2004-08-25 National University Endowment Tops $200 Million Value Increases By 16.4 Percent Since July 1, 2003

La Jolla, CA – National University’s endowment surpassed the $200 million mark by December 31, 2003, increasing in value by more than $40 million during a period when the majority of university endowments lost value and outperforming the objectives set forth in University’s 2000 strategic five-year plan two years in advance.

Five years ago National University’s endowment was valued at $120 million. As of January 2004, it was valued at $204,489,633, the largest endowment of any higher education institution in San Diego County . The endowment has increased in value 16.4 percent since the beginning of the University’s fiscal year on July 1, 2003 and is currently ranked among the top 200 largest college and university endowments in the nation, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ (NACUBO’s) 2003 survey of the nation’s leading 716 college and university endowments.

National University’s endowment increased in value by 9.6 percent in Fiscal 2002, the most recent year assessed by NACUBO. Its growth rate during that period ranks among the top 25 colleges and universities in the nation with assets of $100 million or more. Over the past five years, National University endowment assets have increased by an average annual rate of 9.69 percent.

Among California’s private colleges and universities, National University’s endowment currently ranks among the top 10, having surpassing Scripps College and its endowment of $157.44 million for 9th place.

Under the leadership of its President, Dr. Jerry C. Lee, National University has transformed itself from an institution that was almost $10 million in debt when he took charge in 1989 into an exemplary model of fiscal management and leadership in U.S. Higher education.

Between 1996 and 2001, National University ‘s endowment assets grew from $35.16 million to $160.25 million, making its endowment the fastest growing in higher education during that time period. In 2001 the university earned bond ratings of A1 by Moody’s Investment Service and A+ by Standard and Poor’s. During the past two years its endowment has bucked the national trend by growing while the average university endowment dropped in value.

In fiscal 2001 National’s endowment grew by 6.8 percent while the average U.S. university endowment dropped in value 3.6 percent. In Fiscal 2002, while National’s endowment grew at a modest 1.4 percent while the average university endowment in the United States lost six percent of its value (see chart below).


FY04* $204.48 million N/A 16.4 percent
FY03 $178.27 million 193 rd 9.6 percent
FY02 $162.56 million 204 th 1.4 percent
FY01 $160.25 million 226 th 6.8 percent
FY00 $150.07 million 235 th 25 percent
FY99 $120.09 million 254 th  

* as of January 2004

The California Council on Excellence (CCE) has honored National University for two consecutive years now with its Eureka Award for Performance Excellence. In 2002 National University was the first university in five years to receive the award. It is just the second university-level recipient and the only institution of higher education to earn the award in 2003.

For more information regarding National University’s endowment, please contact Hoyt Smith in the public relations department at (858) 642-8111.

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