Brown University’s endowment reportedly stands at over $3 billion. This seems impressive, yet it pales in comparison to Harvard’s estimated coffers exceeding $35 billion. These are just two among dozens of schools in the United States with 10-figure trust funds. These reserves, reportedly, have been gathered and invested to ensure longevity of the institutions and their programs for generations to come.
It seems a bit ironic and certainly hypocritical to hear the political pundits, many from these ivory towers of liberal left-thinking ideologies, protesting proposed conservative fiscal policies. Fearing a loss of funding from the federal government for their own use, they commonly promote a more socialist distribution of wealth while at the same time continuing store treasures in their financial silos — securing their own future while jeopardizing the futures of the most vulnerable.
While it may be prudent to prepare for the future, and financial endowments of institutions may assist in that, the messages must be consistent. Institutions that secure their own future have a fiduciary responsibility to their own but they have a moral obligation to work to secure the future and well-being of humanity. While it is admirable to want one’s place of academia to be here tomorrow should it not be more desirable to ensure one’s local parish, diocese, God’s temples to be here first? Though earthly institutions of faith are not the voice of God, through them, God’s work may be done. In the beginning the churches established the greatest institutions of higher learning in a quest for the knowledge of God. So let the faithful endow the Church first and the schools will take care of themselves.