How is Our Endowment Doing?

HSU Advancement Foundation Chairman Gary Blatnick (top)
& Vice Chair Ken Davlin (bottom)

THE HSU ADVANCEMENT FOUNDATION was legally incorporated on March 16, 2004 to help increase charitable giving and manage the University’s endowment. The Foundation board’s 18 members are dedicated to building wide support for the University. Chairman Gary Blatnick and Vice Chair Ken Davlin talked with Humboldt Magazine about the foundation and the state of HSU’s endowment.

Q: What does the HSU Advancement Foundation do?
Gary: The mission of the Advancement Foundation is to provide expertise, fiduciary oversight, and advocacy which will increase charitable giving to HSU and to manage the University’s endowment. The Advancement Foundation is focused on increasing the financial strength of the University and securing additional resources to support students, faculty and programs.

Q: What does the Foundation do to increase the level of financial resources available to HSU?
Gary: The Foundation’s most important responsibility is managing and increasing the University’s endowment through a combination of securing new gifts and implementing a comprehensive long-term investment strategy.

Ken: The board and our investment managers have a collaborative strategy in place so that decades from now, the University’s endowment will have grown to make an ever increasing impact on the University. We believe we are positioned well for growth when the economy turns around.

Q: How much is the University’s endowment?
Gary: A fiscally prudent investment strategy combined with new gifts helped bring about a growth in endowment and other assets from our initial investment of $10.9 million to a market value of $18.5 million as of the end of the 2007-2008 fiscal year on June 30, 2008. 

Q: How is the endowment doing in the current market?
Ken: The economic downturn has brought a decline of 16.77 percent in the market value from July 1, 2008-December 31, 2008. HSUAF had a .12 percent annualized return (prior to assessing investment fees) during the 3-year period ending 12/31/08. This return ranked in the top 9 percent of a Russell/Mellon Trust Universe peer group consisting of 112 endowments & foundations with less than $500 million in total assets.

Q: What is the endowment used for?
Gary: The endowment provides resources to the University into perpetuity—it is a resource stream the University can count on. During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, more than $533,000 from the endowment was distributed to student scholarships and campus projects. For example, the endowment distributed almost $112,000 in scholarship funds for students with financial need. In addition, more than $420,000 was distributed to projects around campus, including the Schatz Energy Research Center, the HSU Library and performing arts programs. The great thing about an endowment gift is that you know it will have an impact on your chosen area of the campus for years to come.

Q: What can alumni do to help?
Ken: One of the best ways to increase the endowment is for alumni and friends of the University to contribute to or create endowed funds. A new endowment is created by a contribution of at least $25,000. The funds are invested for long term growth and each year a portion of the endowment’s average market value from the past three years, currently 4 percent, is distributed to the campus for the purpose designated by the donor. Anyone interested in establishing a new endowment can call the foundation at (707) 826-5146. 

Foundation Board Members

Gary Blatnick, Chair • Del Norte County Health & Social Services
Kenneth G. Davlin, Vice-Chair • Oscar Larson & Associates,
Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors, Inc., retired
Burt Nordstrom, Secretary • HSU Interim Vice President for Administrative Affairs
Nicholas Frank, Treasurer • International Business Consultant

Board Members
Jim Brown • Green Diamond Resources, retired
Crystal Chaney • HSU Student
Patrick Cleary • Lost Coast Communications
Judy Dvorak • Marketing Director, retired
Mary Glenn • Professor of Anthropology
Rob Gunsalus • HSU Vice President for University Advancement
James Joseph • Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, retired
Dan Johnson • The Danco Group
John McBeth • O&M Industries
Alistair W. McCrone • HSU President Emeritus
Rollin Richmond • HSU President
George Schmidbauer • Schmidbauer Lumber, Inc.
Bob Snyder • HSU Interim Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mike Stockstill • Stockstill Communications

The Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation is a dedicated auxiliary of The California State University and a 501©3 California nonprofit corporation.