The Big DIG: Why an Endowment

An endowment is a perpetual asset that allows the University to prepare, plan, and pursue its mission from a position of strength. It is a promise made by donors to future students, faculty, and researchers that they will support their goals and dreams. A gift to establish an endowed fund creates a legacy today that lives on long after a donor is gone.

Choosing to make your gift to The BIG Dig (Dietrich Inspirational Gifts: Promoting Research and Scholarships Initiative) in the form of an endowment ensures the strength of the Dietrich School will grow with each new generation. Please consider making such a powerful commitment.

“Together we can grow the number and size of endowed funds that will support the four priorities of The Big DIG for decades to come. These endowed funds will offer an amazing promise to future students that they will have affordable access to learning, scholarship, research, and the best professors of their time.”  - Keith Schaefer (A&S '71), The Big DIG Co-Chair

Preserving Your Gift, Empowering the Future

By the terms of the agreements through which the University accepts gifts to the endowment:

  • The principal “investment” may not be spent.
  • Allocation of earnings is limited by donor intent, e.g., scholarships for Dietrich School undergraduates.
  • Annual distributions must not exceed the prescribed legal guidelines.

In fiscal year 2018, the University’s endowment distributed $160 million to support student scholarships, fellowships, faculty chairs, and other designated programs and services.

Thanks to sound investment strategies and continued philanthropic investment from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the University, the size of the endowment and its annual distribution have grown in 18 of the last 20 years.

The Office of Finance is responsible for the oversight and management of the University’s endowment funds. The office constantly reviews and adjusts investment and spending policies, asset allocation, portfolio rebalancing, performance and benchmark analyses, and peer comparisons.