University endowments generate money from donations from people like you. When a donor leaves a sum to a university, they select trustees to manage the funds. The trustees set a spending rate and oversee investments to increase the endowment’s purchasing power.
Endowment income allows universities to continue funding various programs. But at the same time, it often gives schools enough money to cover ongoing costs. For example, a $150 million endowment with a 5% spending cap would generate $7.5 million in annual income. Then, the school might use that money to lower tuition costs and pass the savings on to students.
This article discusses the richest universities in the world.
The endowment of a university is a pool of thousands of investment accounts. Some of these endowments are restricted. This means a school might be permitted to use the funds only for specific purposes. Some examples would be scholarships, the library, the football team, or another program.
This money can go a long way toward ensuring the success of its programs. But the university endowment manager must make tough decisions. For example, they may need to budget specific amounts for:
- Investing in new teaching programs
- Developing cutting-edge technology
- Maintaining laboratories, libraries, and other facilities
- Initiating research programs
- Maintaining a certain number of student scholarships
- Making financial commitments to senior faculty members
- Developing adult education programs
When assessing a university’s power and prestige, endowments are a key consideration. The richer the institution, the more it can afford facilities and up-to-date technology. More money also allows the university to undertake further necessary research.
Universities can also use their fiscal power. It is often boosted by individual donations of money toward higher education. They use this to set up scholarships or attract some of the best educators to teach at their schools.
In this article, we look at the 50 wealthiest universities in the world. They are ranked according to each school’s financial endowment. The figures next to each school represent the endowment amount in billions.
|# 50||OSAKA UNIVERSITY||$2.300|
|# 49||KYOTO UNIVERSITY||$2.680|
|# 48||KING SAUD UNIVERSITY||$2.700|
|# 47||POMONA COLLEGE||$3.056|
|# 46||AMHERST COLLEGE||$3.064|
|# 45||UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS SYSTEM||$3.288|
|# 44||ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY||$3.877|
|# 43||UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND||$3.926|
|# 42||UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON||$3.980|
|# 41||UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON||$4.080|
|# 40||WILLIAMS COLLEGE||$4.107|
|# 39||UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE||$4.208|
|# 38||UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD||$4.315|
|# 37||UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL||$5.170|
|# 36||NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY||$5.192|
|# 35||BOSTON COLLEGE||$5.201|
|# 34||CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY||$6.253|
|# 33||UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, TWIN CITIES||$6.304|
|# 32||PURDUE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM||$6.755|
|# 31||BROWN UNIVERSITY||$6.894|
|# 30||UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH||$8.012|
|# 29||RICE UNIVERSITY||$8.425|
|# 28||DARTMOUTH COLLEGE||$9.078|
|# 27||JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY||$9.320|
|# 26||VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY||$9,458|
|# 25||UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN||$11.900|
|# 24||UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEM||$12.140|
|# 23||NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE||$12.626|
|# 22||UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA||$14.495|
|# 21||CORNELL UNIVERSITY||$14.850|
|# 20||PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY||$15.017|
|# 19||WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS||$15.103|
|# 18||UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA||$15.811|
|# 17||NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY||$15.856|
|# 16||OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY||$16.007|
|# 15||EMORY UNIVERSITY||$17.142|
|# 14||UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO||$17.276|
|# 13||TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SYSTEM||$18.000|
|# 12||UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME||$18.410|
|# 11||KING ABDULLAH UNIVERSITY||$20.000|
|# 10||UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA||$20.500|
|# 9||COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY||$24.670|
|# 8||NEW YORK UNIVERSITY||$27.840|
|# 7||DUKE UNIVERSITY||$30.386|
|# 6||PRINCETON UNIVERSITY||$33.030|
|# 5||MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY||$42.526|
|# 4||YALE UNIVERSITY||$44.696|
|# 3||HARVARD UNIVERSITY||$53.200|
|# 2||STANFORD UNIVERSITY||$62.970|
|# 1||UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM||$69.210|
TOP 50 UNIVERSITY ENDOWMENT RANKINGS
50. OSAKA UNIVERSITY – OSAKA, JAPAN
Osaka University is one of Japan’s top research institutions. The University is located in Osaka Prefecture. Its educational traditions date to the 1724 Osaka merchant meeting place and public academy known as Kaitokudō. OU’s history is tied to the 1869-founded Osaka Prefectural Medical School. The school was chartered as a university in 1919 and merged with Osaka Imperial University in 1931. It was rechristened Osaka University in 1947.
Today, the school is one of the richest universities in the world. And it educates over 25,000 students spread out across three campuses in Osaka. In 2007, Osaka University merged with the Osaka University of Foreign Studies. This was due to a donation by businesswoman Choko Hayashi.
Currently, Osaka’s latest endowment value is a reported $2.3 billion, making it the second most prosperous university in Japan.
49. KYOTO UNIVERSITY – KYOTO, JAPAN
Kyoto University, located in Kyoto, Japan, is a public research university that stands as the second oldest university in Japan. The story of Kyoto University begins with the establishment of the Chemistry School in Osaka in 1869. The Third Higher School replaced it in 1886 and relocated to Kyoto later that year. Post-WWII, the Third Higher School merged with the Imperial University in Kyoto to form the modern-day Kyoto University.
Kyoto is one of the richest universities in the world. The school has three campuses in Kyoto and Uji and has earned a strong reputation as a public research university. It is also highly particular when it comes to selecting potential students. In 2007, a generous donation was made by Japanese entrepreneur Funai Tetsuro. This enabled Kyoto University to set up the Funai Tetsuro Auditorium and Funai Center. In 2010, Canon donated $4.89 million. This was to help establish the Advanced Medical Device Development and Clinical Research Center.
Kyoto University’s endowment valuation as of 2018 was $2.68 billion.
48. KING SAUD UNIVERSITY – RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
A public university in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, King Saud University has 40,000 students. As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first university, it was founded to address the shortage of skilled labor. King Saud University was first established as Riyadh University in 1957 by former King Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The university was eventually renamed after the late ruler in 1982. KSU features medical, science, and engineering schools and boasts 18 libraries. The school also offers two well-known special academic programs. These include:
- The Prince Sultan International Program for Research Scholarships
- Riyadh Techno Valley Program
KSU’s current flagship campus – to which it moved in 1984 – cost an incredible $5 billion to build. It is one of the richest universities in the world. In 2012, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz set aside $9.6 million. This was for King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, and the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were $2.700 billion.
47. POMONA COLLEGE – CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA
Pomona College is a four-year undergraduate private liberal arts college with a student population of around 1,700. It is situated in Claremont, California, and is one of the richest universities in the world. It is the founding member of the Claremont Colleges. The college was established in 1887 and opened to students in 1888, relocating to Claremont the following year.
Pomona has the lowest acceptance rate of all liberal arts colleges in the United States. Yet, according to the 2021 rankings, it is the most prestigious liberal arts college in the American West. Moreover, it is one of the most prestigious nationwide.
Pomona is selective, with its academic prerequisites comparable to Ivy League schools. The school’s women-only Scripps College was established in 1926. It is named after founding benefactor Ellen Browning Scripps. Benefactor Donald McKenna became the namesake of Claremont McKenna College in 1981.
In 2009, entrepreneur Rick Sontag and his Pomona graduate wife Susan donated $7.5 million, and the Sontags gave an extra $1 million in 2014. Meanwhile, the Fletcher Jones Foundation contributed $1 million to the school in 2013. In 2019, Pomona College published a helpful Endowment and Investment Information Sheet.
As of 2022, Pomona College’s endowment value was $3.056 billion.
46. AMHERST COLLEGE – AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS
Amherst College is a private liberal arts college and the third oldest college in the state. It is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. It is a four-year institution that only accepts undergraduates. Amherst College was established in 1821 when a replacement for the struggling Williams College was being sought. Williams stayed open, yet the new school built became an independent institution. Today, it is one of the richest universities in the country.
From 2008 to 2013, an in-house Amherst fund-raising campaign raised around $502 million. The total included two anonymous, independent gifts of $100 million and $25 million. Also, Amherst’s Arms Music Center is named after benefactors Winifred and Robert Arms. As of 2019, Amherst reported $2.273 billion in endowment assets.
In 2022, the College’s endowment was valued at $3.064 billion.
45. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS SYSTEM – ILLINOIS
The University of Illinois system consists of three universities: Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield. More than 94,000 students are enrolled in the University of Illinois system. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was set up in 1867 as the Illinois Industrial University. It is the system’s centerpiece.
UIUC’s Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology was founded in 1989. This was thanks to a $40 million gift from graduate Arnold O. Beckman and his spouse Mabel in 1985. In 1994, UIUC added the Grainger Engineering Library. It was named after local entrepreneur William Grainger following an $18.7 million donation by the Grainger Foundation Inc. In 2013, the foundation donated an extra $100 million to the University of Illinois’ School of Engineering.
Elsewhere, UIUC’s Siebel Center, which opened in 2004, was named in honor of Thomas Siebel because of his $32 million contribution from 2001. The University of Illinois is currently one of the richest universities in the world.
In 2022, the university’s endowment assets are listed at $3.288 billion.
44. THE ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY – NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Rockefeller University is located in New York City. It is a private graduate school. It provides doctoral and postdoctoral training in the biological and medical sciences. Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, it was established in 1901 as The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.
The institute was founded by iconic American industrialist John D. Rockefeller, Sr.–the same man who also helped establish the University of Chicago. The university was given its current name in 1965. In 2005, Rockefeller’s grandson David donated a new record sum of $100 million to the University. It’s one of the richest universities in the world.
Rockefeller University operates under the motto, “science for the benefit of humanity.” It is known for its biological and medical research. It is associated with a large number of Nobel Prize winners. In 2013, Rockefeller University’s endowment rose from $1.662 billion to $1.772 billion.
In 2022, Rockefeller University was valued at an endowment of $3.877.
43. UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND – RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
Richmond, Virginia, is home to the University of Richmond, a private liberal arts college. It is an undergraduate, residential institution. Approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students attend five schools at this university.
The University of Richmond’s history dates to the 1830-founded Baptist school, the Dunlora Academy. Then known as Richmond College, the school was shut down after the Civil War. It was reopened in 1866 following a $5,000 donation by James Thomas, Jr., a local tobacconist. It was renamed the University of Richmond in 1920. Today, it is one of the richest universities in the world.
In 1969, E. Claiborne Robins brought the school back from a downturn with a $50 million gift. Robins was a pharmaceutical millionaire and former student of the school. In total, the Robins family donated over $175 million. And Richmond’s business school was renamed the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business in 1979. The Jepson School of Leadership Studies was named after Richmond alumnus Robert S. Jepson, Jr. Jepson donated $20 million in 1992. In 2013, the University of Richmond’s endowment increased to $2.023 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were $3.926 billion.
42. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON – MADISON, WISCONSIN
The University of Wisconsin is a public land-grant research university. It is located in Madison and is the oldest and largest public university. Over 30,000 undergraduate students and 14,052 graduate students were enrolled in its 20 schools and colleges in 2018. UW is a “Public Ivy” institution. It was established in 1848 when Wisconsin was recognized as a state.
UW-Madison is known for its engineering, public affairs, law, medical, and education courses. Former Cisco Systems chairman John P. Morgridge and his wife Tashia donated $34 million to UW-Madison in 2004. Two years later, they gave a gift of $50 million. Then in 2010, the couple contributed an incredible $175 million. Meanwhile, in 2007, a consortium of 13 graduates bestowed $85 million to UW-Madison’s business school.
Additionally, the University’s Kohl Center opened in 1998. It was funded by a $25-million gift from US senator, businessman, and UW-Madison graduate Herb Kohl. As a result, UW-Madison’s endowment rose to $2.02 billion in 2013, making it one of the richest universities in the world.
UW – Madison’s endowment assets grew by 29% to $3.98 billion during the pandemic.
41. UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON – SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
The University of Washington is one of the richest universities in the world. It is the flagship institution of Washington’s six public universities. It is one of the highest-ranked public universities in the United States. The university is known for its research in medicine, engineering, law, architecture, and business. UW opened in 1861 as the Territorial University of Washington. It is a Public Ivy League school known for its exceptional medical school. The university has campuses in Seattle’s University District, Bothell, and Tacoma.
In 1989, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen contributed $10 million, partly funding the Allen Library. Then in 2002, Allen gave another $14 million, which financed the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering. In 2007, UW’s business school was renamed the Foster School of Business to honor the Foster Foundation’s gift of $36.5 million. This took the foundation’s total donations to $50 million. In 2013, Canadian lawyer Jack Rupert MacDonald left $187 million. The sum was divided among three organizations:
- The University of Washington’s law school
- The Salvation Army
- The Seattle Children’s Research Institute.
As of 2022, the University of Washington-Seattle’s endowment was valued at $4.080 billion.
40. WILLIAMS COLLEGE – WILLIAMSTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS
Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Massachusetts. It is the second oldest college in the state after Harvard College. And it’s one of the richest universities in the world. The college was founded as the Williamstown Free School after its benefactor. In 1791 Colonel Ephraim Williams, Jr. stipulated in his will that he would finance a new college in West Hoosac. He specified that the town switched its name to Williamstown.
According to US News & World Report’s rankings for 2014, Williams College is now the top liberal arts college in America. In 1998, graduate Herbert Allan donated $20 million to fund a new dance and drama center. The school expanded with a new student center added in 2007, and this was named after graduate David S. Paresky, who gave $15.75 million in 2004. In 2012, a reunited class of ’62 also donated $12.7 million to their alma mater. As a result, Williams College’s endowment increased from $1.779 billion to $1.996 billion in 2013. In 2017, assets were listed at $2.62 billion.
As of 2022, the college’s endowment has grown to $4.107 billion.
39. UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE – CAMBRIDGE, UK.
The University of Cambridge comprises several institutions. It includes 31 colleges. It also has more than 150 academic departments grouped into six schools. Colleges within the university are all self-governing. Each has its own membership and activities. Colleges and central facilities at the University of Cambridge are dispersed across the city. There is no central campus.
The University of Cambridge is the second oldest university globally. It’s one of the richest universities in the world. It was established in 1209 after a group of Oxford University academics left the school following a disagreement. Originally known as University Hall, Cambridge’s Clare College was renamed in 1338. This was thanks to heiress Elizabeth de Clare’s generous contribution.
In 1973, Wolfson College was rechristened to acknowledge the benefactor, the Wolfson Foundation. In 1990, English businessman Sir Paul Judge donated $13.3 million to Cambridge’s business school. The school was then renamed in his honor.
In 2000, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates established the Gates Scholarships for international postgraduates. He contributed a $210-million endowment. By 2010 the Cambridge 800th Anniversary Campaign had raised $1.72 billion.
In 2013, Cambridge’s endowment fund reached $8.15 billion.
In 2022, the university’s endowment value climbed to $4.208 billion.
38. UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD – OXFORD, UK.
The collegiate research school, the University of Oxford, in Oxford, England, is one of the world’s oldest universities. It is also one of the richest universities in the world. Incredibly, classes are said to have taken place at Oxford as early as 1096. Its 39 colleges and academic departments are not situated on the main campus but are spread throughout the city center.
The university’s Saïd Business School was set up in 1996 and named after Syrian billionaire and founding patron Wafic Saïd. He had contributed as much as $70 million to the school. The college’s research facility, the Oxford Martin School, was set up in 2005. It was named after pioneering computer scientist, author, and backer James Martin. Martin’s one-off, $99-million donation is the most significant gift in Oxford’s history. In 2013, Oxford’s endowment totaled $6.3 billion.
As of 2022, the endowment value for Oxford was $4.315 billion.
37. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL – CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a public research university. The flagship of the University of North Carolina system, UNC was the first public University in North Carolina. The Public Ivy college was founded in 1789 and opened in 1795. Today, it’s one of the richest universities in the nation.
UNC’s historic Morehead Planetarium and Science Center opened in 1949. They were named after chemist and UNC graduate John Motley Morehead III. Moorehead put $3 million into the facility and donated it to the University. In 1999, the David Benjamin Clayton estate bestowed $28.6 million to UNC, which was the school’s most sizable gift up to that point. Yet, in 2007 realty broker Joan Gillings and her husband Dennis donated $50 million to UNC’s school of public health. The school was hence rechristened the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
UNC’s pharmacy school was renamed in 2008 after graduate and benefactor Fred Eshelman. This was to acknowledge his gifts, which now total over $35 million. In 2013, the University of North Carolina (UNC) saw its endowment rise from $2.179 billion to $2.381 billion.
As of 2021, the university’s endowment assets were at $5.170 billion. The endowment report made by UNC listed 5,474 donors.
36. NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY – JURONG, SINGAPORE
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a national research university situated in Jurong, Singapore. NTU is one of the top universities globally and the second oldest autonomous university in Singapore. In 1991 Nanyang Technological Institute and National Institute of Education merged to form NTU.
There are 23,951 full-time students enrolled and 3846 full-time faculty. Therefore, NTU is considered a large university. The university’s Yunnan Jurong campus is the biggest in Singapore. Additionally, the institution is known for its well-ranked business school. Nanyang is undoubtedly one of the richest universities in the world.
In 2013, NTU teamed up with Imperial College London to establish the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at its Novena location. The school of medicine was named after businessman Lee Kong Chian, whose Lee Foundation donated $118 million to the project. NTU received a record combined donation of $316 million for the school. This includes almost $16 million from the Toh Kian Chui Foundation. In 2013, NTU’s endowment was valued at $1.8 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were $5.192 billion.
35. BOSTON COLLEGE – CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS
Boston College is a private Jesuit university located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. BC is one of the nation’s top non-profit research universities. Five thousand graduate students and more than 9,300 undergraduates attend the University. This iconic educational institution is also one of the richest universities in the world.
BC was chartered in 1863 on Harrison Avenue in the Boston area of South End. Then-president Thomas I. Gasson helped spur the University’s relocation. In 1909 the school moved to its current Chestnut Hill campus.
From 2012 to 2013, Boston College’s endowment value soared from $1.646 billion to $1.809 billion.
In 2010, Peter Lynch and his wife Carolyn donated $20 million. Lynch was Fidelity Management and Research Company’s vice-chairman. The gift was to create an academy specializing in educational leadership. The couple also gave $10 million in 1999, leading to the college’s school of education renaming in their honor.
Boston College graduate and realty investor Patrick Cadigan also gifted $15 million to his alma mater in 2012. The Connell School of Nursing and Carroll School of Management were named after William Connell and Wallace Carroll.
As of 2022, Boston College’s endowment value is $5.201.
34. CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY–PASADENA, CALIFORNIA
The California Institute of Technology is a leading private research institution and one of the richest universities in the world. It is located in Pasadena, California. The University is known for its strength in science and engineering. It is part of a small group of technology institutes in the United States dedicated to instruction in the pure and applied sciences.
Caltech dates back to the 1891-established Pasadena trade school called Throop University. In 1910, the school (then known as the Throop College of Technology) moved to its current home in Pasadena. This was thanks to a generous land donation by benefactor Arthur Fleming. Today, Caltech is known for its engineering and science programs. The institute has a long history of influential and pioneering graduates.
In 2001, Intel co-founder and Caltech graduate Gordon Moore and his spouse Betty bestowed an impressive $600 million. In addition, the Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology was partly funded with $25 million. This was a donation made by the Annenberg Foundation. In 2009, US businessman Stewart Resnick and his wife contributed $20 million to the University. In 2013, Caltech’s endowment reached $1.849 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment value was listed at $6.253 billion.
33. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, TWIN CITIES – MINNEAPOLIS/SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public land-grant university. It is located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. There were 51,327 students enrolled on the Twin Cities campus in 2019–20, and it is the country’s ninth-largest main campus student body. UM is the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota System. It is organized into 19 colleges and major academic divisions.
The university was founded in 1851 as a prep school. The institution suffered until Pillsbury founder John Sargent Pillsbury helped pay off its debts. The College’s Pillsbury Hall is named after him. The school is one of the richest universities in the world.
More recently, U of M’s school of management was renamed for entrepreneur Curtis L. Carlson. This was in acknowledgment of his $25-million gift in 1986. The Herbert M. Hanson, Jr. Hall was added in 2008 following a $10-million donation by alumnus Herbert M. Hanson, Jr. and his wife Barbara four years earlier. In 2013, the Bentson Foundation donated $10 million to U of M’s nursing school. That same year, the University of Minnesota’s endowment ballooned to $2.757 billion.
As of 2022, the university had an endowment of $6.304 billion.
32. PURDUE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM – INDIANA
Purdue University’s college system is one of America’s most significant universities. It has six campuses spread out across Indiana and accommodates almost 75,000 students. The system includes Hammond, Westville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Columbus regional sites. Each University maintains its policies under the Purdue University Board of Trustees.
The system’s flagship campus is based in West Lafayette. It was established in 1869 thanks to local benefactor John Purdue’s $150,000 donation. The Krannert School of Management was established in 1962. It opened with a $2.7 million gift by Midwest businessman Herman C. Krannert and his wife, Elnora.
In 2003, the management school added Rawls Hall. This was due to a sizable $10 million contribution by Krannert School of Management graduate Jerry S. Rawls. In 2013, the Purdue University system’s endowment was valued at $2.182 billion, making it one of the richest universities in the world.
As of 2022, the endowment value for the university was $6.755 billion.
31. BROWN UNIVERSITY – PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
Ivy League research university Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island. It was one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution. The university is the seventh-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It was founded in Warren, Rhode Island, in 1764.
The school was initially named the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Brown is known for its vigorous growth in economics and applied mathematics graduate programs. It’s one of the wealthiest universities in the world.
In 1804, the University was renamed. This was after graduate and longtime benefactor Nicholas Brown, Jr. following a $5,000 gift. Brown went on to donate more than $150,000, all told. In 2004, alcohol industry billionaire Sidney E. Frank made contributions totaling $120 million. Brown’s medical school was renamed Warren Alpert in 2007 after that entrepreneur donated $100 million. And Brown’s Watson Institute for International Studies is named for backer and alumnus Thomas J. Watson, Jr. In 2013, Brown’s endowment swelled from $2.460 billion to $2.669.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment value was $6.894 billion.
30. UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH – PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA
The University of Pittsburgh is a public research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its Pittsburgh campus is home to 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges. Among non-government employers in the Pittsburgh area, the university ranks second.
The University of Pittsburgh ranks #22 among the Top 25 Nonprofit Online Colleges in Pennsylvania. It is one of the wealthiest universities in the world.
Hugh Henry Brackenridge set up the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. In 1819, the academy became the Western University of Pennsylvania. In 1908, the growing school was renamed the University of Pittsburgh. Soon afterward, it consolidated its North Side campus to one location in Pittsburgh’s Oakland area. In the 1950s, Dr. Jonas Salk developed his polio vaccine at the school.
From 1967 to 1991, chancellor Wesley Posvar helped triple the school’s endowment and increase its budget to $630 million. The university is subsidized by Pennsylvania’s government. In 2011 it got $185.4 million in public funding.
As of 2022, the University of Pittsburgh has endowment assets of $8.012 billion.
29. RICE UNIVERSITY – HOUSTON, TEXAS
Rice University is a private research university in Houston, Texas. It is located near the Houston Museum District and next to the Texas Medical Center. The school is recognized for its applied science programs. These include space science, signal processing, artificial heart research, and structural chemical analysis.
Rice University was founded in 1912 as the Rice Institute. The school has an interesting story behind it.
It was named after Entrepreneur William Marsh Rice. Rice had specified in his will that his fortune should help establish a white-only institution in Houston. Yet, after he died in 1900, Rice’s will redirected his money to lawyer Albert T. Patrick. Eventually, the authorities discovered that Patrick had forged Rice’s will and had him killed. In 1904, $4.6 million of Rice’s money was used to found the institute.
The university initiated a fund-raising program in 1965, drawing in $43 million in five years. As a result, the Shepherd School of Music and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management were added in 1974. These were named after benefactors Jesse H. Jones and Benjamin A. Shepherd. In 2013, the university’s endowment was listed as $4.836 billion.
As of 2022, Rice University’s endowment assets were $8.425 billion.
28. DARTMOUTH COLLEGE – HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Private Ivy League research university, Dartmouth College, is located in Hanover, New Hampshire. The university offers undergraduate instruction in 40 departments. It also offers interdepartmental programs following a liberal arts curriculum. Dartmouth has approximately 6,600 students. It is the most minor Ivy League university in the nation.
Dartmouth College dates to 1754. This was when Pastor Eleazar Wheelock founded Moor’s Charity School for Native Americans. The school relocated to New Hampshire in 1770. It was renamed Dartmouth College when the state of New Hampshire took control of it in 1817.
By the middle of the 20th century, Dartmouth had established itself as one of America’s top universities. This was thanks in no small part to the contributions of many benefactors, including former US Secretary of State Daniel Webster. Today, it is one of the richest universities in the world.
The academic institution is Hanover’s most prominent independent landowner. It has a combined land and asset value of $434 million. It is known for its Geisel School of Medicine and Tuck School of Business. It is also revered for its Thayer School of Engineering. The Thayer School was named after benefactors Audrey and Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, Amos Tuck, and Sylvanus Thayer. In 2013, Dartmouth’s endowment reached $3.733 billion.
As of 2022, the college’s endowment assets were $9.078 billion.
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27. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY – BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
Johns Hopkins University is a private research university. It stands as the oldest research university in the United States. JHU helped establish the notion of the contemporary research college in America. This prestigious institution is well known for its pioneering medical school. It is also renowned for its groundbreaking teaching and research facility, the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Johns Hopkins University ranks #10 among the Top 10 Nonprofit Online Colleges in Maryland. It is one of the richest universities in the world.
The university was founded in 1876. Johns Hopkins set aside a then record-breaking $7 million in his will to establish a university and adjoining hospital in the area. More recently, in 2000, the University was awarded a $95.4 million research and development grant by NASA.
In 2013, Johns Hopkins University’s endowment value soared to $2.987 billion. That same year, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg assigned a massive donation of $350 million to the university. This was the biggest the institution has seen.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were $9.320 billion.
26. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY – NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
Vanderbilt University is a private research university. It is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The university enrolls 13,800 students from over 100 countries worldwide. It was established in 1873 thanks to a $1 million donation by New York tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. He hoped that his gesture would help the US heal after the divisive Civil War.
Today, the school’s tree-covered Nashville campus has grown to 330 acres. The school’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center is Mid-Tennessee’s sole Level I trauma center. The university also boasts the Dyer Observatory, named in honor of benefactor Arthur J. Dyer.
In 2012, the school began a $115 million initiative. This established two new central campus residential colleges. They were funded by donations and internal sources. In 2013, Vanderbilt University ended the year with an endowment value of $3.673 billion.
As of 2022, the university had an endowment value of $9.458 billion.
25. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
Ann Arbor, Michigan, is home to the University of Michigan. This public research university is one of the oldest universities for research in the nation. Only 20 years after it was established in Detroit in 1817 as the University of Michigan, the school was relocated to Ann Arbor.
UM has received some very wealthy benefactors’ donations over the year. The Rackham Graduate School was named after the Ford Motor Company stockholder, Horace H. Rackham. His widow financed the institution. The school of architecture was rechristened in 1999 when A. Alfred Taubman donated $30 million. In 2004, the business school was renamed for real estate mogul, alumnus, and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross. This was after he bestowed $100 million in total.
In 2013, Ross gave another $200 million to the university – the most significant one-off gift in Michigan’s history. Meanwhile, from 2000 to 2008, Michigan’s “The Michigan Difference” campaign raised $3.2 billion.
The university’s endowment value was listed at $9.081 billion in 2013.
As of 2022, U of M’s endowment value was $11.900 billion, making it one of the richest universities in the world.
24. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEM – CALIFORNIA
The University of California (UC) System is a public land-grant system. It features 10 official campuses spread out across the state of California. The total enrollment is 285,862 students. Its flagship college is UC Berkeley, established in 1868, the same year the University of California was founded.
UC’s business school was renamed the Haas School of Business after the Walter and Elise Haas Fund contributed $23.75 million in 1989. And the Goldman School of Public Policy was renamed in honor of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund’s $10 million gift from 1997.
In 2007, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation donated $113 million to the University of California Berkeley. That same year, BP contributed $500 million to fund the University’s Energy Biosciences Institute, and the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation donated $10 million towards sustainability research.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment value was $12.140 billion.
23. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE – KENT RIDGE, SINGAPORE
The National University of Singapore is a collegiate research university. It is located in Singapore’s Queenstown district. Its educational and research programs are global in scope. They emphasize the expertise and perspectives of Asia. The college plays a crucial role in higher education by advancing modern technology and science.
The University dates back to the Straits Settlements and the 1905 Federated Malay States Government Medical School. In 1912, after the King Edward VII Memorial Fund donated $120,000, it became known as the King Edward VII College of Medicine. In 1949, it merged with Raffles College and was renamed the University of Malaya. It became the National University of Singapore in 1962.
In 2007, Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat’s estate donated $63 million to the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School. The government then equaled this figure. In 2012, Indonesian billionaire and University graduate Dato Sri Tahir gave the University a further $30 million. He had already donated $3 million from 2006 to 2010.
In 2013, the National University of Singapore’s endowment increased to $2.54 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were $12.626 billion.
22. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The University of Southern California is a private research university. It is situated in Los Angeles, California. It enrolls about 21,000 undergraduates and 28,500 postgraduates from all 50 US states and 115 countries. As one of the top universities in the United States, USC is selective about admitting students to its degree programs.
Robert M. Widney convinced benefactors and fellow founders Ozro Childs, John Downey, and Isaias W. Hellman to help establish USC. It first opened in 1880. In 1997, the Los Angeles-based university’s school of business was renamed. This was in honor of former student and businessman Gordon S. Marshall, who had made a $35 million donation.
In 1999, the university’s school of medicine was rechristened in honor of the W.M. Keck Foundation’s record-breaking $110 million contribution. USC’s school of engineering was rechristened in 2004. This was after philanthropist Andrew Viterbi and his wife Erna bestowed a sizable $52 million.
And in 2011, the university’s school of public policy was renamed after the Price Family Charitable Fund donated $50 million. In 2013, USC’s endowment was valued at $3.868 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment value was $14.495 billion.
21. CORNELL UNIVERSITY – ITHACA, NEW YORK
The University of Cornell is a land-grant university situated in Ithaca, New York. It is a member of the Ivy League and one of the few private land-grant institutions in the United States. Cornell University’s history goes back to 1865. New York-born businessman and former senator Ezra Cornell gave up his Ithaca farm and half a million dollars. It was the school’s first endowment. Cornell University ranks #23 in the Top 25 Online Colleges in New York.
Cornell co-founded the school with the University’s first president Andrew Dickson White. The university is recognized for its world-renowned degree programs in Southeast Asia studies. Additionally, it has well-regarded degree programs in hotel administration and architecture.
Cornell University is known for its highly ranked Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics. It is also revered for its Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. The schools were renamed in 1984 and 2010. This was following sizable donations by the families of late businessmen Charles H. Dyson and Samuel Curtis Johnson, Sr. Cornell’s financial records in 2013 valued the school’s endowment at $5.3 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment value was listed at $14.850 billion.
20. PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY (SYSTEM-WIDE) – UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania State University is a state-sponsored land-grant institution. There are campuses and facilities in many areas throughout the state. The University Park campus is regarded as one of the “Public Ivies.” It provides a quality education like the Ivy League universities. UP is a land-grant university. It is also part of the sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant research consortiums.
Established in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, the school was renamed several times. Finally, it was awarded university standing in 1953. From then on, enrollment boomed, and Penn State’s designated University Park campus grew, too.
The Hershey Trust Company donated $50 million in 1963. Three years later, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was founded in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The university has “special-mission” facilities and 19 other campuses spread across Pennsylvania. Plus, they have dozens of online degree programs through Penn State World Campus.
In 2013, the University’s endowment was valued at $2.956 billion. But in 2014, the University’s famous dance-a-thon charity raised an impressive $13.3 million.
As of 2022, Pennsylvania State University has an endowment value of $15.017 billion.
19. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS – ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university with its main campus in Clayton, Missouri. It is the brainchild of a consortium of local politicians, business people, and religious figures. Washington University in St. Louis (Wash. U.) was established in 1853 as the Eliot Seminary.
Only one year after its founding, the university was renamed Washington Institute. Later, it was called Washington University – with the suffix “in St. Louis” added in 1976. The College’s Olin Library was founded in 1963. This was thanks to New York-based entrepreneur and benefactor John M. Olin, and the Olin Business School was also renamed in his honor in 1988. The university is also known for its well-regarded law school and architecture and urban design schools.
The highly ranked school of social work was renamed after St. Louis-based entrepreneur George Warren Brown in 1928. Subsequently, Brown’s estate donated $1 million to set up the school of social work’s first endowment. In 2013, Wash. U.’s endowment stood at $5.7 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment was $15.103 billion.
18. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA – CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA
Charlottesville, Virginia, is home to the University of Virginia. It is a renowned school that has graduated 55 Rhodes Scholars. Founding father and former US president Thomas Jefferson set up the University of Virginia in 1819. He armed the university with a vision of a public, academic institution with a “national character and stature.”
The university is famous for its historic Pantheon-inspired Rotunda. In addition, it has the honor of possessing America’s only World Heritage Site-designated campus.
The acclaimed McIntire School of Commerce is named after Paul Goodloe McIntire, who donated $200,000 in 1921.
In 2006, the school established an on-campus National Social Norms Institute. This was thanks to a $2.5 million donation by brewing company Anheuser-Busch. The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy was added in 2007. This followed a significant $100 million grant by billionaire Frank Batten, Sr. In 2013, Virginia’s endowment was reported as $5.166 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were at $15.811 billion.
17. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY – EVANSTON/CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Northwestern University is a private research university. It is located in Evanston, Illinois, and is the oldest chartered university in the state and a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. Northwestern University dates back to an 1850 meeting. It involved nine religious leaders, business people, and some lawyers. The university was officially founded in 1851, opening to the public in 1855.
Northwestern University has campuses in Illinois, Evanston, and Chicago. In addition, it established a third location in Doha, Qatar, in 2008.
The Kellogg Graduate School became the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1979. This was after former Kellogg president John L. Kellogg donated $10 million. In 2001, the name was abridged to the Kellogg School of Management. The Feinberg School of Medicine was named in 2002. This was to honor the Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation’s $75-million contribution. In 2013, Northwestern University’s endowment fund rose to a considerable $7.9 billion.
As of 2022, Northwestern University endowment assets were listed at $15.856 billion.
16. OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY – COLUMBUS, OHIO
Columbus, Ohio, is home to Ohio State University, a public land-grant research university. It has been ranked among the nation’s best public universities by major institutional rankings. It is the flagship institution of the University System of Ohio. The school was set up in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College in northern Columbus. It was given the name The Ohio State University in 1878.
In 1952, graduate Ralph D. Mershon gave the school $7 million. This contribution funded the Interdisciplinary Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Three decades later, Ohio State’s first fund-raising initiative pulled in $460 million by 1987. And in 1989, the school’s new Wexner Center for the Arts opened. This was because of a $25 million donation by entrepreneur and Ohio State graduate Leslie Wexner.
A few years later, in 1999, Wexner bought Pablo Picasso’s “Nude in a Black Armchair” for $45.1 million and gifted it to the center. And the school’s second fund-raising campaign raised a hugely impressive $1.23 billion by 2000. In 2013, the school’s endowment was $3.149 billion.
As of 2022, Ohio State University had endowment assets of $16.007 billion.
15. EMORY UNIVERSITY – DRUID HILLS, GEORGIA
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, is the private research University, Emory University. It is the second oldest private university and the most extensive healthcare system in the state of Georgia. Named after Bishop John Emory, Emory College was founded by Methodists in Oxford, Georgia, in 1836.
Emory suffered from the Civil War until Methodist and banker George I. Seney donated $130,000. Emory’s Oxford College is built around the iconic Seney Hall.
In 1915, Coca-Cola president Asa Candler donated land in metropolitan Atlanta and $1 million to the college. Following its relocation, it was renamed Emory University. Emory has a history of Coca-Cola-related namesakes. Its nursing school bears the name of ex-Coca-Cola president Robert W. Woodruff’s wife, Nell Hodgson Woodruff. In 1994 Emory’s business school was rechristened after the soda giant’s former CEO, Roberto Goizueta. Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum is named for the local businessman who contributed more than $20 million. The university’s endowment increased to $5.816 billion in 2013.
As of 2022, Emory’s endowment assets were at $17.142 billion.
14. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO – CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Chicago, Illinois, is home to the private research university, the University of Chicago. Its enrollment in the Fall of 2021 was 18,452 students. The university was established in 1890, owing to a $600,000 donation by oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller.
In 1968, the university’s school of medicine was given a new moniker – after local philanthropists, the Pritzker family. And in 1988, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies was founded, named after benefactor Irving B. Harris. In 2008, Chicago’s business school was renamed for alumnus David G. Booth after he contributed $300 million. And in 2012, the school opened a new center for the arts thanks to a $35 million gift from graduate David Logan and his wife, Reva. In 2013, the school’s endowment was placed at $6.67 billion.
As of 2022, the University of Chicago has an endowment value of $17.276 billion.
13. TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SYSTEM – TEXAS
The Texas A&M University System is one of America’s most extensive tertiary systems. It incorporates 11 colleges across Texas. It was founded in 1947. Its current enrollment includes more than 153,000 students. The system’s centerpiece is Texas A&M University, which opened in 1876. It was first known as Texas’s Agricultural and Mechanical College.
Texas A&M University’s College Station campus features the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The museum cost $43 million and was established in 1997. The university undertakes projects financed by well-known agencies. These include NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and others. In 2011, Texas A&M spent a massive $705 million to fund this work.
From 2012 to 2013, the Texas system ran a fund-raising donation campaign that raised a record-breaking – $740 million. As a result, in 2013, the entire system’s endowment was valued at $8.732 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment value was $18.000 billion.
12. UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME – NOTRE DAME, INDIANA
The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university based in Indiana. The 1,261-acre campus is home to landmarks like the Basilica and the Golden Dome.
University of Notre Dame’s first benefactor was the ex-Bishop of Vincennes Célestine Guynemer de la Hailandière. He donated the land on which Father Edward Sorin established the school in 1842. Meanwhile, the Joan B. Kroc Insitute for International Peace Studies, founded in 1986, was paid for by McDonald’s tycoon Ray Kroc’s widow Joan.
During former president Theodore Hesburgh’s tenure, the university’s budget increased from $9.7 million to $176.6 million. Its endowment reached $350 million, and research funding soared from $735,000 to $15 million.
Notre Dame is notable for its Notre Dame School of Architecture and Mendoza College of Business. It was renamed after NetApp executives and benefactors Tom and Kathy Mendoza in 2000. In 2016, Notre Dame’s endowment was worth a reported $8.3 billion.
In 2022, Notre Dame’s endowment was listed at $18.41 billion.
11. KING ABDULLAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – THUWAL, SAUDI ARABIA
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is a private research university. It is located in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, established in 2009. It was the first university in Saudi Arabia to accept both males and females. Graduate training and research programs are taught in English. And English is the university’s official language. In 2008, the current king of Saudi Arabia bestowed King Abdullah University with a $10 billion endowment.
Historically, King Abdullah University was Saudi Arabia’s first co-ed college campus. It is the country’s first LEED- (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-) accredited facility. It is also the biggest LEED Platinum university site worldwide.
KAUST has been nicknamed the “House of Wisdom” and has been referred to as the “Arab MIT.” Its highly regarded research standard is comparable to that of Yale University and the University of Michigan.
As of 2019, the university’s endowment value was $20 billion.
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10. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA – PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
The University of Pennsylvania was chartered before the US Declaration of Independence. It is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university comprises four undergraduate schools and 12 graduate / professional schools. Its predecessor was the Academy of Philadelphia. It belonged to Benjamin Franklin and first started accepting students in 1751.
In 1755, the school was renamed the College of Philadelphia, and in 1791 it became chartered as the University of Pennsylvania. UP’s business school, the Wharton School, was founded in 1881. This was thanks to industrialist and benefactor Joseph Wharton.
In 2011, the university’s school of medicine was renamed after Raymond and Ruth Perelman for their $225-million donation. Also, in 2011, the University of Pennsylvania topped the list of Ivy League research spending. It spent a whopping $814 million, much of it provided by the state.
The university has also benefited from individual contributions. In 2010 the private sector donated nearly $400 million. And in 2013, the University’s endowment fund swelled to $7.7 billion.
As of 2022, the endowment was listed at $20.5 billion.
9. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY – NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Located in New York City is the private ivy league research school, Columbia University. Founded before the Declaration of Independence was written, it is the oldest college in New York state. It is the fifth oldest college in the United States. The school was established in 1754 under the name King’s College. The redirection of state lottery funds initially funded the college by New York’s general assembly. It was rechristened Columbia University in 1784, following the Revolutionary War.
Columbia University rates #13 in the Top 15 Affordable Online Colleges in NYC.
Low Memorial Library, built-in 1895, was overseen by then university president Seth Low. He had dedicated it to his father and contributed $1 million to the project. Columbia alumnus Edward Harkness financed Columbia’s Butler Library. It was then named in honor of ex-Columbia president Nicholas Murray Butler in 1946. In the 2006 financial year, Columbia made over $230 million through patent-related business. In 2013, Columbia’s endowment was valued at $8.2 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were at $24.670 billion.
8. NEW YORK UNIVERSITY – NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
New York University is a private research university located in New York City. In 2019, it had 51,848 students enrolled, making it the largest private university in the United States. Swiss-born politician Albert Gallatin founded New York University (NYU) as the University of the City of New York in 1831. NYU is known for its historic law school and prestigious Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
One school was renamed for NYU alumnus and realty mogul Leonard Stern in 1988 after he donated $30 million. In 1998, NYU graduate Henry Kaufman donated an additional $10 million to the business school. In 2008, Home Depot founder Kenneth G. Langone and his wife Elaine gave $200 million to NYU’s medical center, renaming it in their honor. Meanwhile, real estate developer Martin Kimmel’s widow Helen gave the center an additional $150 million in the same year.
In 2013, billionaire investor Ronald O. Perelman pledged $50 million toward the center’s emergency wing. In addition, Marvel’s Isaac Perlmutter and his spouse contributed $50 million to Langone’s cancer center in 2014. NYU’s endowment in 2013 was $3.1 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment assets were $27.840 billion.
7. DUKE UNIVERSITY – DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA
Duke University is a private research university that sits on an 8,600-acre campus in Durham, North Carolina. It is the second-largest private employer in the state. Duke was founded in 1838 in Randolph County as Brown’s Schoolhouse. It later changed its name to Union Institute, Normal College, and then Trinity College.
In 1892, tycoons Julian S. Carr and Washington Duke donated land and $85,000. As a result, the school relocated to Durham – and Duke went on to donate $300,000 with the understanding that women would be admitted. (Today, Duke University has a co-ed college campus). In 1924, Duke’s son, James, donated $40 million to Trinity College and other institutions, and the school was renamed Duke University.
Duke’s engineering school was rechristened after alumnus Edmund T. Pratt, Jr., who contributed $35 million in 1999. The Nicholas School of the Environment was named after a $20-million donation in 1995 by businessman Peter Nicholas and his wife, Ginny. And in 1980, Duke’s business school was renamed in tribute to businessman J.B. Fuqua’s $10-million donation. In 2013, Duke’s endowment was $6.040 billion.
As of 2022, the university’s endowment was valued at $30.386 billion.
6. PRINCETON UNIVERSITY – PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
Located in Princeton is the private Ivy League research University, Princeton University. It was chartered before the American Revolution and is the fourth oldest university in the nation. Princeton University dates back to 1746 when the College of New Jersey was set up in Elizabeth. The institution moved to Princeton in 1756 and was rechristened Princeton University in 1896.
Princeton’s $25.92 billion endowment is funded by graduate donations and tied up in part in its art museum. The Art Museum boasts Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet pieces. Donors are always fascinated that Princeton University has its own art museum.
Whitman College, completed in 2007, is named after ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who donated $30 million. In 2011, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his spouse, MacKenzie, donated $15 million. In 2012, Princeton University graduates Bijan and Sharmin Mossaver-Rahmani gave $10 million. This was to set up the Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies.
As of 2022, the endowment value at Princeton University was $33.030 billion.
5. MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY – CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is renowned for its contributions to science and engineering. Massachusetts Institute of Technology opened in 1865 in Boston and relocated to Cambridge in 1916. An anonymous donor, known only as “Mr. Smith,” helped finance the move. Later, this donor was shown to be Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman, who all told bestowed $20 million and stock in his company.
The business school was renamed after former General Motors CEO Alfred P. Sloan in 1952. The College’s 1955 Kresge Auditorium was named for retail tycoon and principal financier Sebastian S. Kresge. The F. W. Olin Foundation helped establish the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 1997 and had endowed it with around $460 million by 2005.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s total endowment figure was a little more than $16.53 billion in 2013.
As of 2022, the institute’s endowment assets were at $42.526 billion.
4. YALE UNIVERSITY – NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
New Haven, Connecticut, is home to Yale University. This private research university is among the oldest universities in the United States. Yale University is well known for its selective law school, founded in 1824. It is also revered for its ranked art, medicine, nursing, and management schools. Yale University is known globally as an affluent Ivy League university.
Yale University has a long history of generous alumni, too. For example, in 2010, Chinese MBA graduate Zhang Lei donated $8.888 million, while media magnate and Yale graduate John C. Malone gave $50 million. In 2013, Yale University received the most significant donation in its history–a $250-million gift from graduate and former Franklin Resources chairman Charles B. Johnson.
In 2022 the school’s endowment was $44.696 billion.
3. HARVARD UNIVERSITY – CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
Harvard University is a private ivy league research institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is the oldest college in the United States.
Harvard University was initially called New College. But in 1639, it was rechristened Harvard College. This was in honor of Cambridge graduate and clergyman John Harvard. The first endowment ever came from Harvard himself, who donated $1,285 and a collection of books in his will. Then, in 2008, Harvard graduate Hansjörg Wyss gave $125 million. At the time, it was a record donation.
In 2014, billionaire Citadel founder and Harvard alumnus Kenneth C. Griffin donated $150 million. This broke previous records, of course. And Griffin became the University’s biggest single-gift benefactor in history. Contributions of $100 million or more have come from Eli and Edythe Broad, the NFL Players Association, and David Rockefeller. And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Emily Rauh Pulitzer have made multiple donations of over $200 million.
Fourteen thousand individual funds make up Harvard University’s endowment. They are managed by Harvard Management Company, Inc. and invested as one special fund. The endowment is a permanent funding source for the school. A portion of the endowment supports the school’s budget. But much of it is also used for professorships, scholarships, and other programs. Excess funds are then reinvested to ensure that the endowment will be there for decades.
Harvard University had a staggering endowment of $53.20 billion as of June 2021.
2. STANFORD UNIVERSITY – STANFORD, CALIFORNIA
Stanford University is a private research university. It is located in Stanford and is officially known as Leland Stanford Junior University. It was instituted in 1885 by ex-U.S. Senator Leland Stanford and wife Jane Lathrop Stanford.
In the 1940s, dean of engineering Frederick Terman motivated staff and alumni to found companies. As a result, he played a significant role in the rise of Silicon Valley.
In 2001, the Hewlett Foundation donated $400 million to Stanford University. Five years later, graduate Philip H. Knight gave $105 million. In 2011, Dorothy and Robert King bestowed $150 million. Finally, in 2013, real estate tycoon and Stanford University alumnus John Arrillaga donated a new single-donor record of $151 million. This topped his $100-million donation from 2006.
Stanford University is recognized as the leading American fund-raising college. It drummed up a record-breaking $1.035 billion in 2012. Stanford’s endowment in 2013 was listed at $26.46 billion.
As of 2022, Stanford’s endowment is listed at $62.970 billion.
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1. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM – TEXAS
The University of Texas system, based out of Austin, Texas, enrolls almost 240,000 students across its 13 institutions. Established in 1876, the system’s heart is the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), founded in 1883.
In 2011, ESPN sealed a $300 million deal with UT Austin and IMG College. As a result, UT Austin’s Bill & Melinda Gates Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall opened in 2013. It was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, UT Austin, and the College’s Board of Regents.
Other notable benefactors include the Moody Foundation and the Hearst Corporation. Another contributor was entrepreneur Red McCombs, the namesake of the McCombs School of Business. McCombs donated $50 million.
As of 2022, the endowment value was $69.210 billion. This makes the University of Texas the wealthiest university in the world.
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MORE ON FINANCIAL ENDOWMENTS OF UNIVERSITIES
According to the American Council on Education: “An endowment is an aggregation of assets invested by a college or university to support its educational and research mission in perpetuity. It represents a compact between a donor and an institution and links past, current, and future generations. These gifts also allow an institution to make commitments far into the future, knowing that resources to meet those commitments will continue to be available. An institution’s endowment actually comprises hundreds or thousands of individual donations.”
For donors, endowments represent a chance to use private dollars for education. They know that their money will serve the intended purpose as long as the school exists. They are gifts that keep on giving.
HOW DO ENDOWMENTS SERVE COLLEGES AND THE PUBLIC?
There are several ways that endowments serve all parties involved:
ENDOWMENTS ARE A STABLE SOURCE OF INCOME
University revenue fluctuates depending on tuition, public support, and the economy. So, endowments can vary. But schools follow a strict set of guidelines with endowments. This makes them a stable source of income far into the future. The principal on endowments stays in escrow. The interest it generates serves the school year after year. Stability is essential for providing funds for ongoing projects and activities. Some of these can include:
- Sports programs
- Medical research
- Faculty positions
- Student aid
- Academic programs
ENDOWMENTS ALLOW MORE STUDENTS TO ATTEND COLLEGE
The costs for student aid have risen in recent years. But endowments have allowed more students than ever to go to college. Universities with large endowments can admit students who would otherwise be unable to attend.
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ENDOWMENTS ALLOW COLLEGES TO OFFER HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION WITHOUT RAISING PRICES
In recent years, many universities have experienced significant reductions in state support. But again, endowments have helped. Thanks to these private gifts, schools are still able to provide the same high-quality education. Plus, endowments help keep tuition affordable.
ENDOWMENTS ENCOURAGE FLEXIBILITY AND INNOVATION
An endowment can provide students and faculty with the funds to do more. They enable things like new technologies and exploring new fields. They also allow funding for new research and the development of curricula and teaching methods. This innovation can lead to important discoveries in medicine, science, and education. This is because the funding was available via an endowment.
ENDOWMENTS CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE
Endowments keep giving for decades. This means schools can strengthen their programs and provide the highest quality of education. In addition, endowments allow future students to benefit from higher education. This means that the university contributes to the good of all over time.
University Endowment Types
There are four different types of endowments received by colleges and universities. The following is a brief description of each one:
An endowment with no restrictions is the most straightforward. Donors who give unrestricted endowments give the university complete control of their gifts. The assets are then available to the school’s governing board to divide as they deem appropriate.
Whenever a donor restricts an endowment, they prevent the principal from being accessed. The university must invest the endowed funds to use the proceeds in accordance with the donor’s wishes. Only the returns from these ventures can be used for the endowed funds. In this manner, the endowment remains permanently intact.
Both restricted and unrestricted rules apply to term endowments. Access to the principal is prohibited for a given period of time by the donor. The university thus invests the original assets and uses the returns responsibly. Upon lifting of this moratorium, the endowment will be substantially larger. As a result, the governing board will have more freedom in using principal and income.
Like a term endowment, a quasi-endowment is not spendable until a certain period of time has passed. Although the university itself cannot create term endowments, it can develop quasi-endowments. It does so by using unrestricted gift assets to meet growth. These funds are often referred to as “board-designated endowments” or “endowment functioning funds.”