Huge gifts make rich universities richer

The richest universities keep getting richer, thanks in part to increasingly enormous gifts. According to data from US News & World Report, the average college endowment was US$355 million at the end of the fiscal year 2013. Some institutions, however, have much, much more, writes Emily Stewart for TheStreet.

Harvard University boasts the biggest university endowment fund, valued at US$35.9 billion as of 30 June 2014. The University of Texas' endowment is US$25.4 billion, Yale University's is US$23.9 billion, Stanford University's is US$21.4 billion and Princeton University's is US$21 billion.

The economic recovery in the wake of the Great Recession has resulted in the return of what some call mega-philanthropy, and higher education has not been the exception. Among the largest gifts over the past decade are a US$250 million donation to Weill Cornell Medical College by former Citigroup chair and CEO Sanford Weill and his wife Joan in 2007, and a US$250 million commitment to Yale University in 2013 by Charles B Johnson, former head of Franklin Resources.
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