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Letter from Roy Zuckerberg

In Fiscal 2009, the UMass endowment ranked in the top quartile of American colleges and universities on a relative performance basis, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

I have been honored to serve as the University of Massachusetts Foundation Investment Committee Chairman for 10 years. This past year has tested the fortitude and skill of individual and institutional investors alike. Despite the well-reported challenges of the 2009 economy, at UMass we have relatively good news to report. I am pleased to share with you that for one-, three- and five-year returns we outperformed the markets and our benchmarks.

In Fiscal 2009, the UMass endowment ranked in the top quartile of American colleges and universities on a relative performance basis, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Based on market value change of -4.6 percent, the University was seventh among endowments of $100 million to $500 million. At the close of Fiscal 2009 (June 30, 2009), our endowment stood at $367 million.

Although the endowment investment performance was -15.5 percent for the fiscal year, our relative performance was better than the average -18.7 percent among all university endowment portfolios. The endowment is essential to advancing the mission of the University. Its ultimate purpose is to invest in people who drive the success of the University. President Wilson, University Trustees, and the Chancellors have increased their commitments to financial aid, and the endowment is a vital source of these funds. Since 2002, the University has increased total institutional financial aid by $64 million—an increase of 205 percent.

In Fiscal 2009, UMass provided institutional aid totaling approximately $97.2 million and met 92 percent of Massachusetts undergraduates’ financial need. With endowed funds created by our many generous donors, scholarships, chairs, graduate fellowships, and library funds are supported in perpetuity, enabling the University to recruit the highest caliber students, and the faculty to advance knowledge and educate our students who will compete in and lead our global economy.

When you give to the endowment, you invest in the University for today and for tomorrow. I am deeply grateful to my colleagues on the Investment Committee for their prudence and diligence in protecting and managing the endowment. We also benefit from the solid insight of our paid advisor, Victor Livingstone at Morgan Stanley. I join President Wilson and the Chancellors in thanking the many alumni, parents, and friends who have become donors. The University cannot maintain its trajectory without your support, and I am proud to be among the stewards of your philanthropy.

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Roy J. Zuckerberg, UMass Lowell ’58
UMass Foundation Treasurer and Investment Committee Chairman