2004 rankings, in which it ranked 77th with an endowment of $680,611,000.

The university ranked above both the median and average endowment assets – $71,662,000 and $360,651,000, respectively – of the 746 participating institutions from the United States and Canada. Georgetown’s endowment was less than the endowments of many other top-tier schools, however, and its endowment increased at a rate lower than the national average of 9.3 percent.

Harvard University ranked first and Yale University ranked second in the survey, with endowments of $25.5 billion and $15.2 billion, respectively.

“We understand that our endowment is a lot smaller than that of our academic competitors,” said Lawrence Kohard, chief investment officer for the university investment office. We are trying to implement an investment strategy very similar to what they are doing.”

Kohard said that, while endowment funds are increased through both investment and donations, his office’s strategy consists of investing in private equities and hedge funds, which offer investors more flexibility than mutual funds. “We’re trying to implement an investment strategy that is very similar to what [our academic competitors] are doing,” he said.

Kohard, who was appointed to lead the new office in the summer of 2004 admitted that it could be years before significant progress is achieved, however.

“It will take years for [Georgetown] to produce the really large returns that Princeton, Stanford and Yale have generated,” he said.

The study also concluded that a 9 percent annual return rate on the endowment is optimal for many higher education endowments.

According to Kohard, Georgetown generated a 10 percent rate of return in 2005, 1 percent higher than the university’s endowment increase.

While Kohard said that increasing returns help raise the university endowment over time, he said that the real gains will come through additional fundraising.

“Although our return is slightly above average, when you look at the fact that our return is 10 percent, it is clear that our inflows are not as big as our outflows,” he said.

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