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David Han

Drexel University Endowment

Ensure Drexel’s Long-Term Growth and Impact by Creating Endowment Funds

Support for the University’s endowment by establishing new endowed funds is essential for fueling Drexel’s future growth and impact. Endowed funds create and sustain long-term opportunities for student success, pioneering teaching, high-impact research, campus development and more active engagement with our communities.

In 2021, Drexel University’s endowment surpassed $1 billion for the first time, increasing Drexel’s ability to support and expand its academic and research goals for current and future generations and validating the University’s strategy for managing its financial assets.

Better understanding how Drexel’s endowment is structured and utilized can help donors make strategic decisions on how creating and/or contributing to an endowed fund(s) will help you most effectively realize your philanthropic objectives.

What Is an Endowment?

The endowment is a pool of funds that provides a predictable and sustainable source of funding to support the University’s mission.

An endowment is not a bank account or a rainy-day fund. It’s more like an annuity, where money is invested with the goal of paying out a steady income stream over a lifetime – or, really, many lifetimes.

Many of Drexel’s endowed funds were established by individual donors to achieve a specific purpose over time – e.g., to provide scholarship funds to students enrolled in a specific school or college and/or pursuing studies in a particular discipline or department. Endowed professorships further the intellectual pursuits of faculty and to broaden University research into new areas of discovery that benefit human society. Drexel’s endowment also supports classrooms, laboratories, libraries and academic programs, as well as campus life priorities including athletics.

Who Manages Drexel’s Endowment?

Drexel’s Investment Office manages financial assets for the endowment with guidance from the investment committee of the University’s Board of Trustees. The Investment Office's primary objective is to support Drexel’s mission by achieving the highest long-term total return on investment assets that is compatible with the University's risk tolerance.

Drexel’s endowment includes:

  • Investable pooled assets
  • Directly held real estate
  • Annuities and trusts
  • Endowment of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Several years ago, we laid the groundwork to protect and build the endowment. The investment team has a long-term, thoughtful plan to deploy our assets so that over time the endowment can give more and more back to the University. — Helen Bowman, executive vice president, treasurer and chief operating officer, Drexel University


How It Works

When a gift is designated to the endowment, Drexel accepts responsibility for ensuring that the donation fulfills and sustains its intended purposes in perpetuity.

Guidelines determine the portion of the endowment Drexel spends for those purposes each year, known as the payout rate. Drexel’s current payout rate is 4.75 percent.

Example: A proposed endowed fund for scholarships




Annual Scholarship Funding Available @ 4.75%

Award Per Student


Number of Students Per Year, In Perpetuity

$5 million




$5 million




$1 million




$1 million













Establishing an Endowed Fund

Endowment gifts can be pledged and paid over a period of up to five years. The minimum to establish a named endowed fund at Drexel is $25,000. In many cases, opportunities exist to name these funds to honor a family member, loved one, mentor or member of the Drexel community.

Gifts can be made to several university priorities – generally requiring a minimum investment level – including (but not limited to) the following:


  • Deanship
  • Department Head
  • Professorship
  • Athletics Director
  • Head Coach


  • Undergraduate Scholarship (full tuition)
  • Undergraduate Scholarship (partial tuition) – restricted use
  • Undergraduate Scholarship (partial tuition) – unrestricted use
  • Graduate Scholarship (full tuition)
  • Medical Scholarship (full tuition)
  • Doctoral Fellowship (full tuition)
  • International Co-op (full)
  • National or Research Co-op (full)
  • Entrepreneurship Co-op (full)
  • STAR Stipend (full)

Contact Us


Mail your gift to:

Drexel University
P.O. Box 8215
Philadelphia, PA 19101-9684

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