Andrew D. Martin
Excerpted from the 2020-2021 Endowment Annual Report
Recently, news of our endowment has been a topic of great interest in our community and beyond. As you read this year’s annual report, you’ll quickly see why we’ve generated a lot of buzz. I am grateful for the vision and excellence exhibited by Chief Investment Officer Scott Wilson, WUIMC Executive Board Chair Eric Upin, and our entire investment team that led us to a trajectory-altering performance. They are the best in their field, certainly, but more than that, they are driven by the “why” behind the work; that is, our mission to impact lives in service of the greater good.
In the pages that follow, you’ll learn about the exciting ways we have used our endowment to advance Washington University’s teaching, research, and patient care missions during this most extraordinary year. From groundbreaking scientific and therapeutic advances to reducing environmental injustice to supporting student mental health through their pivotal years on campus, the endowment is working each day to solve problems great and small, globally and locally.
Because of last year’s once-in-a-lifetime endowment return, we’re able to put our foundational values to work to make a greater impact than ever before. Most notably, we were able to make good on our promise to make a Washington University education accessible and affordable to all qualifying students regardless of their financial situations through Gateway to Success, a historic $1 billion investment in student financial aid for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and the fulfillment of my pledge to implement a need-blind undergraduate admissions model in which an applicant’s ability to pay will never be a factor.
Now that we’ve reached this exciting milestone, we’re eager to do even more. First and foremost, we are ready to invest more heavily in programs that support the whole student. From meeting basic daily needs to offering personalized career mentorship and everything in between, our dream is for WashU to be the best school in the country for comprehensive student support. The need is great, but the commitment of our board, our leadership, our faculty and staff, and our alumni and friends is greater.
The truth is, no matter how much the endowment grows, we’ll never rest on our laurels, because the work of the university never ends. As long as humanity continues to be threatened by complex problems like disease, inequity, and climate change — and whatever challenges we have yet to imagine — there is work to do.
At each turn, this community has risen to meet the moment. It is my great privilege to witness your generosity and brilliance at work each day in service of others and to steward this institution as we work together toward a brighter future.
Andrew D. Martin