University endowment almost reaches previous $1 billion pinnacle

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    Following a severe drop earlier this decade, the TCU endowment has nearly recovered to its peak level of $1 billion.Although the endowment reached $1 billion in 2000, economic troubles in the stock markets and 9/11 led to a dramatic decline throughout the early part of this decade, assistant treasurer Dick Hoban said.

    Despite the continuation of the war, the stock markets and, in turn, the endowment have experienced recovery, said Mauricio Rodriguez, chairman of the department of finance.

    “Overall, the stock markets reacted negatively to the terrorist attacks,” Rodriguez said. “But since then, they have performed better than the time of 9/11, where they had taken such a sharp decrease.”

    And with the recovery of the stock markets and their impact on the endowment’s investment options, the endowment is now very close to its peak, Hoban said.

    “Patience led to the recovery,” Hoban said. “TCU’s portfolio is broadly diversified across several markets, so, as the markets have recovered, so has the endowment.”

    Now that the endowment has almost fully recovered, there is more money for both investments and on-campus expenditures, Hoban said.

    “The endowment acts as a reservoir for investments in order to provide income streams that can provide for any program, the largest being scholarships,” Hoban said. “The spending of the endowment is governed by a board of trustees, which basically sets a rate of spending based on the market value of the endowment.”

    By governing the endowment through investments and rates of spending, the Board of Trustees’ goal is to preserve intergenerational equity, Hoban said.

    “If we put funds into the endowment today, we want that income to continue into the future,” Hoban said. “That way, 50 or 100 years from now, the university can receive the same economic benefits from it as it does now.”

    Chancellor Victor Boschini said he sees the recovery as a means for better times for students, faculty and staff.

    “The only purpose of that money is for something on campus,” Boschini said. “My hope would be to have more scholarships. I announced in the fall at the State of the University Address that I would like to have more Chancellor’s Scholars and more Community Scholars, which are two of our biggest scholarships.