The endowment strategy at UNCG provides the university with many happy returns; it has more than doubled the endowment's money within the past five years.
When UNCG Chancellor William E. Moran announced his resignation last month, people began to talk about his accomplishments over a tenure that will span 15 years.
Moran himself cited the academic strength of the institution while others mentioned things like a tripling of the university's operating budgets or building projects totaling $125 million.But the most eye-popping changes occurred in another set of figures - endowment.
In 1980, after Moran's first year as chancellor, UNCG had an endowment of $3.7 million. At the end of 1993, that total had surged to $42.4 million. That's an 11-fold increase.
``Private gifts and shrewd investing explain the change,' Moran told faculty members last week. `` ... Investment results in the '80s and early '90s were uncommonly good, '93 especially so.'
The return on UNCG's endowment last year was 19.6 percent. That figure tied the university for 17th place among the 364 institutions providing endowment rates.
By comparison, the average rate of return for U.S. colleges and universities was 13.3 percent.
UNCG's most spectacular financial success has occurred in the past five years, when endowment totals more than doubled.
``I am pleasantly surprised by what has happened in the last 10 years,' Moran said. ``That really began to mount in the second half of the '80s. It is a real joy to look at the curve.'
Much of the credit for the endowment growth goes to an investment committee that Moran created in 1981.
``We have done extremely well,' said Mike Weaver, a Greensboro businessman who has headed the committee since 1983. ``We've really hit a home run on both sides. (The endowment) is conservatively managed, it's diversified and over a long period of years has enjoyed very excellent returns.'
Moran doesn't expect returns in the rest of the '90s to match those of the past decade.
But he believes that continued wise investments, coupled with an upcoming capital campaign, could push UNCG's endowment to $150 million by the year 2004.