As one of the school’s three major revenue sources, University School of Milwaukee’s Endowment Fund provides a vital source of financial support, crucial to the school’s long-term viability. The endowment is also a priority of the Our Common Bond campaign. We are grateful to the many donors who support USM through their contributions to the endowment. Beginning with our predecessor schools, these generous donors have provided gifts to the endowment through the general endowment or through the establishment of named, endowed funds in support of our students, faculty, and programs.
The school’s endowment serves as an investment account that helps prepare for the future, while providing essential revenue for today’s needs. As of June 30, 2018, the endowment value exceeded $76 million. The school’s endowment policy stipulates an annual distribution of approximately 5 percent of the fund’s value, using the average from the trailing eight quarters, and helps to limit the impact of market fluctuations on the annual operating budget. Together with the administration, the endowment board and the finance committee of USM’s Board of Trustees continually engage in prudent fiscal planning while remaining committed to providing the necessary financial support for an outstanding educational experience for all USM students.
With tuition covering approximately 75 percent of the costs of a USM education for an individual student, income from the endowment is an essential revenue source, along with the USM Fund and income from auxiliary programs. During the 2017-18 school year, the amount generated from the endowment supported 12.2 percent of the operating budget—or $3.2 million—for annual priorities including academic and co-curricular programs, faculty and staff compensation, financial aid, curriculum development, and building and campus maintenance. Currently, twothirds of the endowment has designated applications within 50 named, endowed funds, established by donors within our school community, many originating prior to the merger of our predecessor schools. The donors’ intentions and the schools’ priorities are represented in these endowed funds, and we witness the impact on a daily basis through the students, faculty, and programs supported directly from this thoughtful planning. The endowment exists to continue in perpetuity, sustaining USM’s vision and tradition of excellence for future generations.
Since 1987, USM’s endowment has been invested with Commonfund, a non profit investment management firm that serves more than 2,000 independent schools, universities, and non profit organizations. The 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.