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University of Missouri

Endowment 101

Endowments have benefitted MU students, faculty, facilities and programs since 1888.

How We Compare

MU’s endowment ranks 20th of 31 Association of American Universities public institutions as of June 30, 2011 (median AAU endowment: $1 billion*):

1. Michigan: $7.7 billion
2. Virginia: $4.7 billion
3. Texas: $2.9 billion
4. Minnesota: $2.4 billion
5. North Carolina: $2.2 billion
6. Washington: $2.2 billion
7. Wisconsin: $2.2 billion
8. Ohio State: $2.1 billion
9. California: $2 billion
10. Purdue: $1.9 billion
11. Michigan State: $1.8 billion
12. Georgia Institute of Technology: $1.6 billion
13. Kansas: $1.3 billion
14. UCLA: $1.3 billion
15. Florida: $1.1 billion
16. Illinois: $1 billion
17. Iowa: $1 billion
18. Indiana: $810 million
19. Rutgers: $650 million
20. Missouri: $590 million
21. Iowa State: $570 million
22. Arizona: $550 million
23. UC–Davis: $520 million
24. Buffalo: $490 million
25. Oregon: $440 million
26. Maryland: $420 million
27. Texas A&M: $360 million
28. UC–San Diego: $190 million
29. Stony Brook: $110 million
30. UC–Santa Barbara:
$90 million
31. UC–Irvine: $60 million

* Colorado, Penn State and Pittsburgh were not included because they don’t report endowments on a campus level. Source: IPEDS finance survey

mizzou piggy bank

How It Works

Think of an endowment gift as a savings account from which only the interest is withdrawn each year. By preserving the original gift amount, the interest can forever fund student scholarships, faculty research or whatever the donor chooses. Recent changes at MU will help endowments grow over the long run to keep up with the cost of tuition, salaries and research. The minimum amount to establish an endowment is $25,000, which doesn’t have to be donated all at once. It can be given in installments for up to five years.

endowment size

How It’s Spent

MU collects the earnings for each endowment in a distribution account. Each year, 4.5 percent of the fund’s value is spent according to the donor’s wishes.

Brenda Rapp West and Hannah Cleeton

Nearly 40 years ago, Brenda Rapp West, BS Ed ’73, received a $100‐a‐semester endowed scholarship at MU. “It just made me feel good that somebody else was supportive of me,” West says. More than 20 years later, she returned the favor. The Brenda Rapp West Endowed Scholarship Fund started with $500 and her commitment to keep giving. Hannah Cleeton is a recent beneficiary.

By The Numbers

3,297: Total number of active endowments
By use:
61 percent of endowments are for student scholarships (57) or student loans (4)
11 percent are for endowed faculty positions (6) or faculty support (5)
28 percent for all other uses


1888: James S. Rollins Scholarship Fund, the first endowment at MU, is established with $6,000. Today the fund is worth about $235,000.

1917: The first scholarship for women — the Jay L. Torrey Scholarship Fund — is established, assisting female students in the School of Journalism.

1961: The first endowed professorship, the R.B. Price Distinguished Professorship Trust, is created in the School of Law.

1971: The first scholarship endowment with a minority student preference, the Noel P. Gist Fund for Sociology Students, is created.

2012: MU’s largest endowment gift, $30.1 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, funds the operation of the Reynolds Journalism Institute.