College Endowments Take Hits in Stock Market

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Add college endowments to the list of investments taking a hit as the stock market tumbled.

Carroll College, Montana State University and the University of Montana all report multimillion-dollar losses to their endowments.

Through June 30, the close of the last fiscal year, Carroll College’s endowment was down 5.7 percent or $2.1 million.

The University of Montana’s endowment was down about 6.6 percent — a paper loss of about $7.9 million, while MSU’s endowment was down 4.5 percent, or about $5.4 million, over the same time period. Stock losses have continued since then.

“I think you’ll find that endowments across the nation are in the same boat,” said Connie Talbott, president and CEO of the MSU Foundation.

Carroll College President Thomas Trebon said the endowment losses have an impact on the operational budget and the losses may take some time to recover.

“We diversified significantly beginning about three years ago, and we’re working with consultants from the outside to help us manage our endowment,” Trebon said. “Carroll has had a fairly conservative investment strategy in the past.”

Keith Kuhn, chief financial officer at the UM Foundation, said if the market doesn’t recovery quickly, the losses could impact programs and scholarships.

“I think the real impact of what has occurred has yet to be felt,” Kuhn said.