Permanent Support for Vanderbilt's Mission
Vanderbilt is partially funded by an endowment comprised of thousands of philanthropic gifts. These funds are invested as a single entity to provide a permanent source of support for the university’s students, faculty, research, and programs.
A well-managed endowment plays a critical role in ensuring the longevity of the university and its initiatives.
During fiscal year 2022, the endowment contributed $2.89 billion in financial aid to undergraduates, professionals, and Ph.D. candidates.
Endowment at a Glance
Since Vanderbilt’s founding, Vanderbilt’s endowment has grown to become one of the strongest university endowments in the country with exceptional performance and ratings.
different gifts make up Vanderbilt's endowment
Vanderbilt holds the highest possible Fitch rating from S&P Global Ratings
earmarked to support financial aid as of fiscal year 2022
Leadership in Investing
The Office of Investments manages the endowment under the expert guidance of Vanderbilt’s Board of Trust Investment Committee.
We maintain a highly diversified investment portfolio designed to mitigate downturns in any one sector of the economy, ensuring that future generations of Vanderbilt students will be supported.
By partnering with world-class managers with diverse backgrounds to select opportunities, we’ve generated strong results and achieved exceptional ratings.
What is an endowment?
An endowment is an investment portfolio funded by donations that earns revenue to support the work of a philanthropic organization like a university. Each year, a portion of the endowment is paid out to fund the organization’s work while the remainder continues to grow in the endowment fund to support the organization’s future.
What does Vanderbilt’s endowment support?
The endowment provides a permanent source of support to advance the university’s mission of teaching, research, and service. It also supports Opportunity Vanderbilt, the university’s need-based scholarship program, which allows the university to recruit increasingly talented and diverse students.
Are there constraints on endowment funds?
Most donors make charitable contributions to endowments to support specific restricted purposes, such as scholarships for students or research into specific diseases. Endowed funds represent the institution’s promise to donors to use income and investment gains generated by their gifts to support an aspect of the university’s mission in perpetuity. At Vanderbilt, approximately 40% of our endowment has some sort of restriction.
What does the endowment invest in?
Our diverse portfolio includes global equity, hedge funds, commodities, fixed income, private equity, venture capital, natural resources, and real estate.