A newsletter for Foundation directors and friends of higher education in Maryland

Letter from the President
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Here at the USM Foundation, we have been celebrating the accomplishments of our institutions and the beginning of the new academic year. Several USM institutions were recognized for academic excellence in the 2016 edition of America's Best Colleges, recently released by the U.S. News & World Report. The USM was also recognized as the state of Maryland's largest employer with 38,640 employees at its 12 institutions, two regional centers, and central office, as well as for being among the world's most innovative higher education institutions according to ReutersIt is gratifying to know that our mission of advocating for and supporting the advancement of public higher education in Maryland is made all the easier because of such excellent public recognition.
I am sad to share that this will be P.J. Hogan's last month with us as vice chancellor for government relations as he leaves to take a new position with Cornerstone Government Affairs. P.J. has been instrumental in helping garner state support for the USM and it is with the best of wishes that we say farewell. More about P.J. and his work can be found below. 

The next few months will bring a great deal of professional development activities, the kickoff to Chancellor Caret's statewide listening (bus) tour, and numerous USM Foundation meetings and events, including our upcoming board meeting on October 20th. We are looking forward to strengthening our partnerships and reporting on fundraising progress in the months to come.

As always, please contact me at raley@usmd.edu or 301-445-1941 with any questions or comments.
Leonard R. Raley
July 2015 Investment Office Update
The global financial markets produced mixed results in July. Chinese economic malaise, the Greek "no" vote against the terms of the bailout package proposed by the country's creditors, and mixed earnings results from U.S. companies all negatively impacted market sentiment. Nonetheless, developed market equities rebounded during the month to finish in positive territory. The MSCI All Country World Index gained 0.9% in July. In contrast, emerging market equities experienced a sharp downturn, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index losing 6.9%. July also proved to be challenging for many credit investors, given the prospect of a Puerto Rican debt default and aggressive selling in the energy and broader commodity markets.
Since 2013, the USM Foundation's Investment Office has offered internships to undergraduate students who are interested in investment research and financial analysis from schools within the USM. These students work directly with investment professionals to conduct research and analysis, assist with reporting and due diligence, and take on special projects as they relate to the endowment fund investment portfolio. They also join staff in external manager meetings and conference calls; participate in strategy sessions; and work on the office Bloomberg terminal conducting investment, economic and capital market research. 

We have four interns this academic year - Harsha Neerchal, Maria Mesa, James Luddy, and Jon Galitzer. We look forward to introducing some of our interns to USM Foundation board members at our upcoming board meeting in October.

The University of Maryland, College Park's Robert H. Smith School of Business recently received a $10 million gift from the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation to support MBA scholarships, undergraduate leadership programs, and facility enhancements. The gift will also continue to fund the school's Center for Social Value Creation. The donation allows the Smith School to compete for the best MBA students by providing additional financial aid availability, while also advancing the school's commitment to experiential learning for undergraduate students. The school is named for the late Robert H. Smith, who attended as an undergraduate in 1950. His family foundation has made numerous gifts to benefit the school, including a $15 million gift in 1998 that led to its naming.

Late last month, the University System of Maryland announced that Patrick J. (P.J.) Hogan would be leaving his position as USM vice chancellor for government relations. P.J. has been a crucial advocate for the USM and has partnered with the USM Foundation on many initiatives, such as organizing meetings for Foundation board members to meet with various state legislators and reinforce support for the USM. After eight years with the USM, he will be joining Cornerstone Government Affairs, a public affairs firm that specializes in government relations and lobbying. Prior to joining the USM, P.J. served for 13 years in the Maryland Senate. His last day will be September 30, and he will be greatly missed at the USM.

A new proposal from members of the USM's Board of Regents would establish a venture capital fund to support startups and keep them from leaving the state as they grow. While still in the early stages, the proposed Maryland Innovation Venture Capital Fund would offer about $10 million a year in investments. The fund would likely focus on startups in the biotechnology, medical health care services, cybersecurity, and virtual reality areas and businesses would be eligible for funding if they are based in Maryland or agree to move to the state.  The venture fund would complement the USM's priority of facilitating the creation of new tech companies and a full proposal will be presented to the Board of Regents at a later date. 

On September 18, 2015, the USM's Board of Regents approved a request from University of Maryland University College (UMUC) to create a new company, HelioCampus, and establish an additional revenue stream for the institution. Reinforcing its role as a leader in innovation, UMUC developed a way to use big data to increase enrollment; improve retention and graduation rates; and assess student, faculty, and staff needs to help run the school more effectively. The technology established by UMUC will be available on a subscription basis through HelioCampus to help colleges and universities across the country analyze financial and enrollment data to help schools cut costs, improve efficiency, and attract more students. The anticipated revenue will go directly to supporting scholarship programs and efforts to reduce tuition costs at UMUC.
September 2015
Vol. 9 Iss. 9
In This Issue
USM News Briefs   

This fall, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has moved toward using online resources to help students save money. Readings and videos will be made available online by faculty at no cost to help students save thousands of dollars over the course of their academic programs.

Trends in Philanthropy

Donors are asking for nonprofits to show them how their dollars make an impact. In a recent 159-page report, Money for Good 2015, researchers found that giving has stagnated since the 1970s in part because donors are uninformed, skeptical, or reluctant to alter their giving habits. The report yields some useful details for philanthropic organizations - show how donations are used, minimize the number of solicitations sent, and demonstrate who benefits from the donor's generosity. If those basic needs are met among certain donor segments, charities could tap into as much as $47 billion in new and redirected giving. More summary details of the report can be found through the link above.

Staff Member News 

We are pleased to announce the birth of Gina Hossick's first grandchild. Kevin Patrick was born on September 23rd, weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.  Both Mom and baby are doing well and are settling in at home.

Congratulations, Gina!

Investment Intern News

Another one of our Investment Office interns, Maria Mesa, has received and accepted a full-time job offer! Maria is currently a senior at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park and will be joining the M&A Group and RBC Capital Markets after she graduates this coming spring. She will be rejoining the Investment Office for the 2015-2016 academic year and credits her internship experience with providing her the skills and knowledge to help her become a top summer analyst at RBC.

Congratulations, Maria!

Jess Gill

Editor, LeaderNotes