A $100 Million Milestone

In 2021, USM achieved an important milestone, one to which generations of leaders, volunteers, and donors have contributed—the value of the school's endowment reached an incredible $100 million. The achievement was marked quietly and without fanfare, but its importance to the future of our school cannot be overstated—nor can our gratitude to those who have supported this effort. Learn how we achieved this milestone and what it means for our school, our students, and our future. Read more about the milestone in the USM Today magazine.

Gifts to USM's Endowment enhance the school's financial position and create a legacy that impacts lives year after year. If you would like to learn more about the endowment and how your support will enhance an area of school life you value most, please contact Patrick Tevlin, chief advancement officer.


The Impact of USM's Endowment

Gifts to our Endowment are particularly valuable because they are invested for the long-term, creating a permanent source of funding for ongoing priorities, such as tuition assistance, faculty and staff support, and facilities maintenance. Only a portion of the income earned annually is used to support these priorities. The balance of the earning is channeled back into the Fund, so that the endowment continues to grow over time.

A carefully managed endowment is an integral part of a well-established and successful school. We are grateful to our generous donors who, over the years, have supported USM through their Endowment gifts. They have ensured USM's tradition of excellence for generations to come.

An endowment fund can be a one-time, one-person arrangement or it can be an ongoing arrangement to which many people contribute.

Named Endowed Funds

A Named Endowed Fund that supports the priorities of University School of Milwaukee may be funded with a minimum gift of $50,000. Additionally, the Board of Trustees may elect to name an endowed fund after a particular individual as a means of recognizing outstanding service to the school, if those funds are already in place.

If you would like more information regarding endowed funds, please contact Patrick Tevlin, chief advancement officer.

We are grateful to those in the USM community who have established either through outright contributions or through deferred gifts endowed funds in support of our students, faculty, staff, and programs. What follows is a listing of donor named funds within USM’s Endowment Fund.

A named fund may be established with a minimum commitment of $50,000 fulfilled over a three- to five-year period. Working with the USM Advancement office, alumni, parents, and friends can establish a named fund that reflects their personal interests, while supporting the priorities of the school.

2021-22 Endowment Fund Report

University School of Milwaukee’s endowment is an essential investment in the school’s ability to maintain its leading edge as a nationally ranked independent school. From academics to athletics, and arts to innovation, life at USM is rich with activities as diverse as our student population. These valuable activities require funding to support the people and programs that contribute to the attainment of the school’s annual objectives. The school’s endowment, which originated with the predecessor schools and increases in value over time thanks to donor contributions and market growth, provides a significant portion of this funding annually. USM is grateful for all donors who have supported the endowment throughout the years, thus helping to increase the impact of the endowment now and in perpetuity.

As of June 30, 2021, USM’s endowment is valued over $100 million and consists of a combination of general endowment as well as nearly 100 named, endowed funds (listed on the adjacent page) established by USM donors to directly support school priorities. In keeping with our long-standing endowment policy, 5% of the average fund value from the trailing eight quarters is distributed to the fund’s designated program, or in the case of general endowment, to all aspects of the school’s core mission. In this manner, the endowment inspires our community members to invest in an area of school life that is meaningful to them and their families while helping to educate USM students as learners, leaders, and citizens. Additionally, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the endowment has helped USM implement strategic and mission-focused solutions to key situations, allowing the school to maintain its commitment to excellence in education for our 1,132 students.

For independent schools like USM, endowment is the differentiator between sustaining and thriving. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has established a guideline that independent schools should aim to achieve an endowment valued at three times their annual budget in order to be a successful school into the next decade. At USM we take this very seriously as we approach, but have not yet achieved, this level. USM’s Endowment Board is led by President Tom Florsheim ’76 and is comprised of former members of the Board of Trustees. The endowment is managed by CommonFund, a nonprofit investment management firm that serves over 2,000 independent schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations. The school’s endowment policy follows a long-term investment strategy, calling for a 75/25 equity-to-fixed income ratio with meaningful international exposure and a careful commitment to alternative investments such as private equity. The thoughtful generosity of our donors allows the endowment to continue supporting our students and school of today and the future.

2023-24 Endowment Board

Thomas W. Florsheim Jr. '76

C. Frederick Geilfuss II '71

David J. Lubar
Linda Mellowes
Alice E. Read '72
Ann Reinke
Frederick P. Stratton Jr. MCDS'57
William A. Wernecke Jr.
Sarah Zimmerman '92

Ex Officio
Steve Hancock, Head of School
Karin Werner, Board of Trustees President

University School of Milwaukee is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; USM’s tax ID #39-6076442.