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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Funding Our Future

When the pandemic hit, many people wondered if UD could rely on funds from the endowment to cover potential revenue losses. It’s a good question, but it’s not what the endowment is designed or even permitted to do.

The endowment is actually thousands of individual funds providing long-term financial assistance for specific uses directed by donors such as scholarships, faculty positions and academic programs.

The Dean John Mittelstaedt Memorial Scholarship, established in 2020, is a great example — the support for the late dean’s scholarship has been so successful that it will be awarded in 2021. Matt Lisiewski, senior associate director of development, knows the Mittelstaedt family well and made it his mission to establish the endowment for this scholarship. Yet even Matt was surprised by how it happened, noting that you just don’t see a scholarship get endowed this quickly.

“This scholarship is a great way to honor John, and it really speaks to his legacy and how people felt about him,” said Lisiewski. “He was an unbelievable representative of the University.”

Through this endowed scholarship, Mittelstaedt will continue to shape UD’s School of Business Administration by always supporting deserving students in need.

That’s what the endowment does. It allows donors to ensure that their inspiration — and the mission and vision of the University — will continue in perpetuity. UD invests the funds in its long-term investment pool, and the board of trustees determines the appropriate amount of the funds to release for their specified use, generally 3.5 to 5.5% annually.

Andy Horner, executive vice president of business and administrative services, explained that this level of use allows the University to fund the initiatives our donors are committed to while continuing to increase the asset base through returns targeted to grow by at least 7% annually.

“The endowment provides a long-term, perpetual stream of income which we invest in our students, our faculty and the quality of our institution. The more we are able to grow our endowment, the less we need to raise in tuition dollars from our families. That’s better for everybody,” said Horner.

Through the generosity of our donors and the steady stewardship of UD’s leadership, our long-term assets, including the endowment, have grown to nearly $1.1 billion. And they will continue to grow and provide stability and support for our Catholic, Marianist mission — and the wishes of our donors.

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