Southwestern Foundation President, Carl Alexander (center) presents check to President Bridges (left) & Vice President for Advancement Irby McKnight (right)
Southwestern Foundation President, Carl Alexander (center) presents check to
President Bridges (left) & Vice President for Advancement Irby McKnight (right)

SAGU received a check from the Southwestern Foundation for a total of $610,200 on September 27.

All of the funds were earnings on investments during the 2017 fiscal year.

“We are grateful to our many generous donors who have helped us reach this significant milestone,” says Carl Alexander, President of the Southwestern Foundation.

This record amount was the result of the foundation’s progressive financial growth which has ultimately led to a steadily increasing amount of financial support each year for student scholarships and university operating expenses.

The Southwestern Foundation recently passed the $10 million mark in contributions to its endowment funds. Earnings from endowment funds allowed the foundation to transfer $414,200 in regular earnings to the University for 2017, plus another $196,000 as a special contribution for additional scholarships.  This total distribution of $610,200 for 2017 represents only 85% of the Foundation’s total net earnings for the fiscal year, which means the remaining 15% could be reinvested as additional principal. “This provides a hedge against inflation and builds up our assets to further benefit the University for years to come,” says Alexander. “This is our way of assuring our many donors that we intend to be good stewards of their generous contributions in every way.”

The Southwestern Foundation supports the university’s commitment to equip young men and women to fulfill God’s call on their lives. With extensive experience in establishing and administering trusts and settling estates, the foundation provides counseling and financial planning services to all SAGU supporters to assist them as much as possible in their good stewardship efforts.

Alexander has served as President of the Southwestern Foundation since 1987. He has also served on the Board of Regents for SAGU during the same 30-year period.

Irby McKnight, Vice President for Advancement, credits the foundation’s growth to steadily increasing contributions to the foundation’s endowment funds from SAGU’s generous donors.  Individually named endowments to honor loved ones can be established when a donor gives at least $20,000 to a specific scholarship fund or general endowment fund . Investment earnings accrue on the named scholarship’s principal during the course of a year, and scholarships are awarded based on these accrued earnings. Additional gifts to named fund can be made at any time to increase its scholarship value or operating expense support value, which is based on earnings during the previous year.

With endowed contributions, donors are able to decide the criteria and scholarship amount awarded to recipients each year along with the name of the scholarship.

“Endowed scholarships change lives,” McKnight says. “We are hoping more people will take part in contributing to endowed scholarships.”

SAGU currently holds 17 endowed scholarships worth over $100,000. The foundation currently has over $10.5 million in funds.

Irby Mcknight explains that during the past decade, the foundation has grown exponentially. Along with an increase in endowed scholarships, well-placed investments in the stock market have led to the foundation’s fiscal growth. The foundation grew by 1.6 million dollars in the past year which led to a considerable increase in the  amount in scholarship funds awarded. “It’s continual growth that counts,” explains McKnight.

McKnight is optimistic for the future of the foundation and believes it will continue to experience growth.