Endowment continues strong trajectory

In the early 2000s, the College’s endowment continued to grow until it exceeded $1 billion. Given the size of the endowment, an increasingly complex investment portfolio was required, and in 2006, the Financial Office hired Collette Chilton to the new position of Chief Investment Officer. Chilton has since overseen the continued growth of the College’s endowment.

According to the statistics for the fiscal year of 2013, the endowment for the College continues to perform well. The College’s investment pool ended the year with a return of 14.8 percent after having returned 3.1 percent in the fiscal year of 2012, a significant improvement.

Additionally, the investment pool as of June 30 stood at under $2 billion. In the long term, over the past 10 years there was a return of 9 percent. This return of 9 percent exceeds the long-term investment objective of 5 percent after inflation.

The market during the fiscal year of 2013 affected the endowment. The concerns over reaching a “fiscal cliff” caused volatility in the markets, but the conclusion of tax negotiations in January renewed stability and increased investor confidence, causing equity markets to surge. Furthermore, the federal announcement of reduced quantitative easing sent tremors through the market at the end of June, dampening performance at the end of the fiscal year.

Even so, modest inflation did not erode market gains, and in the 2013 fiscal year, the Investment Office set a new high-water mark for the investment pool of $2 billion. Over the last 40 years, the endowment has grown from $50 million to approximately $2 billion.

These statistics demonstrate an impressive growth that reinforces the Investment Office’s mission to support the goals of the College. The staff of the Investment Office in Boston works closely with the staff of the College’s finance team.

During the 2013 fiscal year, the College spent approximately $90,000 per student and relies on the endowment and financial gifts to provide nearly 60 percent of every dollar that it spends. Having a $2 billion endowment allows the College to sustain educational offerings while continuing to grow the financial aid budget and meet the full financial need of every admitted student.

Overseeing the College endowment is a complex and continuing task. Through the dedication of trustees, investment and advisory committee members, alumni and the variety of employees who manage the College’s finances, the endowment has continued to expand and support the mission of the College.