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Our Endowment

The purpose of the Endowment is to support the College and its mission over the long-term. Accordingly, the primary investment objectives of the Endowment are to:

  • Preserve the real purchasing power of the existing principal by prudently investing capital into assets that are likely to preserve purchasing power.

  • Provide a stable source of perpetual financial support to Endowment beneficiaries in accordance with the College’s spending policy.

  • Provide a stable, well-managed platform for future gifts from donors.

Green Mountain College has incorporated a new investment strategy into the endowment portfolio for the purposes of diversification and to honor the integrity of its environmental and ethically conscious mission. The Socially Responsibility Investment Advisory Committee (SRIAC) was established. The members of the committee are two students, one faculty member and the Vice President of Finance and Administration. The committee recommended that the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees approve an initial investment equal to 10% of the endowment portfolio in a Socially Responsible Investment fund, specifically, the Portfolio 21 Fund. The recommendation was approved and implemented in June 2010. In 2011, another 5% investment in this fund was approved. In 2013, the Board of Trustees voted to divest the College of holdings in fossil fuels using's screen of the 200 largest accounts. The SRIAC is now working on creating an ESG (Environmental Social Governance Screen) to apply to all investments.

In order to preserve the purchasing power of both principal and of withdrawals made available for spending, the long-term annualized total rate of return objective for the Endowment is inflation plus 5%. A minimum rate of return equal to the rate of inflation is required to preserve the real purchasing power of the Endowment, and the additional 5% is required to provide for spending. To satisfy its long-term rate of return objective, the Endowment relies on a total return strategy in which investment returns are achieved through both capital appreciation (realized and unrealized) and from current yield (interest and dividends). Asset allocation guidelines and the investment manager structure should ensure adequate diversification in order to reduce the volatility of investment returns and preservation of capital.

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