History of the Endowment

The first gift subscribed to the Wesleyan endowment was received in June, 1847 from the Second Wesleyan Chapel of New York City for the sum of $1000. By August 1854, this fund had been increased to $14,010.70.  The Board of Trustees voted in 1852 that “all other monies hereafter received directly or indirectly in trust for the University, unless otherwise directed by the donors, be placed in the hands of the treasurer for the time being of the University in trust for the purposes intended by the donors.”

In 1866 the University moved to raise a sum of money referred to as the Permanent Fund, the Permanent Endowment or simply the Endowment.  $93,153.01 was collected, although a substantial amount of this sum was in notes not paid until after William Hoyt became treasurer in 1878.

Since then, the endowment has been built through investment returns and the generosity of Wesleyan stakeholders. In the 1960s, the endowment increased rapidly after Wesleyan sold American Education Publications (including "My Weekly Reader") to Xerox for 400,000 shares of Xerox stock. Much of the proceeds were used to transform the University. The number of faculty and students grew substantially. Physical assets improved markedly with the construction of Hall-Atwater and the Science Center in the late 1960s, followed soon after by the Center for the Arts.