UA Endowment Overview

What Is an Endowment?

An endowment is a gift intended to support a program at the University in perpetuity as selected by you, the donor, and can take the form of a scholarship, professorship or support fund, among many other options. Endowment funds are essential to the vitality and financial security of the University as a dependable source of funding for generations to come. An endowment fund remains intact in perpetuity while its earnings support students, faculty and/or programs, as designated by the donor.

Numerous individual endowed funds, established by donors to create a lasting legacy at UA, are combined with endowments from UAB, UAH, the hospital and affiliated entities to form the UA System Pooled Endowment Fund (UASPEF) for investment and administrative purposes.

Why Establish an Endowment?

  • Invest in the future of UA
  • Support UA academic excellence
  • Enhance and further research
  • Honor a spouse, family member or colleague in a meaningful way
  • Tax savings or other financial benefits

What Is the Impact of an Endowment?

  • Allows UA to recruit outstanding faculty and students
  • Elevates educational resources
  • Advances areas of research and service

How to Establish an Endowment

A development officer from UA can guide you through the process of creating an endowment and discuss the options that will best meet your situation and overall goal. An endowed gift may take several forms, including an outright gift of cash, securities, real estate or tangible personal property. Endowments can also be created through a will, a charitable trust, retirement plan assets or an insurance policy.

The minimum gift to create an endowment at UA is $25,000. Gifts may be given outright or pledged over a number of years. Furthermore, an endowment can be enhanced beyond the initial funding level through additional gifts and/or bequests. Endowments funded by a deferred gift will not be established until the planned gift is realized.

The Process of Funding a Pledge

As a donor, you can initiate your endowment through an outright gift, a 5-year pledge or a planned gift. Once the endowment minimum is met, a resolution is approved by the Board of Trustees and the endowment is created.

What Are My Options?

Named Endowments

Scholarships & Fellowships

  • Scholarships ($25,000 minimum)
  • Graduate Fellowships ($200,000 minimum)
  • Eminent Scholarships ($300,000 minimum)
  • Distinguished Graduate Fellowships ($500,000 minimum)
  • Distinguished Presidential Scholarships ($1 million minimum)


  • Lecture Series ($100,000 minimum)
  • Distinguished Lectureships ($250,000 minimum)

Faculty & Program Support

  • Program Support Funds ($25,000 minimum)
  • Research Funds ($100,000 minimum)
  • Visiting Professorships ($250,000 minimum)
  • Faculty Fellowships ($250,000 minimum)
  • Professorships ($500,000 minimum)
  • Faculty Chair ($1.5 million minimum)
  • Deanships ($3 million minimum)

Governance & Stewardship

Once you have made your decision to create an endowment and the gift or pledge is received, a Memorandum of Agreement will be executed between you and the University to outline the terms and conditions of the gift. The University will then administer your fund in adherence to the terms of the agreement. The University cannot change the memorandum without the expressed consent of the donor or the donor’s designated representative.

How Is My Gift Managed?

  • Your endowment will be invested in the UASPEF
  • The Board will allocate 4.5% of the endowment’s market value for annual spending toward the endowment’s designated purpose
  • All endowments are approved by a resolution of the UA Board of Trustees once the minimum funding requirement is met
  • There is a one year holding period for new endowments to allow for earnings
  • You will receive an annual report from the President detailing the use of your endowment earnings

Example Timeline for New Endowments

Sample timeline provided for reference only. May vary from actual timeline.

Your Legacy Starts Here.

As a dedicated supporter of The University of Alabama, you are creating an enduring legacy that will strengthen the University, the state and the nation. Your financial contribution will directly impact the groundbreaking research and educational opportunities available at the Capstone. Your legacy will be a part of our storied tradition and will play a significant role in the development of students, faculty and staff at UA for generations to come.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Office of Development at 205-348-4767.