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Building the Endowment

Endowments, like diamonds, are forever. They give sparkle to University life, providing perpetual funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty support, the library, and more. Since the principal is never spent, endowments generate earnings year after year.

“The University is shifting from its successful building campaigns to focus its fund-raising efforts on expanding its endowment, currently valued at $51 million,” said Paul H. Witham, associate vice president for University Advancement.

Endowments provide faculty support by helping to recruit and retain accomplished scholars or underwrite innovative ideas and projects. A gift to an endowed scholarship can ensure that bright and talented students have the opportunity to excel. The URI Foundation currently holds more than 600 endowments for the University.

For many donors, naming opportunities are the pinnacle of a lifetime of philanthropy. Endowments may be named for an individual, a corporation, or a business. Named endowments, which range from $15,000 to $2 million, may be funded through current gifts, multi-year pledges, and planned gifts. Some employers will match employees’ gifts on a 1:1, 2:1, or even 3:1 basis.

Named endowments remain as a legacy of the donors’ vision and generosity. Colleges, departments, and the library also offer the opportunity to name classrooms, faculty offices, laboratories, and similar spaces. Endowed lectures and lecture series provide resources to attract notable experts and leaders to expand the intellectual, cultural, and social horizons of the URI community. For more information, call Witham at 874-2291.

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