Carnegie Mellon University
October 29, 2019

Carnegie Mellon Endowment Reaches $2 Billion Milestone

By Julie Mattera

Julie Mattera
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Carnegie Mellon University's endowment reached $2 billion as of June 30, marking $116 million of growth during fiscal year 2019. Gifts and other additions contributed $59 million, while investment performance added $143 million. Distributions from the endowment for university operations totaled $86 million, or approximately 6.9 percent of operating expenditures.

The university's long-term, global equity-focused investment strategy, along with gifts from university alumni and friends and other funds invested in the endowment, has grown the endowment value from $754 million at the trough of the global financial crisis in mid-2009, while distributing $595 million to support university operations.

CMU's investments returned 7.9 percent for the fiscal year, net of all fees and expenses. The endowment’s comparable per annum investment returns for trailing 10-year, five-year and three-year periods averaged 10.5 percent, 7.7 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.

The university’s endowment value does not include assets from The Dietrich Foundation, which also generate returns to benefit Carnegie Mellon. CMU’s share of the annual distributions from the foundation is 53.5 percent. Applying this percentage to The Dietrich Foundation’s assets as of June 30, 2019, results in $540 million, which if added to the endowment, would total $2.5 billion.

“Carnegie Mellon is focused on building an endowment befitting the university’s academic and research mission,” said Charles A. Kennedy, CMU’s chief investment officer. “Our endowment support has continued to increase as a percentage of the university’s growing operating budget, rising from 4.5 percent of the university’s operations in fiscal year 2013 to 6.9 percent this past fiscal year. Through our global, private equity-focused investment strategy, the endowment is well positioned to continue its important role in supporting Carnegie Mellon’s strategic initiatives.”