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Endowment Management > Philosophy

Endowment Gifts Securing the University’s Present – and Future

The impact of endowment gifts is evident across Case Western Reserve, from the inspiring faculty who hold endowed professorships to the extraordinary students able to enroll because of financial assistance scholarships provide.

Other endowment funds provide ongoing support to programs and centers, and all of these resources contribute to Case Western Reserve’s mission: to discover knowledge and deepen understanding.

Gifts to support capital projects—for example, Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] or the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple – Tifereth Israel—have an enormous impact on the life of the campus, as do other donations intended for more immediate uses—such as the annual fund.

Endowment funds, however, create a specific kind of ongoing legacy, one that energizes the present and at the same time ensures the future of the subject, program or entity involved. Imagine, for example, how the role of the individual appointed to an endowed professorship in computer science has evolved over the decades—and, perhaps even more stunning, will transform in decades to come. Or the different ways that an English major conducted research in the 1950s, or 1990s—and how it again will differ from the methods of 2030.

Beyond endowment gifts‘ short- and long-term effects, they also possess other unique qualities. An endowed professorship, for example, can assist enormously in attracting and keeping top-notch scholars. Leading academic institutions like ours regularly search for the most talented and innovative faculty, and an endowed professorship can contribute enormously to their recruitment and retention. An endowed faculty position not only carries enormous prestige, but also brings with it additional resources to support that professor’s intellectual work. Similarly, the award of university scholarships—particularly named ones—tells admitted students that Case Western Reserve considers them more than qualified—they are also deeply valued for their accomplishments and potential.

Support from alumni and friends strengthens the endowment and helps safeguard the university’s financial condition. It also means that Case Western Reserve can continue to provide pioneering education and research opportunities today and for generations to come.

We will continue to steward these gifts carefully, and feel profound gratitude to all who have provided such remarkable support. We are honored by the confidence shown in the institution by these contributions and dedicated to demonstrating that faith well-placed.

Investment Approach

Case Western Reserve balances two priorities in managing its investments: significant growth of the endowment and avoidance of undue risk involving its funds. These imperatives reflect the institution’s commitment to serve those now on the campus as well as the many generations who follow them. It is the university’s obligation to serve as a responsible steward of all contributions received, and at the same time ensure that the funds accumulate adequate interest to preserve and increase the gift’s original total. To achieve this goal, the university’s portfolio is allocated across a broad range of areas, among them domestic and foreign public equities, fixed-income funds, private capital and real assets.

Case Western Reserve’s Office of Investment manages endowment funds held directly by the university. In addition to seeking growth without incurring significant losses, the office also must preserve adequate liquidity to meet ongoing needs as specified by donors and direct by the university’s Board of Trustees. The board annually allocates a portion of returns to support the overall operations of the university and the actual management of the funds.

Investment Pool Target Asset Allocation
Type Percentage
Global Public Equity 40%
Private Equity and Venture Capital 17%
Real Estate and Natural Resources 15%
Marketable Alternatives 23%
Fixed Income 5%