Ozarks' endowment growth among largest

Release Date: 2/23/2000

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. ---University of the Ozarks had the second-largest endowment percentage growth among colleges and universities in the United States for the 1998-99 fiscal year, according to a survey in the Feb. 18 edition of  The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Ozarks' endowment went from $33.6 million to $71.7 million, an increase of 113 percent. Only Polytechnic University in New York, whose endowment went up 310 percent, had a larger increase during the span that covered June 30, 1998 to June 30, 1999. No other college or university reported an increase of more than 100 percent.
   
The survey was sponsored by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and included 503 institutions of higher education throughout the country.
   
U of O's endowment growth was fueled by a $39.5 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation in October of 1998, of which $33.2 million went to the university's endowment. The gift kicked off the university's five-year, $55 million Pride and Promise Campaign, which recently surpassed the $46 million mark.
   
Steve Edmisten, vice president for university advancement, said, "The Foundation's gift obviously provided a tremendous boost and has clearly led many others to support our endowment as well."
   
U of O President Dr. Rick Niece said the endowment growth is an indication that Ozarks has accomplished a major goal that he set when he became president in July 1997: financial stability.    "Experiencing the second-largest percentage endowment increase among all of the nation's colleges and universities says a great deal about our success," Dr. Niece said. "Financialstability ensures continued progress. Our fall enrollment percentage increase was the largest (12.2 percent) among four-year campuses in Arkansas. We are ranked by "U.S. News & World Report" as a top-tier liberal arts university and as the third best value in the South. Great things continue to happen at Ozarks."