Invest in Our Endowment

Southern’s endowment is the single most important financial underpinning for the university, ensuring the long-term sustainability of our mission. Many of our planned gifts are directed for endowed purposes. These gifts become the donors’ lasting legacies at the university, benefiting students, specialized programs, or other areas of special interest. To find out more about the impact and performance of Southern’s endowment, please contact us.

What is the endowment?

The role of Southern’s endowment is to provide a permanent source of support for the university’s students. While current-use gifts support the university’s immediate needs, the endowment ensures long-term sustainability.

Southern’s endowment includes more than 250 individual funds with unique restrictions and designations. As with a mutual fund, these assets are pooled and invested collectively. When donors make endowed gifts, shares are purchased in the university’s endowed pool. The value of the shares reflects investment returns after the annual endowment payout.

Who manages Southern’s endowment?

The university’s financial administration department manages the endowment under the direction of the board of trustees. Southern maintains a highly diversified investment portfolio designed to mitigate downturns in any one sector of the economy. The board of trustees periodically review the endowment’s payout rate to ensure that the university’s current needs are met while also safeguarding the endowment’s future.

What is the payout?

A portion of the endowment’s value is distributed annually to support the donor-designated purpose such as scholarship, faculty, or program support. This distribution is known as the payout. Payout is determined by the rolling average per unit-market value for the prior five calendar years. Currently, the payout rate is 4.5%.

Can I create an endowment through my estate?

Absolutely! Many testamentary gifts are directed for endowed purposes. Such gifts can become a donor’s legacy at the university, benefiting students, faculty, programs, or other special interests. To learn more about how you can leave a lasting legacy at Southern, visit us at How to Give.


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