Endowed gifts to The University of Alabama ensure support for today while providing for educational excellence far into the future.
Endowed gifts are invested and managed by the University in perpetuity. Once the endowment reaches the minimum required funding level and after the funds have been invested for a required period of time, a spending allocation is made available each year to support the purpose determined by the donor. Endowments grow over time to create a legacy of learning, research and scholarship as they extend the impact of the donor’s generosity well beyond a lifetime.
A minimum amount is required to establish an endowment; however, an endowed gift can be pledged over a period of five years. Endowments can be established with cash gifts, securities or liquidated property. They may also be funded through a bequest or other deferred gift, or through a combination of lifetime and deferred gifts.
What is an endowment?
An endowment at The University of Alabama is a gift that is intended to permanently support a University program chosen by the donor. The endowment fund remains intact in perpetuity, while its earnings support students, faculty, and/or programs, as designated by the donor. Examples of the various types of endowments at the University are listed below.
How does The University of Alabama benefit from endowments?
Endowments allow the University to create and maintain excellence in academics beyond what can be accomplished with funding from the state and tuition. Endowments provide funding for scholarships, fellowships, professorships, academic chairs, libraries, and programs that serve as crucial elements in student and faculty recruitment and retention.
How can you benefit from creating an endowment?
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of establishing an endowment is that it allows you to directly accomplish your philanthropic goals while helping the University fund its initiatives. The reasons for creating a named endowment are varied: the satisfaction of supporting academic excellence; the gratification of furthering important research; the pleasure of honoring a spouse, family member, or colleague in a way that is meaningful to him or her; the comfort of memorializing a loved one with a living legacy. Additionally, creating an endowment may result in tax savings and other financial benefits that may enable you to give more than you might have thought possible.
How does one create an endowment?
The gift for endowment purposes may take any of several forms. It can be an outright gift of cash; appreciated properties such as securities, real estate, tangible and intangible personal property (art, books, copyrights, oil and gas interests, etc.) acceptable to the University. Endowments can also be created through a gift by will; a charitable trust or other life income plan; retirement plan assets; or an insurance policy.
Gifts may be given or pledged over five years. You can also add to your endowment, beyond the initial funding level, through lifetime gifts, bequests, and beneficiary designations from life insurance or retirement plans. Many businesses and corporations have matching-gift programs through which they match— and may double, triple, or increase by even more— donations made by employees. Participation in such a program enables your endowment to reach higher levels faster. University of Alabama development officers are available to assist you in selecting a gift arrangement to best meet your financial and charitable goals.
How are endowments managed?
When the gift or pledge is received, a Memorandum of Agreement will be executed between you and the University. The memorandum outlines the terms and conditions of your endowment gift. The University will then administer your fund in adherence to the terms of agreement. The University cannot change the memorandum without the expressed consent of the donor or the donor’s designated representative.
Your fund will be officially endowed by a Resolution of The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama when the base funding requirement is fulfilled. You will then receive an annual stewardship report on the use of your endowment funds from the President of the University on an annual basis.
Your endowment will be invested in the University’s Pooled Endowment Fund. This fund is invested utilizing the expertise of a number of external fund managers and is administered and reviewed by the Investment Committee of The Board Of Trustees of The University of Alabama.
The following are the minimum gift amounts required by the University for various endowments. These may be modified from time to time to meet the rising costs of education and programs. For questions or assistance with establishing an endowment, contact the Office of Development by calling 205-348-4767.
Deanship: $3 million
Deans are the visionary leaders responsible for enhancing the quality of the colleges or divisions they oversee. An endowed deanship provides discretionary funds to help a Dean realize his or her vision. Universities with endowed deanships have a substantial advantage in recruiting and retaining the best possible Deans.
Faculty Chair: $1.5 million
Endowed faculty chair positions are intended to provide the University with the resources needed to recruit and retain its most esteemed scholars and teachers—faculty members of national and international distinction. Recipients of these chairs must have demonstrated significant contributions to their fields through exceptional teaching, research, leadership, and/or scholarly excellence. These individuals are expected to be of national stature with an established track record of achievement. Annual income from these endowments supplements salaries for these positions or otherwise provides discretionary support to the named faculty member.
Endowed professorships recognize and reward exceptional faculty members. Because they are so highly prized within the higher education arena, endowed professorships are a powerful tool for recruitment and retention. These professorships are typically held by gifted faculty members whose accomplishments indicate great potential. Their efforts are focused on honing their teaching skills and on carving out areas of research or performance. Annual income from these endowments supplements salaries for these positions or otherwise provides discretionary support to the named faculty member.
Visiting Professorship: $250,000
Visiting professors enhance the academic reputation of the University and expose students to a broad array of perspectives in various academic and cultural fields.
Research Fund/Eminent Faculty Scholar Fund: $100,000
These funds provide faculty support to enhance research, teaching and the advancement of knowledge within the faculty ranks. Discretionary support can be used for a variety of academic purposes including purchase of academic materials and travel to academic conferences.
Program Support Fund/Library Fund/Award Fund: $25,000
Support funds provide key resources for colleges, departments and University libraries and may be used for a variety of purposes in support of a program’s mission.
Distinguished Presidential Scholarship: $1 million
Distinguished Presidential Scholarships are the University’s most celebrated endowed scholarships. They are awarded competitively to select entering freshmen with an ACT score of 30 or above and a cumulative grade point average of 3.5. In addition, it is expected that recipients demonstrate evidence in leadership development and continuous participation in community service activities both on and off campus.
Distinguished Graduate Fellowship: $500,000
The annual income from an endowed Distinguished Graduate Fellowship would be used to assist a top-tier graduate student with tuition, stipends and research allowances. These endowments could also serve as significant recruiting tools to entice bright, promising research and teaching scholars to the University.
Eminent Scholarship: $300,000
Eminent scholarships are chosen from among top students and may be University-wide or dedicated to a particular academic unit. Students who are not already assisted by substantial scholarship support, either from the University or external foundations or corporations, could be given priority consideration.
Graduate Fellowship: $200,000
Graduate fellowships give exceptional students the flexibility and freedom to focus on their own research and studies. Fellowships also enable the University to continue to recruit the most talented and diverse graduate students from around the world.
Scholarships offer educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate students and may include criteria such as academic merit or financial need as a consideration. Endowed scholarships help defray the costs of tuition and make attendance at the University a reality for many students.
Distinguished Lectureship: $250,000
This designation is reserved for those select and accomplished leaders who are invited to lecture or teach at the University for a period of time and who are not permanent faculty members. Innovative executives, nationally renowned authors, and eminent scientists are the types of lecturers who add to the educational environment of the campus community. The funds may be used to pay for speaker fees, stipends, travel, or other appropriate business-related expenses.
Lecture Series: $100,000
An endowed lecture series allows the University to sponsor symposia, debates, and presentations that engage the University community in the critical issues and challenges of our time. The lecture series plays an important role in the academic life of the campus, allowing students and faculty to interact with distinguished leaders. Each endowed lecture series helps the University cover the expenses of hosting these events.