Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Common Fund and College Endowments...several documents of interst

Within the history of higher education there are relatively few books or essays devoted to college endowments.  I've stumbled across a couple, Stanley King's History of the Endowment of Amherst College and Philanthropy in the History of American Higher Education by Jesse Brundage Sears.  I find this interesting given the focus on money in so many conversations involving higher education that Roger L. Geiger summed up in his essay, "The Era of Multipurpose Colleges in American Higher Education" when he noted that "Colleges apparently had only vague notions about their likely income and expenditures.   Given good intentions and congenital optimism, college overspent virtually every year..."  

Three interesting resources are available on the Common Fund web site that help fill part of the void.

You can find A Common Vision: Working in Partnership for the Benefit of All 1971-1996.  A 1993 Commonfund publication, The Growth of College Endowments 1960-1990 is available and there is a study of a single institution in the Case History: The Spelman College Endowment.