University of Chicago endowment ended the year at $8.6 billion

The University of Chicago consolidated endowment ended the year at $8.6 billion as of June 30, 2020, following a 3.2 percent return on investments during a volatile year which resulted in a flat return for global stocks.

Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Mark Schmid said investment returns have added over $6.0 billion in market value to the endowment since the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, driven by an 8.9 percent average annual return.

The average annual investment return for the University over the past 10 years was a 7.7 percent; the average annual return over the past 15 years was a 7.4 percent gain; and the return over the past 20 years was 6.6 percent.

Over the past 25 years, the endowment has grown from $1.1 billion to its current level of $8.6 billion. Annual endowment figures reflect the net impact of fundraising, investment performance and endowment payout, which contributes to the University’s operating budget. The University has been able to utilize a higher payout rate from the endowment than many peer institutions have over the last decade, in order to support critical strategic investments, including expanded support for faculty and graduate students, and greatly increased financial aid for undergraduate students. The vast majority of the University’s endowment is legally restricted and must be used for designated purposes.

“The University’s investments provide a foundation of support for faculty, students, our affiliated medical center and a broad array of programs and initiatives,” Schmid said. “Working closely with the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee and Financial Planning Committee, as well as University leadership, we continue to believe that an integrated approach to the University’s fiscal health will best support our mission in all types of market conditions on a long-term basis.”