Canisius College's endowment has exceeded $100 million for the first time in the college's history, President John J. Hurley announced Wednesday. The endowment stands at $103,104,691, more than double its amount before the beginning of the college's last fundraising campaign, "A Legacy of Leadership," which concluded in 2012.
"This is a milestone for us, as we continue our ascent among regional comprehensive universities in the country," Hurley said. "But continued growth of the endowment remains a key priority."
The college's endowment is treated as a permanent asset, and a fixed percentage of a rolling three-year average of the market value of the fund is spent each year. The majority of the Canisius endowment is directed for scholarship assistance for students.
"This is an absolutely essential part of our efforts to keep a Canisius education affordable for deserving students," Hurley said.
In addition to student scholarships, the endowment supports faculty research and academic initiatives. The Contemporary Writer's Series, the Joseph J. Naples Conversations in Christ and Culture Lecture and Performance Series, and the Peter Tower Professorship in Business, represent only a few of the many programs developed or supported at Canisius through endowed gifts in recent years.
The "Legacy of Leadership" campaign concluded in May 2012 with $95.5 million raised, including $43.5 million for endowment.
"In addition to new money raised, Canisius' endowment had strong returns due to wise investment strategies employed by the investment advisory subcommittee of the college's board of trustees during challenging economic times," Hurley said.
The college saw the value of its endowment dip to $57 million in the spring of 2009, only to recover and gain more than 80 percent over the past five years.
Whether in the form of named scholarships - there are currently 375 at the college - or academic programs and initiatives, gifts to the college's endowment provide the opportunity for benefactors to leave a legacy at Canisius.
"There have been some major commitments, but also many smaller commitments that represent donors' deeply held feelings about the role the college played in their lives," Hurley said. "As impressive as the larger gifts are, I am often struck by the love and devotion that is so evident in many of the smaller gifts. Every gift perpetually links our donors to the educational mission of Canisius."
Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation.