Strength and stability for the long haul
To ensure the long-term strength and stability of Bucknell, the University depends upon an endowment of savings and investments that are intended to last forever. The University’s endowment stands at approximately $600 million. Each year, Bucknell spends 4.5 percent of its total endowment, in essence turning part of the interest accrued into spendable resources. The remainder is invested to preserve the principal and prudently grow the endowment’s value.
Today, the endowment provides 15 percent of the University’s operating budget. It helps to fund every aspect of the University, from student research and faculty support to academic and athletics programs to general operating expenses.
Because of the endowment’s importance to the University’s academic strength and reputation and its ability to aid both students and Bucknell to compete in a fast-moving environment, the University has set ambitious goals for increasing the endowment through the comprehensive campaign.
Within our half-a-billion-dollar goal, we seek to raise $275 million in endowed funds to permanently strengthen Bucknell – through endowed scholarships, faculty and staff positions, programs, facilities and more.
Why do we need to increase the endowment?
We are highly dependent on tuition as a source of income in an era when we must contain comprehensive fee increases if we want to remain competitive for and accessible to the best students of all backgrounds.
This puts increasing pressure on endowment to make up the costs of educating students at the level Bucknell does. Our challenge is underscored by the fact that many of Bucknell’s peer and aspirant schools boast a considerably higher endowment per student and per professor (see chart at right). This creates particular concern when private colleges and universities, especially the most competitive institutions such as Bucknell, depend upon endowment as the element that separates their ability to recruit and retain the finest students and faculty and deliver the cutting-edge programs students interested in such places expect.
Almost anything the University does can be endowed – scholarships, professorships and chairs, directorships, coaching positions, academic programs, research programs, study abroad, facilities upkeep and more.