2018-19 Endowment Fund Report
University School of Milwaukee’s endowment is the school’s most important investment in maintaining its leading edge as a nationally ranked independent school. From academics to athletics, and arts to service learning, life at USM is rich with activities as diverse as our student population. These valuable activities require funding to support the people and programs that contribute to the achievement of the school’s annual objectives. The school’s endowment, originating with the predecessor schools and growing over time thanks to donor contributions and market growth, provides such funding. For independent schools like USM, endowment is the differentiator between sustaining and thriving.
As of June 30, 2019, USM’s endowment was valued over $80 million. It consists of a combination of general endowment as well as more than 75 named, endowed funds (on adjacent page) designated to support school priorities. In this manner, the endowment encourages our community members to invest in an area of school life that is meaningful to you and your family while helping USM educate students as learners, leaders, and citizens.
USM is grateful for the donors who have historically contributed to this most essential aspect of the school’s financial health, although the current endowment value remains shy of the National Association of Independent School standard of three times the school’s annual budget. The school’s endowment distributes 5% of the average fund value of the trailing eight quarters and is managed by CommonFund, a nonprofit investment management firm that serves over 2,000 independent schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations. USM’s Endowment Board consists of former members of USM’s Board of Trustees and follows a long-term investment strategy, calling for a 75/25 equity-to-fixed-income ratio with meaningful international exposure and a careful commitment to alternative investments such as private equity. Long-standing Endowment Board President Jim Bell MUS’58 retired from this position in June 2019, with former Board of Trustees President Tom Florsheim ’76 assuming the leadership of the Endowment Board.