Basics of Endowment

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Long-term Stewardship for Catlin Gabel

By Betsy Cramer

A healthy endowment gives the well-run school a peace of mind that it puts its faculty and students first, while sustaining the current operations of the school, even in a difficult economy. It is no surprise that the most resilient and respected institutions all have strong endowments that have helped them endure both tough times and times of prosperity.

The Catlin Gabel endowment fund
The Catlin Gabel endowment fund was established in 1987, principally by an estate gift from Howard Vollum. He knew the value of a Catlin Gabel education, and his gift formed the basis for an endowment now totaling about $16 million, with 49 endowed funds. Prudent investing and spending, combined with generous gifts from the Catlin Gabel community, have helped safeguard the endowment over the years. We are fortunate at Catlin Gabel that our predecessors anticipated that there might not always be times of prosperity and had the foresight to lay down a financial foundation that ensures the school’s growth and security.

What is endowment?
An endowment is an investment in the long-term financial health of the institution. Income (annual earnings) from each of the endowed funds is used every year to fund Catlin Gabel programs. The principal is invested for long-term growth to serve present and future generations of students. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors and the careful investment and stewardship of their gifts, the endowment fund provided about 6% of the school’s operating budget last year.

Why give to endowment?
The decision to establish an endowed fund at Catlin Gabel is unique for each person. Some people want to support a specific area of the school, or honor someone important to them, or just to give back to the school. Whatever the motivation of donors, all endowment funds help the school fulfill its mission. Endowment donors and their gifts remain a part of the school forever—their legacy of philanthropy lives on.

How is the Catlin Gabel endowment managed?
The Catlin Gabel endowment committee oversees and sets investment policy, and hires investment counsel. Currently, Angeles Investment Advisors, a Los Angeles firm, invests and manages our endowment fund. This school year we are spending 4.6% of the 12-quarter moving average of the market value of the endowment, which smoothes out the highs and lows of the market, and we will reduce that amount to 4.5% next year. In the last 15 years the endowment has contributed $7.9 million to the school’s operating budget and has received $5.3 million in new gifts.

It may seem counterintuitive to announce a campaign during uncertain economic times, but this campaign addresses the school’s financial security. The majority of the campaign focuses on the growth of our endowment, with a goal to raise $15 million in new endowed funds and gifts to existing ones. In addition, the campaign includes plans to raise funds for a much-needed Arts Center, which was previewed in the last issue of the Caller. There is no better way to ensure the financial security of Catlin Gabel School than to give an endowed fund. The recent economic downturn has demonstrated that planning for an unclear future is essential. We look to you, our Catlin Gabel community, to continue your generous stewardship of our current and future Catlin Gabel students, families, and teachers. For more information about the endowment or campaign, call or email Emily Becker, director of development,, 503-517-5601.

Betsy Cramer is former development director for Catlin Gabel. She is mother of Will ’06 and Harry ’10.


The Anne and Eli Shapira Charitable Foundation Fund
Established in 2008 by the Anne and Eli Shapira Foundation to support financial aid for Middle School students.

Paul Dickinson Fund for Science Teaching
Established in 2008 by Walter McMonies ’65 to support new and enhanced programs in the sciences.

Goose Hollow Fund
Established in 2008 by Walter McMonies ’65 to create and develop innovative programs with special preference to funding the Oregon Urban Leadership Program.

Mabel Livingstone Bishop ’42 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Established in 2008 by Mabel Livingstone Bishop ’42 to provide financial assistance to Catlin Gabel students.

William G. Gilmore Endowed Scholarship Fund
Established in 2008 by the William G. Gilmore Foundation to provide financial assistance to Catlin Gabel students.

You may also view a complete list of all of the endowed funds at Catlin Gabel.


Mindy Clark
Steve Dudley
Philip Hawley ’43
Edmund Hayes, Jr.
Prudence Miller ’52
Deborah Schnitzer Novack ’56
Robert Noyes, Jr.
Peter Olson
Warren Rosenfeld ’73
Nani Swigert Warren ’42
Robert Warren ’66
Henry Wessinger ’72
Samuel Wheeler ’45
Alix Meier Goodman ’71, ex-officio
John Gilleland, ex-officio
Lark Palma, ex-officio
Eric Rosenfeld ’83, ex-officio