Emerson is committed to the responsible use of resources (human, financial, and physical facilities); increasing financial resources through revenue-generating activities and enhanced fundraising; attracting and retaining faculty and staff; and developing long-term plans for the renewal and replacement of its physical plant and technology infrastructure.

  • $237M

    Endowment as of December 2020

  • $452M

    Value of College's net assets

  • $1B

    Value of College's total gross assets

The College’s total gross assets are more than $1B, and its net assets are currently $452M. Emerson’s endowment increased to $183.3M as of the last fiscal year-end and now stands at more than $237M as of December 2020. This includes endowment assets acquired from Marlboro College in July 2020. The endowment also increased due to strong investment returns, gifts, and appropriations from the College.

Emerson invests its funds in a diversified portfolio designed to produce growth and income while safeguarding its principal. Following an extensive RFP process, the College appointed Prime Buchholz LLC as its main investment advisor as of Fall 2020. The portfolio is invested with different managers in accordance with restrictions imposed by donors or by a Board-mandated policy.

  • 80%

    of enrolled students receive some form of financial assistance

  • $56M

    in financial aid received by students in academic year 2020–21

  • 26%

    College's estimated weighted discount rate for FY21

The College provides financial aid programs to assist applicants who do not possess financial resources to cover educational expenses. Approximately 80 percent of the students enrolled at the College receive some form of financial assistance. Awards typically consist of a combination of grants and scholarships, loans, and work-study. During the academic year 2020–2021, students received nearly $56M through financial aid programs. The College’s weighted discount rate for FY21 is estimated to be approximately 26 percent.

Emerson’s ability to achieve its future aspirations is linked to its ability to mobilize new and energized philanthropic support. The College’s Institutional Advancement division has been recently reorganized, incorporating Communications and Marketing with extant Alumni Engagement/Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, and Advancement Services departments. The College’s total philanthropic support in FY20—including outright cash gifts, stock transfers, bequests, and foundation grants—was $7.3M. Alumni participation percentages and fundraising results thus far in FY21 demonstrate progress against more ambitious targets.

  • $7.3M

    Total philanthropic support in fiscal year 2020

For the 2020–2021 academic year, despite extensive demands on resources and challenges to operations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Emerson administration and Board expect to end the fiscal year at breakeven with a 99 percent enrollment against full capacity.


A full version of the Presidential Search Prospectus is available for interested candidates.