Making a gift to the endowment is a highly impactful way to support Puget Sound's mission to prepare new generations of students for creative and useful lives that make a difference in the world and in the lives of others. Developed over many decades through the generous gifts of donors, the endowment provides an essential and reliable source of funding that supports the university’s mission and helps make a Puget Sound education more affordable for students and their families.
Gifts to the endowment are invested in perpetuity. Earnings from the endowment are used to support the university’s most critical needs, including student financial aid, faculty support, and academic programs.
Who makes decisions about endowment management?
Puget Sound's Board of Trustees is responsible for the prudent management of the endowment in support of the university's charitable purpose. The Finance and Facilities Committee of the board establishes investment policy, and its Investment Subcommittee oversees execution of the policy, including engagement of an external investment manager.
How are funds invested?
The endowment is invested in a diversified portfolio of commingled funds in which Puget Sound is one of many investors. This pooling of funds provides greater access to top-tier investment managers, enhances diversification of the investment portfolio, and delivers economies of scale that minimize costs and improve investment returns.
Is the university divested from fossil fuels?
To address concerns about the impact of climate change, Puget Sound has taken significant actions to reduce investment in hydrocarbon over time but is not fully divested. In May 2016, following a two-year period of discernment prompted by strong student advocacy, trustees issued a statement about the board's approach to divestment. Actions to which the trustees have committed include:
- avoiding new commitments to commingled private funds whose primary strategy is to make investments focused on hydrocarbon extraction, processing and/or transportation;
- making no direct investments in Filthy 15 and Carbon Underground 200 publicly traded stocks;
- seeking attractive investments in renewable energy; and
- establishing a fossil fuel-free portfolio option for donors that excludes investment in fossil fuel-related companies.
This approach will be reviewed by trustees periodically; the next review will take place during the 2018-19 academic year.
How can I learn more about the endowment?
Additional information about Puget Sound's endowment is available on the Office of Finance and Administration's endowment website.