Carnegie Mellon University
November 05, 2021

Carnegie Mellon Endowment Reaches $3.1 Billion in 2021

Shilpa Bakre
  • University Marketing & Communications
  • 512-705-1228

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, a year defined by rising asset prices and generous endowed gifts to the university, the value of Carnegie Mellon University's endowment grew from $2.1 billion to $3.1 billion. Gifts and other additions contributed $217 million to endowment growth while investment performance added $906 million. Distributions from the endowment to support university scholarships, professorships and other important needs totaled more than $100 million for the first time, or approximately 8% of operating expenditures. As a comparison, the endowment provided less than 5% of operating costs as recently as seven years ago.

The endowment is an important, permanent source of financial and operational stability for the university. Over the last 10 years, through the continuing generosity of donors and an investment program focused on compounding net returns for the long term, the endowment's value increased $2.1 billion while distributing $682 million to support university operations. The endowment will continue to play a key role to help university leadership perpetuate academic and research excellence and solve critical problems in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world.

Carnegie Mellon's endowment investments returned 42.6% for the fiscal year, net of all fees and expenses. The endowment's per annum investment returns for trailing 10-year, five-year, and three-year periods averaged 10.9%, 15.4% and 17.5%, respectively.

The university's endowment value does not include assets from The Dietrich Foundation, which also generates returns to benefit Carnegie Mellon. The endowment receives 53.5% of the foundation's annual distributions. Applying this percentage to The Dietrich Foundation's assets as of June 30, 2021, results in an $875 million share. The endowment, in combination with this share, totals $4.0 billion invested for the benefit of Carnegie Mellon's students, faculty and programs in perpetuity.

"Just over 15 years ago, the university began to put a strategy in place to structure the endowment portfolio as equity-oriented, global in scope and private investment-focused," said Charles A. Kennedy, Carnegie Mellon's chief investment officer. "Generous gifts coupled with an investment focus on building towards long-term goals positioned the portfolio well to benefit from such an exceptional year in the markets. Increased endowment support for the university's education and research mission will benefit generations of future students and professors."