Endowment


Ten Stories That Shaped 2020

The past twelve months were a year like no other for Harvard and the world. Under the backdrop of a once-in-a-century pandemic, students took classes from all over the globe, while pushing for social change at the University and on the political stage. Here, The Crimson reviews ten stories that defined 2020 at Harvard.


Divestment Movement Wins Some, Loses Some

Harvard’s long-lived divestment movement this year gained powerful allies among the faculty and placed supporters in the upper echelons of University leadership, but its ultimate goal pushing the University to completely divest from fossil fuel companies remains unfulfilled.


Experts Say Endowment Returns Are Strong, But Long-Term Success Contingent on Investment Planning

While Harvard’s endowment returns for the 2020 fiscal year were promising, experts warn that the endowment could face challenges down the line.


In Reversal, Harvard Will Maintain Normal Endowment Payout for Fiscal Year 2021

The Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — moved to maintain a typical endowment payout of around 5 percent for Fiscal Year 2021, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay wrote in an email last week.


In Letter to Bacow, Reps. Cleaver, Kennedy Asks HMC To Disclose Diversity of External Asset Managers

U.S. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) and Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.) penned a letter to University President Lawrence S. Bacow requesting that Harvard disclose what percentage of its $40.9 billion endowment is managed by firms owned by people of color and women.


Harvard Will Cut Endowment Payout, Draw on Restricted Funds in FY2021 to Mitigate Revenue Shortfall

The Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — moved to reduce the endowment payout for Fiscal Year 2021 by 2 percent and to make a special assessment of restricted assets as it projects a $750 million revenue shortfall.


HMC Building

The Harvard Management Company, housed in the Boston Federal Reserve building, manages Harvard's endowment and related financial holdings.


Faust at 2008 Commencement

At the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association at Harvard University’s 2008 Commencement ceremonies, former University President Drew G. Faust spoke about the value of college endowments.


HGSU Strike

During the HGSU-UAW Strike in December 2019, many strikers and activists held signs and recited chants regarding the use of the University’s 40 billion dollar endowment, as seen on the sign in the center.


Harvard Management Company Public Securities Holdings Plummet in First Quarter

In the first quarter of 2020, as the novel coronavirus pandemic began to roil the global economy, the overall value of public securities held by Harvard Management Company plummeted 32 percent, from $945 million to $639 million.


Experts Say Harvard May Encounter ‘Pitfalls’ On its Way To A Greenhouse Gas-Neutral Endowment

Harvard pledged last month to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its endowment by 2050. But experts say a number of intermediate steps may pose logistical and environmental challenges for the University.


Harvard Medical School Faculty Pen Letter to President Bacow Expressing Disappointment with Endowment Decision

Roughly 170 members of the Harvard Medical School faculty and their supporters sent a letter to University President Lawrence S. Bacow on Sunday criticizing the school’s plan to commit its $40.9 billion endowment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


Responding to University Carbon-Neutral Pledge, Activist Groups Reiterate Divestment Demands

After Harvard pledged to transition its endowment to carbon-neutral by 2050, fossil fuel divestment activists wrote a letter to University administrators Wednesday urging them to take “drastic climate action.”


Radcliffe Institute and Divinity School Particularly Vulnerable to Endowment Decreases

Losses to the University’s endowment due to the coronavirus pandemic may have a disproportionate impact on the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Harvard Divinity School, which draw high proportions of their budget from the endowment.


Divest Harvard Calls University’s Carbon-Neutral Endowment Commitment 'Insufficient'

Divest Harvard, a student group calling on the University to divest from the fossil fuel industry, argues that Harvard’s commitment to making its endowment carbon-neutral by 2050 falls short of achieving their goal of total withdrawal from the industry.


Trump Says Harvard Will Have to 'Pay Back' CARES Funds

President Donald Trump said in a press conference Tuesday evening that he would request that Harvard return the nearly $9 million it was granted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.


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