YSU Foundation surpasses $200 million in assets

University endowmentsThe YSU Foundation has surpassed the $200 million mark in assets and is now among the top third of university endowments in the nation.

The Foundation reported $207 million in assets in fiscal year 2012, according to the annual endowment survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute. The assets include $201 million held by the Foundation and $6 million in externally held endowment.

That ranks the Foundation as 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 the state. Nationally, the YSU Foundation ranks in the top 30th percentile – 257 out of 843 colleges and universities included in the survey.

“This is a 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. “Over the course of nearly half a century, the Foundation has provided thousands of students the opportunity to experience the academic excellence of a YSU education. Today, as we recognize our evolution and growth as a Foundation, we also celebrate the success of the students we serve.”

Founded in 1966 by the university’s long-time president, Howard Jones, the YSU Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation independent from the university that supports YSU exclusively, mostly through scholarships for students. This academic year, the Foundation is providing nearly $5.2 million for more than 2,500 students scholarships.

The NACUBO-Commonfund report shows that the YSU Foundation’s assets increased 9 percent between fiscal years 2011 and 2012, from $190 million to $207 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 and to $100 million by 1997. In the past five years, assets jumped to $207 million.

“By any measure, the growth of the Foundation’s assets have been impressive,” said Garry Mrozek, Foundation vice chair.”

The Foundation, led by a 40-member Board of Trustees, is in the process of finalizing a five-year Strategic Plan, expected to be unveiled this spring.