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Letters from alumni about PU's endowment

November 20, 2002

The article in the current PAW about Princeton's endowment (November 20) is slightly misleading. While Harvard's, Yale's and the University of Texas' endowments are larger than Princeton's, Princeton's endowment per student far outstrips the others. With 19,000 students +/-, Harvard has about $1,000,000 per student, the closest to Princeton's $1,200,000 per student. Yale's is  about $800,000; Texas' about half of that.

Princeton's endowment is one reason that the Trustees were able to abolish student loans in favor of scholarships: an extra-ordinary act of stewardship.

Three cheers,
Cuthbert R. Train '64
Northeast Harbor, Maine

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March 20, 2002

After reading the article "Princeton's Endowment Outperforms Market" (February 27) 1 question the reason for comparing the entire endowment to the U.S. stock market. Certainly the huge endowment fund is not totally invested in U.S. stocks. And with no tax liability it has freedom to shift assets out of U.S. stocks if they are not the most attractive investment alternative.

Perhaps a comparison of PRINCO's paltry +2.4% return in fiscal 2001 should be compared to the +10. 3% return realized on top quality ten year U.S. Treasury bonds over the same time period. Even the +8.1% return on a constant maturity ten year Treasury index is more than three times the reported +2.4%.

Herb Gernert '48
New Vernon, N.J.

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