Endowment & Divestment
The Colorado College endowment, managed by the Board of Trustees, provides long-term financial security for Colorado College. As of June 30, 2013, the endowment is valued at just over $593 million.
(N.B.: This page copies much of the background available here.)
Founding of Colorado College
Colorado College was founded in 1874. The College established its first permanent endowment for the “support of instruction” (under the leadership of President Slocum) on February 24, 1890, after receiving the first $25,000 of a request to the citizens of Colorado, made by President Slocum. As a result of the continued generosity of the College’s donors, the endowment portfolio has evolved into a robust portfolio which provides support for current and future students of Colorado College.
The Apartheid Era
Beginning in 1986, during the height of South African apartheid, students and faculty on campus demanded that Colorado College divest from companies who profit from apartheid. According to reporting by Lizzy Stephens ’12, Colorado College’s student government held divestment rallies attended by 200-300 students, supported by Professor Jeff Livesay and Chaplain Bruce Coriell. At the time, Liz Cheney authored an op-ed arguing against divestment. The Colorado College Board of Trustees ultimately rejected divestment.
The Endowment Today
The Board of Trustee’s Committee on Investments provides fiduciary oversight for the endowment investment management. The committee-approved investment policy and spending policy serve as guidelines for the endowment investment program. In the past, the student trustee has served on the Committee on Investments. Additionally, the College has established a Proxy Voting process. The Campus Sustainability Council identifies a team to review proxies and may submit votes on securities the College directly owns.
For More Information
Information on JW Bristol’s holdings may be accessed in Tutt Library at the Circulation desk. This information lists the companies owned by JW Bristol, one of the managers of CC’s endowment. Background information on the endowment, as well as data comparing Colorado College’s endowment returns to our peer institutions, is published by the Office of Finance and Administration.
If you are interested in the College’s proxy voting process, contact Stacy Lutz Davidson.
Additionally, the Student Divestment Committee (SDC) advocates for Colorado College to divest its endowment from fossil fuels. Led by Alex Suber, Ellen Rigell, and Benjamin Criswell, the SDC’s website is available here and their petition to divest is available here.