Feb. 4, 2005


LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell University's endowment increased in market value to $429.4 million in the year ended June 30, 2004, an increase of $73.5 million from the year before.

The increase of 20.7 percent was better than the average endowment increase of 15.1 percent for colleges and universities in 2003-04, according to an annual survey of 741 colleges sponsored by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"The work and the effort that goes into being a member of the investments committee of the Bucknell board of trustees is extensive," said David Surgala, vice president for finance and administration.

"The investments committee takes very seriously the need to grow the endowment and works with very high quality consultants and money managers."

Nationally, the average endowment increase of 15.1 percent in 2004 was the highest since 1998 and followed investment losses in 2001 and 2002, and a modest 3 percent return in 2003.

When compared to endowments of a similar size, Bucknell also fared better than average. While Bucknell's increased 20.7 percent, other endowments in the $101 million to $500 million asset range gained 16 percent.

Because tuition and fees do not cover the total cost of a Bucknell education, the annual spending from endowment income makes a sizable contribution to all students in the form of a "silent scholarship," said Surgala.

"The endowment helps to make up the difference between what students pay and the actual cost of their education. That difference is significant."

The Bucknell endowment, based on the amount of assets, was ranked 117th out of the 741 institutions surveyed. In 2003, the endowment was ranked 120th in the U.S

Among peer colleges, though, Bucknell's total endowment assets remained among the lowest. Those endowments ranged in size from $207 million to $3.2 billion.

The nation's largest college endowment is Harvard University's. With total assets of $22.1 billion in 2004, it increased by 17.5 percent.

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