St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf Endowment Surpasses $530 Million, Enhances Management

Oles ready for their future at Commencement– the St. Olaf endowment will provide $6,000 per student to support college operations next year.

Driven by market growth and Ole generosity, in January the St. Olaf endowment surpassed $530 million in value. Earnings will support 15% of our operating budget in 2018-19, an increase of $7.2 million since 2012. This rise means students and their families will support less of our operating cost, enhancing the affordability of a St. Olaf education.

These gains are made possible in part by gifts Oles are making through St. Olaf’s $200 million For the Hill and Beyond comprehensive campaign. Planned gifts, including commitments from living donors ($41.3 million) and realized bequests ($10.4 million), account for 30 percent of the total $175.6 million raised to date.

This January St. Olaf shifted management of its endowment to CornerStone Partners, a highly selective, high-performing investment firm that provides the expertise and staffing of a chief investment officer and full-service investment office. St. Olaf’s Investment Committee, in consultation with the Kidderbrook Group, chose them through a rigorous review of more than 100 firms. St. Olaf is CornerStone’s 14th client – others include Kenyon College, DePauw University, and The Nature Conservancy – and the firm has $10.4 billion under management.

CornerStone can provide better risk/return results and quicker market response than the college can alone. As our endowment grows, and as the market becomes more complex, CornerStone will provide the savvy, sophistication, and capacity needed to advance our investments.