College endowment outperforms national average for 14th consecutive year


March 19, 2021

For the past 14 years (17 out of the past 18 years), the SUNY Oswego endowment has outperformed the average rates of return among the 705 U.S. colleges and universities who responded to a 2020 survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) – Commonfund Study of Endowments.

This means SUNY Oswego is a smart investment where donors who invest in the college will see great returns on their philanthropy — both in terms of student outcomes and in the financial returns generated by the college endowment’s performance. They can take pride in knowing their charitable contribution is being stewarded skillfully and is making the biggest impact possible.

The endowment, managed by the Oswego College Foundation Investment Committee, surpassed the performance of other college endowments over a one-year, three-year, five-year and 10-year span. 

In fact, the Oswego endowment ranked in the top 10 percent of performers — significantly outperforming the average rate — when looking at the five- and 10-year rates of return.

“The college is incredibly grateful to the dedicated group of alumni and friends who volunteer their time and expertise to help manage the college investments,” said President Deborah F. Stanley. “Their consistent, exceptional service has helped us maintain a level of excellence in our endowment’s performance that directly benefits our students and enables us to accomplish more as an institution of higher education.”

The latest endowment report for SUNY Oswego shows a gain of 4.4 percent for the past fiscal year, which is 2.6 percent higher than the average return of 1.8 percent nationally, according to the 2020 NACUBO-Commonfund Study.

The college also outperformed the national 10-year return average of 7.5 percent by returning 9.4 percent. This number is particularly significant because it allows the college to maintain a 5-percent target spending rate while covering the 10-year inflation rate.

In short, the strong rate of return enables the college to provide more direct support for our students. During the fiscal year of 2020, the Oswego College Foundation provided $1.18 million in scholarships and student program dollars to SUNY Oswego.

Thanks to the generous support of SUNY Oswego donors and superb stewardship of those investments, the overall endowment has grown exponentially over the past 10 years from $11.5 million in 2011 to more than $50 million in 2021.

“As a public institution, we are committed to providing access to the best possible education to any student who meets our academically rigorous standards,” President Stanley said. “The funds provided by the college endowment enable us to offer more scholarship support, elevate the quality of our programs and expand the opportunities available to our students. Its performance over the past two decades has been tremendous, and we’re so grateful to our donors and members of the Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors Investment Committee for their efforts to secure a strong future for the college.”