“A key part of our success in maintaining Columbia’s solid financial position has been the consistent success of our endowment investment managers year after year,” University President Lee Bollinger said in a statement. “While our results for the past fiscal year were excellent, the important story here is that over the past decade, our investment performance has consistently outpaced both the market and our peers, helping Columbia compete academically with other great universities that have far larger endowments.”
The statement noted that Columbia's trailing five- and 10-year returns of 6.8 percent and 11 percent, respectively, were the highest among peer endowments over $1 billion.
Though this marks a significant increase from last year, in which Columbia's endowment return had sharply decreased from the 23.6 percent return the year before, several other peer schools posted even higher returns. Businessweek reported that Harvard’s endowment went up 11.3 percent to $32.7 billion, Yale's endowment raised 12.5 percent to $20.8 billion, and Penn's returned 14.4 percent—up from returns of -0.05 percent, 5.8 percent, and 1.6 percent respectively. Rhode Island Public Radio reported that Brown's went up 12.6 percent to $2.86 billion, up from 1 percent in 2012.
MIT gained 11.1 percent, Businessweek reported, and Stanford's endowment went up 9.7 percent to $18.1 billion, the San Jose News reported.
Correction: An earlier version of this article included a graphic that stated that the endowment of the University of Pennsylvania was $5.8 billion. Penn's endowment is $7.7 billion. Spectator regrets the error.