Upon his death, James W. Ellsworth left a substantial portion of his estate to Western Reserve Academy. His initial gift of $4 million served as the beginning of our endowment. For many years, the James W. Ellsworth Trust was our only form of endowment, and the earnings from it provided operating income to keep Western Reserve Academy financially solvent. Could he have ever imagined where his gift would lead?
Over 90 years later, on June 30, 2012, our endowment was valued at $101 million. For the 2012 fiscal year, the endowment contributed $5.3 million toward our operating budget. Over the last 10 years, it has provided an average of 25 percent of our operating income.
Currently, Western Reserve Academy’s endowment consists of a unitized pool of more than 145 named funds of both restricted and unrestricted assets. Endowment gifts to Western Reserve Academy are placed in the WRA Fund for investment and oversight purposes. The WRA Fund and the James W. Ellsworth Trust are combined to form WRA’s endowment. Decisions regarding the investment of the Western Reserve Academy endowment are made by the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees, working within an investment policy designed to augment and preserve the spending value of the endowment.
Total managed endowment performance was up 1.5 percent for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, and up 2.3 percent for the five years ended June 30, 2012. Net appreciation and income in excess of the annual spending rate are retained for the growth of each individual endowment’s market value. The Investment Committee works diligently to bring long-term growth to the school’s endowment. Accordingly, endowment value has generally been maintained through the adverse investment markets of the past several years. Over the years, the generosity of alumni, parents and friends of Western Reserve Academy who have supported our endowed funds has provided thousands of students the opportunity to benefit from scholarship gifts, and recognized deserving faculty members for their dedication and achievements. Every gift to Western Reserve Academy’s endowment makes a difference by strengthening the institution’s financial foundation and sets the pace for the future.