MSU Endowments


While all gifts to Michigan State University contribute to the high quality of education, research and outreach, endowments are particularly meaningful as they offer a dependable, perpetual source of funding. The investment made with the creation of an MSU endowment provides the type of support that makes a real difference in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff—by enhancing their education, research, daily work, future inventions and academic excellence. Endowed gifts enable MSU to offer a truly world-class experience.


Imagine making a contribution that leaves a legacy for generations to come. This lasting impact can easily be made through the establishment of a Michigan State endowment. Considered one of the most advantageous sources of funding, endowments enable the university to attract excellent students, support exceptional faculty and expand and develop new programs by providing a steady, consistent and perpetual source of income. This steady stream of funding ensures the university’s needs to recruit and retain the best and brightest students and faculty are met, and provides access to the most contemporary education possible.


Endowed funds differ from others in that the total amount of the gift is invested. Each year, only a portion of the income earned is spent while the remainder is reinvested for growth. In this respect, an endowment is a perpetual gift. Following is an example endowment gift.

  1. A Communications Arts and Sciences alumna makes a $50,000 gift to establish a named endowed scholarship in memory of her husband.
  2. A gift agreement is drawn up between MSU and the donor to guarantee that her gift will be added to the MSU Common Investment Fund and used for its stated purpose.
  3. The donor’s named scholarship fund buys units in the MSU Common Investment Fund just as an investor buys shares in a mutual fund.
  4. MSU’s Investment Office/VPFT invests the donor’s gift across major asset classes in the university’s portfolio to maximize long-term total return within acceptable levels of risk within the investment policy parameters established by the MSU Board of Trustees as advised by its Investment Advisory Subcommittee (IAS).
  5. A predetermined portion of the income earned is used to provide scholarship support per the gift agreement. The fund’s principal remains intact.
  6. The remainder of the income earned is reinvested as a hedge against inflation and to generate growth.


One of the advantages of creating an endowment is the ability to support areas at MSU that align with both the needs of the institution and your philanthropic passions. Once you have chosen an area you would like to support, you should assess the impact you would like your gift to have. Endowments inherently bring about a profound impact because of their longevity. The perpetuity of your gift will help MSU sustain support in the area vital to MSU’s mission and of importance to you.

Endowments are an excellent way to permanently honor your family, a mentor or a loved one. Once you have established an endowment, your gift becomes part of MSU’s heritage and tradition. In fact, loved ones may also choose to support your fund because they know how special it is to you.

Your family and Michigan State University have the opportunity to enjoy a long relationship built around something that you value.