It has been a great year for investors in the University of South Carolina! As organizations that support the University, the USC Educational Foundation and the USC Development Foundation are very thankful for the time and counsel given by our Board members and for the generosity of our donors. Our stewardship of those gifts must be transparent, competent and of the highest integrity.
Our Investment Pool, consisting mostly of endowed accounts, reached nearly $400 million in 2014. The Foundations Investment Oversight Committee has done an outstanding job of positioning this portfolio to take advantage of favorable market conditions. The return on investment was 19.8% at June 30, 2014 and is, once again, in the 95th percentile nationally among colleges and universities.
This year, we began construction of a new, 881-bed dormitory at 650 Lincoln Street. Phase 1, with 594 bedrooms, will be open August 1, 2015. The construction of a new 110,000 square foot office and research building, Innovation Center, at 550 Assembly Street is underway and will be opening in April 2016. The McNair Aviation Institute for Research has completed the construction of its 16,000 square feet of research space and has installed over $3 million in research equipment in the SC Research Authority building on Assembly Street.
The USC Development Foundation owns 80% of the Inn at USC. This hotel is adjacent to campus and is a favorite of alumni, USC visitors and business travelers. It elegantly combines historic beauty with modern convenience. 2014 was the best year of the Inn’s eight year history.
The University continues to seek ways to grow and thrive in an environment of lower state support. Being separately incorporated and separately governed, the Foundations are strategic in the accelerating momentum of the University. Please join us in supporting the University. Working together, we have no limits!
Russell H. Meekins, CPA
Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer