The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


THE first endowment of the University of Michigan was established by an act of Congress on May 20, 1826, which authorized the secretary of the treasury to set aside two townships of land for the benefit of the University. The proceeds from the sale of this land, which are in the custody of the

June 30, 1924 June 30, 1940
Professorship and lectureship funds $ 288,858.04 $ 771,162.47
Fellowship and scholarship funds 722,295.98 1,498,156.10
Prize and student-aid funds 12,745.10 481,103.90
Library funds 75,524.83 398,218.15
Publication funds 64,875.00 146,962.16
Hospital funds 27,389.84 38,414.84
Miscellaneous funds 130,202.88 10,188,049.25
Endowments for student-loan funds 173,588.13 416,251.96
Unrestricted 547,664.40 548,744.40
$2,043,144.20 $14,487,063.23
state treasurer, amounted to $548,744.40 on June 30, 1940. This endowment is known on the University records as the "original federal endowment," and the state pays the University interest thereon at the rate of 7 per cent per annum (see Part I: Early History).

Many years elapsed before the University received any endowment from private sources (see Part I: Gifts). In 1880 Walter Crane deeded some property in Detroit to the University as an endowment, but this did not function as such until the property was sold in 1902 and the proceeds, amounting to $20,719.28, were turned over to the fund. Since then the income from this fund has been used for miscellaneous purposes.

In 1886 the University received $458.41 from a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of German books for the General Library. This was the first endowment fund turned over to the University in cash and to be invested to yield an income.

Page  275The Williams professorship fund, established by the Alumni Association, was not turned over to the University until 1898, though the fund had been established a number of years earlier and had provided a retiring allowance to Professor George Palmer Williams (see Part II: Alumni Association).

Practically all of the endowment funds given to the University from private sources are for restricted purposes, as only five, totaling $200,000, might be construed as of a general nature. Even expenditures from these funds have been almost invariably for special purposes designated by the president or the Regents. It can therefore be said that only the original federal endowment is used to supplement funds for the general operating expenses of the University. Thus the University still relies principally upon appropriations from the state and student fees for general operation. However, such endowments as the Bates professorship in the Medical School, the Hudson professorship in history, to some extent the William W. Cook endowment, the funds derived from the Horace H. Rackham estate, and the New York University of Michigan Club endowment do supplement funds for general operation to a limited degree.

The comparison between the major classifications of endowment funds as of June 30, 1940, and those of June 30, 1924, the first year such a classification occurred, may be seen in Table I.


Financial Report, Univ. Mich., 1917-40.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.