Campus News

Bowdoin Endowment Reports 24.4% Investment Return for Fiscal-Year 2007

The Bowdoin Campaign

Story posted September 27, 2007

Bowdoin College's endowment earned a 24.4 percent net investment return for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, with three, five, and 10-year annualized returns of 18.6 percent, 16.5 percent and 11.9 percent respectively. Bowdoin's performance is in the top quartile of college and university returns over the one, three, five and 10-year periods, according to Cambridge Associates, a firm that tracks the performance of endowment funds nationwide.

The June 30 market value for the endowment was $827.7 million, up from $673.4 million at the end of the 2006 fiscal year. Spending from the endowment in 2007 supported approximately 22 percent of the College's $106 million operating budget.

"These returns send an important message to those who support Bowdoin College, because they illustrate for donors the College's commitment to and success in preserving and building its assets today and into the future," said Bowdoin College President Barry Mills.

A significant portion of endowment spending provides support for financial aid and Bowdoin's practice of need-blind admissions, which permit the College to admit qualified students regardless of their ability to pay. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, the endowment supported approximately 57 percent of the College's financial aid budget. The Bowdoin Campaign, an effort to raise $250 million for the College by June 30, 2009, sets financial aid as its highest priority. To support Bowdoin's financial aid programs, the College will raise a minimum of $75 million in new endowment.

Bowdoin's endowment portfolio is diversified across different asset classes including domestic and international equities, fixed income, private equity, real estate and absolute return strategies. The College allocates capital to investment management firms with specialized expertise within particular asset classes.

"These exemplary results would not have been possible without the help of our skilled professional staff, our strong trustee leaders and the external fund managers working on Bowdoin's behalf," said President Mills. "We're fortunate to have such an excellent team."

Bowdoin's Investment Committee is currently chaired by Sheldon M. Stone. Paula Volent, CFA, is Senior Vice President for Investments at Bowdoin.

The print and online news service Alternative Investment News named Bowdoin 2006 Non-Profit Investor of the Year and called Volent "one of the savviest investors in the non-profit world," more impressive, it reported, for the fact "that Bowdoin excels without the resources of a Harvard or Yale."

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