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Grinnell Provides Details to Congress on How Endowment Supports College Affordability

In February 2016, Grinnell College, along with 50+ other colleges and universities with $1 billion or larger endowments, received a letter signed by three members of Congress:

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance
  • Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means
  • Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee

The Congressmen wrote, “we are conducting an inquiry into the activities of colleges and universities related to the numerous tax preferences they enjoy under the Internal Revenue Code.” They asked several questions about Grinnell’s endowment, which the College answered thoroughly in its response letter (pdf). Their concerns seem to be based on the size and growth of endowments, increasing tuition at these wealthier schools, and whether they are using their endowments to help needy students attend.

Members of Congress have discussed legislation that would require colleges with endowments larger than $1 billion to spend 25 percent of the annual payouts on financial aid. About 40 percent of Grinnell’s annual endowment payout goes toward student financial aid.

Thanks to the stewardship efforts of many people over the years, such as Joe Rosenfield ’25, Grinnell’s endowment has grown substantially, enabling the College to provide many students with an excellent education. The College is positioning itself to continue providing such opportunities for future students.

Grinnell College Announces New Chief Investment Officer


Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 4:23 pm

Grinnell, Iowa -  

Grinnell College is pleased to announce the appointment of Scott Wilson ’98 as the College’s new Chief Investment Officer. Wilson will succeed David Clay on Jan. 1, 2014.

Wilson’s hire was the outcome of a rigorous global search for a College CIO who will usher in a new era of outstanding investment performance and endowment growth for one of the best-known and most respected portfolios in higher education, currently valued at nearly $1.7 billion. He will work closely with the College’s new Treasurer and Vice-President for Finance, Kate Walker, who joined the College in October.

“The hire of Scott Wilson, while it comes from within our campus ranks, is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “As both an alumnus of the College and an accomplished investment professional, Wilson is ideally equipped to manage the College’s portfolio in service of our enduring mission and core values.”

Wilson is a familiar face at Grinnell, where he has served as Director of Investments since 2010. He previously managed a team of traders specializing in interest rate option trading for Barclays Capital Japan. He has also worked in option trading for Bank of America Securities and as an equity research analyst for Merrill Lynch. Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics, with honors, from Grinnell and is a chartered financial analyst.

“As an alum, with such great memories of Grinnell College and my experiences here, it’s an honor to be chosen as Grinnell’s next Chief Investment Officer,” Wilson said. “I’m looking forward to working with our outstanding Investment Committee, senior leadership and the talented staff in the Investment Office to help grow the resources used to support the College’s mission.”

Wilson has exceptional experience for the position, Clay said of his colleague. “His skills and capital market experience have prepared him well to serve as Chief Investment Officer.”

Clay is working closely with the College to ensure a smooth transition. “It has been an honor to serve the College, formerly as Treasurer and then as Chief Investment Officer,” Clay said. “I have appreciated the opportunity to work alongside so many committed Trustees, faculty and staff.”

President Kington lauded Clay’s leadership during his nearly three decades of service to the College.

“David Clay has provided exceptionally loyal and scrupulous investment leadership during his 27 years at Grinnell,” Kington said. “He has held many titles and fulfilled many roles, including Treasurer 1990–2012, as well as CIO. He worked closely with legendary Grinnell Trustees Joe Rosenfield ’25, among our many influential Board members past and present. His careful financial stewardship was central to the growth and stature of the College’s endowment, one of the most respected in American higher education.”