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Columbia's endowment portfolio yielded a 7.6 percent return in the 2015 fiscal year, the University reported Wednesday. The return brings the total value of the endowment to $9.6 billion as of June 30, the largest in University history.

"Columbia's long-term endowment performance is among the leaders in the field because of the consistency of returns our investment managers have achieved in a wide variety of market conditions over the past decade," University President Lee Bollinger said in a statement. "As a result, the University continues to have the resources we need to compete academically with other great peer institutions that have far larger endowments than ours."

Last year, the endowment generated an investment return of 17.5 percent. But this year, universities' investment performances were depressed by weak returns in the market—both the United States stocks and Treasury markets have seen large swings over the last year.

Anne Sullivan, the University's executive vice president for finance and information technology, was not made available for interview, but a University spokesperson said that there have been no major changes in investment strategy.

The University's investment return this year eclipses Harvard's, whose funds of donated assets earmarked for investment are the largest in the Ivy League. Harvard saw a 5.8 percent investment return on its record-high $37.6 billion endowment.

Several other peer schools posted lower returns. Cornell experienced a 3.4 percent return on its $6.3 billion endowment. Out of all the Ivy League schools, Princeton secured the highest returns on investment with 12.7 percent this academic year, bolstering its endowment to $22.7 billion.

Columbia's endowment, the fifth largest in the Ivy League, has seen strong growth over the last several years. Overall returns on Columbia's endowment investments were 12.3 percent over the past five years and 10.1 percent over the past decade, according to the statement.

dylan.cooper@columbiaspectator.com | @DylanJCoop

Columbia University endowment endowment returns
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