Chapman reaches $1 billion in assets, aims to increase endowment

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President Daniele Struppa addressed an audience of approximately 300 donors, faculty, and students Feb. 22, discussing topics that included Chapman’s plan to increase its endowment to $1 billion by 2029. Photo by Cassidy Keola

Chapman’s assets reached $1 billion in the 2017-2018 school year, said President Daniele Struppa during the State of the University address Feb. 22.

The university’s goal is for its endowment to reach $500 million by 2023 and $1 billion by 2029. An endowment typically represents money and other assets donated to universities for future use.

Just under two years ago, Chapman’s endowment was at $322 million. At the time, some administrators told The Panther that it would take anywhere from 10 to nearly 40 years for the school’s endowment to reach $1 billion. Struppa estimated 20 years.

Chapman now has $400 million in endowed chairs, multiple million-dollar donations, and a 10-year financial plan for the university, Struppa told approximately 300 audience members – made up of donors, faculty members and students – in the Musco Center.

The projected financial plan will dedicate about $40 million in additional funding for financial aid and student support. It also includes reducing spending by more than 3 percent by 2021, and allocating more funds to research and scholarships.

Struppa also shocked the audience with the announcement of a $10 million donation made by an anonymous European donor to help complete the construction of the Villa Park Orchard Residential Village, which will be renamed “The K” to pay homage to the anonymous donor.

“Just like ‘The W’ hotel,” Struppa said to a chuckling audience.

The residence hall is set to open fall 2019, just in time for the implementation of the university’s mandate for all underclassmen students to live in university housing.

The continual expansion of funding is in service of Struppa’s goal of transforming Chapman into an “institution of national stature.”

In January of this year, Chapman recently received a Carnegie classification that places the school in the top 10 percent of research universities in the country. In addition, prestigious honor society Phi Beta Kappa, which has members like Harvard University and Yale University, established a chapter on campus after a 12-year effort, and will select its first initiated class in April 2019.

Chapman’s Fowler School of Engineering is set to open fall 2019. While Chapman was known for a time as a small liberal arts-focused university, its recent Carnegie classification puts the university among others with high research activity, like Dartmouth College and American University.

The university’s focus on science and technology has been marked and targeted in the past few years, with the $130 million, 400,000 square-foot Keck Center for Science and Engineering opening for classes and labs in fall 2018. Still, some professors stress the importance of the humanities at Chapman, with Gregory Daddis, director of Chapman’s War and Society masters program and curator of the Nixon partnership, calling them “absolutely vital” to Chapman’s vision.

“I am confident the university leadership realizes this,” Daddis said.

Although Struppa’s address focused largely on the progression of science and technology on campus, Daddis told The Panther that Struppa and Provost Glenn Pfeiffer have given and continue to give “an incredible amount of support” to the history department.