Bowdoin’s endowment rose above $900 million this past year, with a return on investments of 22.3% for the fiscal year year ending June 30, 2011. Approximately 44% of Bowdoin’s endowment is restricted to the support of financial aid, and the endowment funded 63% of the College’s financial aid budget last year.
The Bowdoin College endowment grew to $904.2 million and generated an investment return of 22.3% for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2011. A year earlier, the endowment had a market value of $753.5 million. The change in endowment market value includes the impact of investment performance as well as new endowment gifts, minus spending in support of current programs at the College.
The College received approximately $24.8 million in endowment gifts during the year and provided approximately $38.0 million towards the annual operations of the College, or 29% of the 2010/2011 operating budget.
“A strong endowment means Bowdoin can continue to do all the things that make our college exceptional,” said Bowdoin President Barry Mills. “These results are especially gratifying during uncertain economic times because they enable us to weather the ups and downs in the economy without disrupting our academic and residential life programs. We all remember the significant losses of just a few years ago. This strong performance puts us back on track at a time when quality education is vitally important, and it also sends a clear message to our many generous donors that Bowdoin continues to be a very sound and effective investment in the future of society.”
Approximately 44% of Bowdoin’s endowment is restricted to the support of financial aid. Admission to Bowdoin is “need blind”-that is, students are admitted without regard to their economic need-and the College maintains a “no-loan” policy that replaces student loans with grants.
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. All asset classes are invested through a selection of external investment managers or through market indices. The portfolio is structured with a long-term time horizon, with portfolio diversification and manager selection directed toward protecting endowment capital in challenging investment environments, while growing those assets during periods of economic stability and growth.
As of June 30, 2011, the three-, five- and ten-year annualized returns for Bowdoin’s endowment were 3.8%, 7.1% and 9.4%, respectively.
Bowdoin’s endowment consists of more than 1,500 individual funds earmarked for the perpetual support of a variety of College initiatives. Bowdoin’s Investment Committee was chaired over the past year by Bowdoin Trustee James MacAllen. Paula Volent, CFA, is senior vice president for investments at the College.