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ACU’s net assets surpass $1 billion


Bullock Hall is one of the recent construction projects that have increased the property value of the campus.

Abilene Christian University’s net assets now total more than $1 billion, marking a new level of financial health and stability.

The university reached the billion-dollar milestone in November, thanks in part to the generosity of donors during ACU’s Higher Ground campaign, as well as the outstanding performance of the university’s endowment, said Lori Herrick, chief financial officer. In addition, the two new freshmen residence halls and the new Dillard Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) have improved the property value of the campus by over $96 million in the last year.

“This growth is directly impacting our commitment to students through the new living and community experiences within the new residence halls, the tremendous opportunity for research within the SERC and the significant support in scholarships and academic experiences through the growth of the endowment,” Herrick said.

ACU’s endowment – valued at $788 million as of December 2023 – benefits the university every year in perpetuity. The capital is invested for long-term growth, and a portion of the funds are spent each year. The diversified nature of ACU’s endowment has helped protect returns in an environment where active management in public markets has been challenging and where private markets have seen significant inflows, said Joe Lee, chief investment officer and president of the Abilene Christian Investment Management Company. Throughout this 10-year period, the endowment has produced an annualized return of 10.8%, compared to the benchmark return of 5.8% annually, placing ACU in the top 10% of performance among peer universities.

“The endowment serves the university, and its north star is always to increase the financial strength and flexibility of ACU,” Lee said. “Reaching $1 billion in net assets is another notable milepost and an affirmation of our continued efforts to serve and support students in pursuing academic excellence.”

— Wendy Kilmer
Feb. 29, 2024

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