Dartmouth Endowment Hits $4.5 Billion

Dartmouth's endowment grows.

Dartmouth’s endowment grows.

Dartmouth’s endowment reported investment gains of 19.2 percent for fiscal year 2014, which ended on June 30, 2014. The endowment now stands at $4.5 billion, up $735 million from a year earlier, after $778 million in investment gains, $146 million in gifts and transfers, and $189 million in distributions. Over 20 percent of the College’s operating budget is funded by the endowment.

The endowment outperformed a general 60 percent equity/40 percent bond benchmark, which gained 15.3 percent, and Wilshire Associates’ one-year median of 15.6 percent for foundations and endowments. In addition, the endowment reported higher investment gains than last year, when it netted a 12.1 percent gain, and fiscal year 2012, when it netted 5.8 percent.

Over the past 20 years, the endowment has returned an average of 11.7 percent annualized, beating the 9.8 percent return of the S&P 500 and the 7.1 percent return of the 60 percent equity/40 percent bond benchmark. The fund’s performance ranks within Wilshire’s top quartile of endowments and foundations.

Dartmouth is the first member of the Ivy League to report its endowment return. The College has the second-smallest overall endowment but the fourth-highest endowment per student in the Ivy League.

With the relatively large size of the endowment, the strong returns it generates, and our alumni’s generous contributions, the College would do well to leverage these resources to support its academic mission rather than feed an ever-growing and still hungry bureaucracy.