Endowment & Building Projects

Gifts to the endowment and capital projects are powerful expressions of paying it forward for multiple generations. Here’s an introduction to how they work.

What type of gifts are these?

Unlike annual gifts—which can be any size and are put to work immediately—gifts to the endowment or capital projects are typically larger in size and have long-term impact. All new buildings and major renovations at Dartmouth are designed and constructed to serve faculty and students for many, many decades, if not longer. And endowed funds will serve our campus community in perpetuity.

Major Capital Projects

Dartmouth’s Campus Services department provides a comprehensive overview of the ongoing major capital projects, with up-to-date information on what’s currently happening in each building phase. 

Hop Renovation and Expansion

The Hopkins Center for the Arts is undergoing its first major renovation, and the focus now is on raising more than $1.5 million for a programming endowment. With so many challenges in the world, our investment in the Hop recognizes the power of the arts to build empathy and forge connections when words fall short.

How do these gifts work?

Endowed Gifts

When a donor makes a gift to create an endowed fund, that fund is invested along with more than 6,925 other funds established over the past two and a half centuries. This pool forms Dartmouth’s endowment. Dartmouth invests and manages these funds collectively and spends a portion of the income earned each year. The endowment will support all future generations of students and faculty—for as long as there is a Dartmouth.

Building Projects

Alumni, families, and friends—individually or in groups, such as in collaboration with classmates—can make gifts of various sizes in support of construction and renovation projects, and often they can direct their giving to a specific space within the building. Named classrooms, labs, atriums, and other spaces are a public expression of support for a capital project. All new buildings are completed with a designated endowment for ongoing operations and maintenance. 

More about Endowed Funds

Do these funds really last forever?

Yes. Consider Dartmouth’s oldest endowed fund, the John Phillips 1777H Professorship in Theology Fund, created in 1789 and still going strong. Phillips, a Dartmouth trustee and an honorary member of the Class of 1777, established the fund with a gift of £37, 10 shillings, and various tracts of woodland. Today, with a market value of approximately $700,000, the fund supports a professorship in the Department of Religion. The annual distribution is currently more than $35,000.

1789

Year the endowment was established

$693,800

Market value of the fund
as of April 30, 2024

$35,000

Estimated annual distribution

Endowed Funds at Work

Here are three examples of how endowed funds elevate the Dartmouth experience.

Jim and Karen Frank

Off-Campus Learning for Everyone

“My experience of living in Spain created for me an empathy for other peoples’ perspectives that I might not have been able to gain any other way, and I think that has impacted me for my entire life,” says Trustee Jim Frank ’65. To make sure all Dartmouth students can expand their horizons by participating in off-campus programs, Jim, his wife Karen, and their sons Daniel ’92 and Jordan ’94 endowed a fund to make such experiences possible for financial aid recipients.

josie harper

Supporting Big Green teams

Endowed funds make a difference for Big Green teams by helping with expenses such as travel and equipment. Two alumnae, giving anonymously, endowed the women’s lacrosse team head coaching position and named it in honor of Josie Harper ’47a, the first female athletics director in the Ivy League. “Josie embodies everything that is Dartmouth, and we are so fortunate to have her as a pioneer for our program,” says Alex McFadden, the inaugural Josie Harper Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse.

Byron Boston

“An exponential impact on the world”

With his wife Andi, Byron Boston ’81 established an endowed scholarship, partly out of gratitude for the financial aid and mentoring he received as a Dartmouth undergraduate and also to make sure future generations of students have every opportunity to fulfill their potential and succeed. “Dartmouth does a great job selecting top students,” says Byron, “and I’m a huge believer in supporting smart students who can have an exponential impact on the world.”