Endowment Association takes new name, keeps mission| July 13, 2006
On July 1, the Endowment Association of The College of William and Mary in Virginia, Incorporated, officially changed its name to The College of William & Mary Foundation. The newly named foundation will continue to carry out the organization’s vital mission, as first stated in its 1939 incorporation papers: “to aid, strengthen, and expand in every proper and useful way the work, usefulness and objects of” the College.
“The scope of the Endowment Association has grown significantly since 1939, and the name no longer characterized the entire mission of the organization,” explained Foundation chair Howard Busbee, an alumnus (’65) and a taxation visiting professor in the Mason School of Business. “The College of William & Mary Foundation more accurately describes the full development and investment functions of the organization.”
Today, the Foundation manages the majority of William and Mary’s endowments, including the assets of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation and the Athletic Educational Foundation. The College’s Board of Visitors, the Business School Foundation and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Foundation manage their own endowment assets.
A six-person professional staff and an independent board of trustees made up of 40 alumni and friends manage the Foundation’s affairs and assets. The trustees work with alumni, faculty, staff, friends, corporations and foundations to obtain expendable and endowed gifts for professorships, scholarships, fellowships, facilities, research and other priorities. The Foundation’s investments committee oversees the management of investments, and the board sets a spending rate for the distribution of returns. Expenditures are made in accordance with donors’ wishes and—if given as unrestricted gifts—the College’s most pressing needs.
“Above all, the Foundation strives to be a top-notch steward of the funds entrusted to the College, and the trustees advocate a prudent—and successful—investment strategy that focuses on the long term,” Busbee said. “The Foundation’s rates of return regularly exceed our benchmarks.” The Foundation’s 10-year rate of return through June 30, 2005, was 10.6 percent (annualized) for its pooled investments portfolio.
“Most importantly,” Busbee added, “the work of the Foundation continues to directly impact the daily life of the College—supporting faculty and students and a host of William and Mary programs.” Since the start of the Campaign for William and Mary, for example, donors to the Foundation have established more than 248 new endowments, including 119 for student scholarships and 32 for professorships and faculty support.
Busbee said that the name change has not affected the day-to-day workings of the organization but that donors to The College of William & Mary Foundation should now begin to use the new name. What is most important is that the word “Foundation” is required on checks and other instruments to distinguish private gifts from the gifts contributed directly to the College as a state agency. Alumni and friends who already have included the words “Endowment Association” in their estate plans, however, do not need to make changes to their legal documents.