Augustana's Endowment Fund Surpasses $100 Million

For the first time in its 161-year history, Augustana is grateful to announce that the university’s endowment fund has surpassed $100 million — an indication of AU’s long-term stability, fiscal responsibility and financial viability.

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Shannan Nelson said, “Reaching $100 million is a big deal, a target we’ve had. It puts you in a different classification that elevates the stature of your university.”

Gifts from generous supporters have helped Augustana achieve significant goals in the university’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. The interest earned through endowment funds supports a variety of purposes at Augustana, ranging from scholarships and faculty chairs to projects and programs. The endowment fund had an impact of more than $4.1 million in 2020, including nearly $2.3 million in support of scholarships.

Each endowment gift is invested to generate growth and income. Only five percent of the annual return on investment is used to support the university’s enduring commitments and operations. The remaining investment return is re-invested in the fund. The goal is for the fund to gain or maintain its value over time, ensuring the programs supported by the endowment receive the same or even greater funding in the future.

“I think we owe a lot of credit to the Board of Trustees Investment Committee. They have really adhered to the policy, not dipping into the endowment every time there’s a crisis or issue, rather trying to figure it out systematically. They’ve really protected the money, so we’re able to benefit from the steady growth of the market,” Nelson said. “And, obviously, the work of the advancement team as well, especially over the last two to three years, how well they’ve done obtaining gifts.”

Augustana thanks our generous donors for investing in the university’s future and ensuring an Augustana education remains within reach for the passionate, talented and deserving students we serve.

For more information on how to make a gift, please visit

Media Inquiries: Contact Jill Wilson, public relations and communications strategist.