Endowment History

  • Started in the early 1920s under University president Father James Burns
  • $7 million when Father Theodore Hesburgh became president in 1952
  • In 1976, the Board of Trustees adopted a multiple manager structure after having had a single firm manage funds since 1945
  • By 1980, the Endowment reached $150 million, invested primarily in large-cap domestic stocks and high quality short-term bonds
  • First private capital investments in real estate and venture capital occurred in the early 1980s
  • First investments in hedge funds date back to the early 1990s
  • For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2000, the Endowment returned a record 57.9 percent, the highest return for any American university
  • Notre Dame maintains one of the highest allocations to alternative investments among endowment investors.