Harvard's Negative Return Part of Broader Trend, Experts Say

Griswold noted that donors set many restrictions on the use of revenue from money they donate. While the University is likely to raise billions in its upcoming capital campaign, HMC’s leadership will not have free reign with those donations.

Despite the dip in the endowment and investment returns, confidence in HMC, headed up by President and CEO Jane L. Mendillo, remained high both inside or outside the University.

“In such volatile economic times, it’s important to note that results in any 12 month period can vary dramatically,” University Treasurer James F. Rothenberg ’68 said in the press release. “Jane and her team have done an excellent job strengthening Harvard’s portfolio and I’m confident the endowment is well positioned for the long-term.”

Griswold, who leads the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments, also praised Mendillo’s stewardship.

“Harvard’s managers are amongst the most capable of managers in this business and I think they’ll continue to [be] that,” he said.


—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at

—Staff writer Justin C. Worland can be reached at