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Value Of MSU Endowment Tops $2B For 1st Time

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The MSU Student Union (credit: Marisa Fusinski/WWJ)

The MSU Student Union (credit: Marisa Fusinski/WWJ)

EAST LANSING (AP) – The value of Michigan State University’s endowment topped $2 billion for the first time in the 2013 fiscal year, the school said.

The figure includes more than $300 million held by the MSU Foundation, which supports research and technology commercialization through organizations such as Spartan Innovations and MBI International, the Lansing State Journal reported.

The balance of the endowment is held in numerous funds designated for scholarships, faculty recruitment and support, research and other functions.

The East Lansing school said strong investment returns helped boost endowment’s value.

The endowment passed the $1 billion mark in 2004, early in the public phase of a capital campaign that would raise more than $1.2 billion. Its value plummeted during the 2008 financial collapse, losing more than $300 million, but rebounded in the 2011 fiscal year.

Endowment giving has mirrored those ups and downs, the school said.

“When people give to endowments, they’re typically giving out of investments,” said Bob Groves, MSU’s vice president for university advancement. “So, when investments are down, when their stocks are crashing, when they don’t have appreciated property, we’re less likely to get endowment gifts.”

The combined value of the endowments places Michigan State second in the state behind the University of Michigan, which has an endowment worth nearly $8.4 billion. Michigan State’s policy is to spend about 5 percent of the five-year-average value of its endowment funds annually.

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