YSU Foundation surpasses $225 million in assets

university endowmentsThe Youngstown State University Foundation, which annually provides millions of dollars in scholarships to thousands of YSU students, has surpassed the $225 million mark in assets and is now among the top third of university endowments in the nation.

The Foundation reported $226.3 million in assets in fiscal year 2013, according to the annual endowment survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute.*

That makes the YSU Foundation the largest endowment among public universities in Northeast Ohio – larger than University of Akron, Kent State and Cleveland State – and the sixth largest among all public universities in Ohio. Nationally, the YSU Foundation ranks 265 out of 849 colleges and universities included in the survey.

“This is yet another tremendous milestone that reflects the dedication and commitment of thousands of supporters across the region and nation,” said Thomas Fleming, chair of the YSUF Board of Trustees.

Ikram Khawaja, interim president of YSU, said: “YSU already has the lowest tuition among public comprehensive universities in the state. Add to that the millions of dollars annually that the YSU Foundation provides to our students, and, quite simply, YSU is the most affordable and best value across the entire region.”

Founded in 1966 by the university’s long-time president, Howard Jones, the YSU Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation independent from Youngstown State University that supports YSU exclusively, mostly through scholarships for students. In the 2013-14 academic year, the Foundation is providing $6.8 million for more than 3,000 student scholarships. Next academic year, the Foundation will allocate a record $7.4 million in scholarship support.

The NACUBO-Commonfund report shows that the YSU Foundation’s assets increased 9 percent between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, from $207 million to $226 million. In the same period, endowments nationwide decreased on average by nearly 2 percent, according to the report. The growth is part of a continuing trend for YSUF. The endowment stood at $13.5 million in 1966, growing to $50 million by 1990, to $100 million by 1997 and to $200 million in 2012.

“By any measure, the growth of the Foundation’s assets have been impressive,” said Garry Mrozek, Foundation vice chair. “We are committed to being a catalytic force for the advancement of YSU, the Youngstown community and Northeast Ohio, and a critical source of support, opportunity and excellence for YSU students and faculty.”

*The assets include $210 million held by the Foundation and $16 million in an externally held endowment.