St. Aloysius church and Cataldo building at sunset.

Your Investment in Gonzaga's Future

Your aid allowed me to focus more on my studies and life passions rather than worrying and agonizing over monetary setbacks that my family would have had if not for the help of this scholarship.
– Maya King '21

What is the size of the Gonzaga endowment?

The endowment has grown through the generosity of donors and solid investment net returns, with the annualized 10-year return of 9.5%, ranking among the top 10% in the nation among other higher education institutions.*

As of May 31, 2020 (in millions)

* 2020 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments

NACUBO: Why does it matter?

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a membership organization providing leadership and sector-wide guidance on accounting, finance, and tax issues in higher education. (Source: nacubo.org)

The NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments® is the most comprehensive study of the nation’s institutions of higher education with endowments, it is considered the preeminent analysis of the financial, investment and governance policies and practices of the nation’s endowed institutions for higher education. Over 700 institutions participated in the 2020 study, representing $637.7 billion in endowment assets.

The February 2021 study released return information for the one-, three-, five-, and ten-year periods ending June 30, 2020. Gonzaga participated in the study, and proudly reports that its annualized net investment returns were in the top 25% in the nation for each the one, three-, five- and ten-year annualized periods. Gonzaga’s annualized net investment returns were in the top 10% in the nation for the three-, five-, and ten-year annualized periods.

This report marks the fourth consecutive year that Gonzaga’s net investment performance is in the top 10% in the nation for the three- and five-year annualized periods and the top 25% in the nation for all periods, and the seventh consecutive year that Gonzaga’s net investment performance is in at least the top one-third of study participants for each the three-, five- and ten-year annualized periods.

How is the annual endowment spending determined?

Each year the University spends approximately 4.5% of the fair market value of the pooled endowment measured on a trailing twelve quarter basis and adjusted for inflation.

How is the endowment used?

64%= Scholarships | 15% = Endowed professorships | 12% = Program support | 9%= other | Total Spending in 2019-2020 = 10.7 Million. This represents 3.1% of the annual operating budget.

While endowed funds provide stability and strength for the University now and into the future, annual funds like the Fund for Gonzaga and Zag Scholarship Fund can have immediate and flexible impacts where they are needed most.

What are the endowment investment returns?

The Gonzaga pooled endowment annualized investment return (net of fees) for the one, five and ten-year periods (measured as of June 30, 2020) are included in the accompanying graph. 

Chart showing the Gonzaga endowment investment returns compared to the policy index over one, five and ten years.

What if an endowment loses value?

Should an individual endowment suffer an investment loss that exceeds the historical gift amounts, the University funds the spending from unrestricted sources, thus ensuring the donor’s gift intent is fulfilled each year regardless of investment market conditions.

Who manages the investments?

The oversight of the endowment is delegated to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees and supported by Gonzaga University Finance staff and an investment consulting firm specializing in institutionally managed funds. Endowment gifts are pooled and invested on a portfolio basis. Gonzaga University’s goal for endowment assets is to provide a long-term annualized return equal to, or in excess of, annual spending plus inflation. The “spending power” of an endowment gift could diminish over time. Therefore, endowment gifts and any accumulated unspent earnings are invested in a manner intended to produce long-term growth while assuming a reasonable level of investment risk.

Investment decisions include an assessment of socially responsible investment criteria as part of the ongoing, comprehensive sustainable efforts at Gonzaga.

How have the investments performed over the long term?

The following table illustrates the growth of $1,000 over ten years (net of fees, prior to spending), as compared to Gonzaga's policy index and target return.

Graph showing long-term performance of Gonzaga's endowment investments.

Did you know?

840

Individually-named endowments comprise the overall Gonzaga endowment

3.1%

of Gonzaga’s annual operating budget is supported by annual endowment spending

$1,432

Spent in 2019-20 from the endowment per Gonzaga student

25%

GU’s investment returns rank in the top 25% in the nation, per 2020 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments

Student Spotlight

Maya King, Class of 2021

Maya King

Class of 2021

This scholarship was meaningful not just in terms of monetary support, but mental and spiritual support as well. It is beyond heartening to be on the receiving end of altruistic individuals who only wish to help and see those they are helping succeed in the long run. I know that when I am able to do so, I would love to be able to repay the kindness that was shown to me by GU and its donors.

Miguel Angala, Class of 2022

Miguel Angala

Class of 2022

I would like to express a lot of gratitude to the donors who have contributed to my scholarship because, without their help, I probably would not be able to attend Gonzaga. It is truly a blessing to be at such a fine institution and I am happy to have chosen such a place. I do my best to repay Gonzaga by trying to positively affect the people around me in one form or another.

Grace Hamburg, Class of 2023

Grace Hamburg

Class of 2023

Thank you for allowing me to pursue a nursing degree rooted in Jesuit values. Your contribution has taken an enormous amount of financial stress of my shoulders. This has allowed me to concentrate more on school and study what I am passionate about. I will not take this opportunity for granted. Thank you for believing in me.

Questions? Contact Kelsey Parker, Asst. Dir., Scholarship & Endowment Funds.

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