The university’s endowment surpassed $500 million for the first time in December. The endowment, which is an amount invested and that produces regular income to the university now sits at $530 million compared to $465 million a year ago.
Jack Rich, ACIMCO-president and chief investment officer, said the university is blessed to have reached this goal noting that ACU invests its endowment somewhat differently than other universities of the same size.
“The way we invest is different than most endowments,” Rich said, “some differentiators being that we have a very high percentage invested in renewable energy, oil and gas and private equity, all of which has been successful investments. We invest more like billion-dollar-plus endowments than endowments of our size.”
Although he said it was a benchmark the university is excited to reach, a certain endowment dollar amount is not the goal. Rich said investing the endowment is about providing as much as possible for current spending to the university.
“We actively shoot for having as large of an endowment as we can because it gives so much flexibility to the university,” Rich said. “There’s not a certain size goal, per se; it’s just about how the university can benefit.”
Dr. Brad Crisp, dean of the College of Business Administration, said the endowment’s growth allows more support for students, faculty and staff.
“The growth in the endowment increases the university’s capacity to offer scholarships and experiential learning opportunities to students and to more effectively support the work of our faculty and staff,” Crisp said.
Even with the endowment where it sits, Rich said he does anticipate it may drop below $500 million over the next year. Nonetheless, he said it is a great benchmark to be happy about.
“The markets have been very very rich, it wouldn’t surprise me if we drop below $500 million, but I think reaching that level is a great tribute to the donors who have, over the years, given us the funds that we can invest,” Rich said. “I’d also give a lot of credit to our board that has allowed us to think about investing differently than other schools of our size.”