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Podcast: Understanding Endowments With Mary Peloquin-Dodd

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On this episode, we’re joined by Mary Peloquin-Dodd, NC State’s associate vice chancellor for finance and university treasurer, to discuss the NC State endowment and its importance. Thanks in large part to Peloquin-Dodd’s careful management, and to the incredible generosity of donors to our recent Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign, this fund has more than tripled in the last decade to now provide the university with $1.95 billion in long-term financial support.

“Endowment” and “fund” are somewhat misleading terms, though, as NC State is actually the steward of more than 3,000 individual endowments, each with its own terms and conditions. Peloquin-Dodd and her team, working in concert with the deans of each NC State college and their respective teams, help to ensure that each endowment reaches its full potential — financially and in regards to how each endowment’s creator(s) envisioned it.

Listen to “Understanding Endowments With Mary Peloquin-Dodd“ here via Spotify, or visit the Apple podcast store, the Google podcast store, Stitcher or Podbean.

To listen to this and other episodes of the NC State Philanthropy Podcast, visit the Apple and Google podcast stores, Spotify and Stitcher. Be sure to subscribe in order to receive new episodes as soon as they’re released. You can visit our podcast webpage at Podbean, too, for direct downloads. However you listen, please leave a comment and rating to let us know how we’re doing!

Theme Music (00:01):

Please listen carefully.

Taylor Pardue (00:06):

Welcome to the NC State Philanthropy Podcast, telling the world how we Think and Do through the support of our friends, alumni and more. I’m your host, Taylor Pardue. On this episode, we’re joined by Mary Peloquin-Dodd, NC State’s, associate vice chancellor for finance and university treasurer, to discuss the NC State endowment and its importance. Thank you so much for joining us today, Mary. Just to kick things off, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to NC State.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (00:53):

Sure, Taylor. Well, my name is Mary Peloquin-Dodd. I’m the associate vice chancellor for finance and university treasurer. I have been at the university since May of 2012. Before I came to the university, I worked on Wall Street for 25 years.

Taylor Pardue (01:09):

Okay. Now, what all did you do on Wall Street?

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (01:12):

I was a securities analyst. I worked at a company called Standard & Poor’s, and I was a practice leader for higher education finance and not for profit corporation readings.

Taylor Pardue (01:24):

Okay. How has that been, working on Wall Street and now in higher ed?

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (01:30):

Well, initially it was quite a transition. After 10 years, I have gotten used to being here, and it’s been an absolute blast the entire 10 years.

Taylor Pardue (01:42):

So, tell a little bit about that shift in 2012. What brought you here initially?

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (01:47):

Well, we had just come off the fiscal crisis, and it was a tough time for people in my industry. But I am also a North Carolina native, and I wanted to come back home and give back to the UNC system, especially. I’m a graduate of Chapel Hill.

Taylor Pardue (02:06):

No shame in that.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (02:08):

Thank you.

Taylor Pardue (02:10):

No, but that’s great. And this is, you know, as you know, this is a great place to give back to the people.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (02:15):

Absolutely.

Taylor Pardue (02:16):

So, tell us a little bit about what your day-to-day involves and then we’ll kind of progress into the endowment specifically.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (02:22):

Sure. Well, as the associate vice chancellor for finance, I oversee five central finance departments here at NC State. We have about 170 people okay. In that unit. And we do all of the cash collection, all of the management of money on campus, all of the accounting for the money on campus.

Taylor Pardue (02:44):

The hard work.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (02:46):

We pay all the bills. Oh my goodness. We do all of the financial statements and all of the reporting. We bill all the students and collect all the tuition. We oversee post-award administration for contracts and grants, especially for federal research. So, it’s really across the board involving money here at the institution, including the endowment.

Taylor Pardue (03:11):

You keep the lights on. I mean, you really keep the place rolling.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (03:14):

We make sure that the energy company gets paid to make sure we have electricity. And there’s a lot of bills to pay at a university like NC State.

Taylor Pardue (03:24):

Oh, I’m sure. Yeah. Just from what little I know of it from the 30,000-foot view. Um, 2012, obviously, you know, a lot had changed on the corporate landscape, the financial, higher-ed landscape before that, but you’ve seen a lot of growth and transition here at the university, then, in the last 10 years too.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (03:43):

Taylor, I really have. Coming in in 2010, we were still looking at an endowment that was just over $600 million, and, as of December 2021, we were over $2 billion. Now, the markets haven’t been kind over the last few months, but I think, at this point, we, we are still over $2 billion, and we’ve had a decade of very strong growth, and our endowment, both from the campaign that we just completed as well as strong investment performance.

Taylor Pardue (04:20):

Okay. That’s great to hear. We’ve talked about it on previous episodes, but, obviously, the endowment is a big part of your job. Tell us a little bit about, just for someone who doesn’t really know higher ed, you know, what that looks like, what is an endowment and how does NC State’s in particular work?

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (04:36):

Sure. But, and what’s interesting is when people talk about endowment, most people think the endowment is one large endowment, and the fact is, because we have donors who give gifts for individual endowments at the university, we have well over 3,000 individual endowments. So, when we talk about our total endowments, that’s the aggregate of all of the smaller endowments that support all kinds of things on campus from scholarships to professorships to program support. So, there are a variety of purposes, in many cases, prescribed by the donors and their endowment agreement with universities. But it’s, when we talk about our total endowment being $2 billion, it is the aggregation of all of these individual endowments.

Taylor Pardue (05:29):

Okay. I’ve always heard those terms, you know, endowments as far as scholarships and then the quote unquote endowment and, yeah, I’ve always assumed similar but different. So, there really is no one endowment, so to speak.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (05:43):

Right. And I think we like to think of the endowment as one organic whole, this $2 billion endowment, but in truth, it’s comprised of thousands of individual funds that support different purposes.

Taylor Pardue (05:58):

OK. So, how does that, how do you go about managing that? How, what is involved?

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (06:02):

Well, one of the things we do to make it easier is we have standard endowment agreements that we use with our donors, and we also manage most of our money centrally. So, we use the same types of financial systems, the same types of donor agreements, but, in managing the money, we manage most of our endowment as one large pool of money.

Taylor Pardue (06:29):

OK. So, at least that helps some to simplify things, but still.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (06:33):

So that we’re not managing every individual endowment on its own, which would be very, very difficult.

Taylor Pardue (06:40):

Oh, my goodness. Yeah, going back a little bit, you were talking about the growth of that over these last 10, 11 years. How has that come about? What impact did you see specifically from the campaign, that sort of thing.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (06:53):

Well, and specifically, I’ll give you the numbers over a 10-year period. So, in 2012, we had an endowment of $635.3 million. In 2021, so, at June 30, 2021, which is the close of our fiscal year, we had $1.95 billion. So, the growth over that 10-year period did reflect a lot of additions to our funds. A lot of gifts came in endowment gifts during the campaign, but we also had a tenure period of pretty extreme exceptional performance. So, we closed out that last year, 2021, with a total performance across our endowment of 38.2 percent. In one year.

Taylor Pardue (07:44):

Wow.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (07:46):

So, we also, when we think about our endowment, we compare our numbers with something called the NACUBO survey, and NACUBO is the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Each year, most large American universities respond to a survey by NACUBO about their endowment, the size of the endowment, the performance of the endowment and how it’s comprised.

So, I can tell you that, for the 2021 numbers, that 38.2 percent return was very, very good. It was in the top 10 percent of endowments nationwide. The NC State investment fund, which is how most of those endowments are managed, had a 39.3 percent return, and endowments greater than a billion dollars compared with a 39.3 percent had a return of 37.3 percent. That return included both public and private institutions, but public universities, who don’t invest generally as aggressively as private universities, had a slightly lower return than NC State did, at 30.3 percent. What we look at that survey for each year also is to see how do we compare in size with other endowments, and in the 2021 survey — the 2022 survey won’t be ready until February of 2023, so that’s the latest information we have, but we were ranked 73rd largest out of 734 institutions that responded. That $1.95 billion placed us 73rd in size.

Taylor Pardue (09:37):

That’s amazing.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (09:38):

And we’ve moved up a lot over the years as I said largely because of this combination of exceptional fundraising and exceptional performance.

Taylor Pardue (09:50):

OK. So, obviously, those are exceptional numbers. Put that in perspective for someone who, I know for me, personally, like, I know of gift agreements and different things like that. Someone comes in; they want to sponsor, create an endowment, so they put up a certain amount. Maybe they have matching funds, that sort of thing. And I just think that’s pretty much it; it grows, and it has a percentage every year and, you know, that sort of thing, but what does that growth really mean as far as, like, additional scholarships that we can provide, that sort of thing? Like, what does that growth really translate into?

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (10:22):

Taylor, I think that’s a really important question because endowment growth over time is a function of a few different factors. One is the original money that goes into the endowment, or any subsequent contributions. It’s also the earnings on that endowment invested in the strategies that universities use to grow their endowments, but it’s also net of the spending that these endowments provide every year, and that’s probably the most important point. about endowments, is that they spin off spending. So, the university can have these funds that provide this additional measure of excellence, and I, in anticipation of our talk today, I looked at some of the numbers on endowment spending history.

Taylor Pardue (11:10):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (11:10):

So, I went back and I saw that in 2013, our end spending in total was just under $14 million that year in fiscal 2013. The endowment, the total endowment, provided spending of just about $14 million. But for 2023, the new fiscal year that starts July 1, our endowment will provide us with more like $65 million this year.

Taylor Pardue (11:44):

Wow.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (11:44):

So, that growth, that is what has led to so many changes at NC State — new scholarships, more students receiving financial aid, more professors receiving endowment funds for their professorships, more program support. So, that is the transformational piece of an endowment is the fact that $65 million will be released across the university for endowment spending this year.

Taylor Pardue (12:14):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (12:14):

And the goal of spending the way we do is to not spend too much so that we can continue to grow those funds in perpetuity.

Taylor Pardue (12:27):

Tell me more about that.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (12:28):

That’s really the purpose of our endowment: not only to provide stable support from year to year, but to keep the value of a dollar constant over time.

Taylor Pardue (12:38):

OK. Tell a little bit about how that spending process takes place. I know a lot of people think Chancellor Woodson, the joke is always that Chancellor Woodson has a safe somewhere in Holladay Hall that he can just go pull cash from whenever he wants, but how do we spend that from year to year, that percentage? And, yeah, just to talk a little bit about that.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (12:58):

Sure, and that’s a good question, too, Taylor, because what we do is we try to have a standard spend so that we can provide predictability across the university so that units, when they award a scholarship to a student might be for four years, to know that they have those funds there, in place for that student for the four-year period. So, what we try to do is replicate that same type of model across as much of the university as we can, in terms of how much do we spend and when, really, we release the money. So, on July 1, we’ve taken a look this past fiscal year at what the market value of our endowment was over a very long period of time, and then we’ll take a certain percentage of that — a very low percentage, right? — to maintain that concept of perpetuity.

Taylor Pardue (13:51):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (13:53):

So, based on the growth of the endowment, that’s why that $65 million has grown but is also still a very small portion of the market value of our endowment. We do that intentionally so that we have reserves for years where performance might not be so good.

Taylor Pardue (14:13):

I’ve heard it referred to, the endowment, as a rainy day fund. It really is there to get us through the high highs and the low lows and just keep us on a steady track of excellence.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (14:24):

Right. So, the chancellor does influence the endowment in so many ways — through fundraising, through policies that are established centrally — but remember, with each endowment being an individual agreement with a donor, that drives how the, or on what purpose the money is spent.

Taylor Pardue (14:46):

That’s a good point, yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (14:47):

But the amount we spend is approved and determined by looking at things like, what do we expect investment performance to be in the future? And then, what are our foundations comfortable spending?

Taylor Pardue (15:02):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (15:02):

So, it’s a combination, both of what we think the future will bring, but also what are we comfortable spending to keep that concept of perpetuity going?

Taylor Pardue (15:14):

That’s a good point, too. I didn’t think about … I was thinking of scholarships in the short run, you know? One year they’re awarded and all that, but yeah, to keep the money in there for all four years, depending on what the market does and what our investments do. Sure.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (15:25):

Right. Because we are prudent over time, what happens is that these individual, these 3,000 individual endowments or whatever the number is today, they grow reserves, so that if we encounter a period, and this is your rainy day concept, if we encounter a period where performance in investment markets is a lot more volatile, as we are seeing right now, each of these endowments grows reserves over time so we can continue to spend from those endowments.

Taylor Pardue (16:05):

On this episode’s Philanthropy 101 segment, we’re discussing matching gifts. Every gift to NC State makes an important impact on our university, but some gifts qualify for additional matching funds from a donor’s employer. More than 23,000 companies currently offer some level of matching funds for NC State donors to take advantage of, including Apple, Duke Energy, PNC Bank and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Donors can check to see if their employer offers matching funds via a search bar at giving.ncsu.edu. If a donor’s company is eligible, the donor simply has to request a matching gift form from their employer and send it to NC State signed and completed with their gift. We take care of the rest. Taking advantage of matching funds could mean the impact of your gift is doubled or even tripled, and some companies also match gifts made by retirees and/or their spouses. For more information, please visit go.ncsu.edu/matchmygift. Now, back to the show.

It’s kind of what we’ve already talked about, but maybe just to build on this a little bit, you know, especially current economic conditions and things like that, we’re coming off an incredible campaign, donors have really stepped up and supported us like never before, and I think a lot of times people hear that number — we raised $2.1 billion — and they think we’re set, or they hear the endowment fund, we’re set. Just tell, talk a little bit more about how that quote unquote rainy day fund, how that is an ongoing need at NC State. That’s not something that, you know, we’ve “made it” now and we’re set and we will never have troubles again.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (17:47):

I think that’s a really good point because we still exist and operate in a competitive market. So, in looking at our endowment relative to some of our peers, relative to our established institutional peers, in some cases, we’re still well below where our peers are on a per FTE, per full-time-equivalent student basis.

Taylor Pardue (18:16):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (18:17):

So, we exceed some of our peers: institutions like Florida, Iowa State, Virginia Tech.

Taylor Pardue (18:25):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (18:25):

Our endowment exceeds theirs on a per-student basis, but we’re still lower than schools like Texas A&M, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Madison-Wisconsin and Purdue. And these boats are all moving with the time.

Taylor Pardue (18:49):

Oh, that’s true, too. Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (18:50):

So, even though we have gained so much, we can’t really stop because we exist and operate in a competitive world where our institutional peers, our competitors are still raising money.

Taylor Pardue (19:05):

That’s so important. Just, I know, coming on board here at NC State during the campaign and then now after, just so many aspects of … the state of North Carolina is so good to us as a public university, and our supporters have helped, like, again, so much through the campaign, but I guess I just didn’t realize until I was in higher ed and saw behind the scenes how much, like you said, these ships are always moving, and how it is a continuing need, and sometimes we do lose students to other universities because we don’t have the funding necessarily to provide that financial assistance. So, it’s just so critical.

I’ll say it again at the end, but just thank you so much for everything that you’ve done to help manage these funds and to help us stay competitive with our peers. It really does make a difference with students’ lives and just professors, everything across the university that the endowment touches.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (19:53):

Thank you, Taylor. It really is important, and even though our endowment spending is just a small percentage of our total operating budget for the year — maybe 3 percent — it’s grown from 2 percent to 3 percent. That 1 percent is the margin of excellence for institutions like ours.

Taylor Pardue (20:16):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (20:16):

But the other thing is that endowment goes hand in hand with fundraising for gifts.

Taylor Pardue (20:22):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (20:23):

So, we, as you know, we do raise an incredible amount of gifts each year, and that is something that has completely changed in the last 10 years as well.

Taylor Pardue (20:33):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (20:34):

So, I think it’s important to suggest that it’s not just the endowment, but it is also the entire ecosystem of philanthropy.

Taylor Pardue (20:45):

We talked with Adam Compton a few episodes ago about annual giving and, sort of a similar story, you know, that ongoing need of constant support from our Wolfpack and everyone.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (20:59):

But it’s incremental, isn’t it? Because each year that you add more donors makes your next year that much more successful.

Taylor Pardue (21:08):

It’s true, yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (21:09):

And I think that’s true, not only of raising endowment gifts, but annual gifts and other gifts to the institution on an annual basis.

Taylor Pardue (21:18):

Yeah. It, yeah, it’s great to see — we’re about a little over six months, at the recording of this podcast, a little bit of six months out of the campaign, and to see, from my angle, and from yours as well, see on the money side of things, the advancement side of things, how that donors are still rising to the occasion and helping us, even though the campaign officially is done, but the need is still there, and our support is still there.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (21:43):

I agree, and I think this goes back to this concept early on in the campaign, building a culture of philanthropy.

Taylor Pardue (21:50):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (21:50):

Which has led, not just to the growth in things like our endowment, but growth in philanthropy across the institution in many forms.

Taylor Pardue (22:01):

Yeah. You mentioned Chancellor Woodson specifically and policies and that sort of thing. Talk a little bit about how the endowment is actually spent; how that process goes. There’s an administration team that, you know, that I’m assuming meets and discusses how they want to look at the endowment for the coming fiscal year each year.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (22:20):

Sure. It’s really a partnership. We have two departments: advancement services on the advancement side and foundations, accounting and investments, that work hand-in-hand in the administration of gifts. Advancement, really, on the front end of shepherding the donors, and then, once the gift is in, that we keep it in our financial systems and we track it and we track the spending to ensure that we’re spending those gifts the appropriate way, and then we track how much we spend and we track our investment results and we track the reserves we develop for each of those endowments over time. But the administration is generally this, that we look in December — well, other than gifts that come in throughout the year for all kinds of purposes, and you know, we raise an incredible number of, amount of gifts every year that are not endowment gifts.

Taylor Pardue (23:22):

Uh huh. Just specific, one-time gifts.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (23:25):

Restricted and unrestricted and one-time gifts. But for the endowments, we look at the market values in December, and we let units know across campus how much they will have to spend for the next fiscal year. So, then, in the spring, we inform them about their spending budget starting July 1.

Taylor Pardue (23:45):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (23:46):

On June 30, we have cash, we put it into those income accounts across campus, and then they can spend.

Taylor Pardue (24:03):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (24:04):

So, I would say that captures the administrative aspects of it.

Taylor Pardue (24:08):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (24:08):

And then, of course, we track, for endowments, the original gift and then what the appreciation has been on each of those original gifts so that we know what reserves we can spend.

Taylor Pardue (24:20):

So, this is, again, at the time of this recording, of this episode, you’re in your probably busiest time of the year, leading up to the end of the fiscal year.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (24:29):

That is definitely true for someone on the finance side. Closing the books for a university on June 30 is not an easy exercise. We are a very large enterprise, and we have a lot of moving parts, and people like to spend as much as they can up to the end of the fiscal year.

Taylor Pardue (24:48):

I think, again, like, coming into higher ed and not knowing. I was a student here at NC State, so, you know, you see it only from the student’s perspective, but now to be here and to look behind the scenes: Summer. There is no summer break, up until after July 1, I’m assuming, but, yeah, a university is a year-round thing. It takes …

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (25:07):

It really is.

Taylor Pardue (25:07):

It takes a lot of support, takes a lot of effort.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (25:09):

So, just as the academic units can start winding down, perhaps, for the summer. Perhaps they’re doing research.

Taylor Pardue (25:16):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (25:16):

The finance folks are very busy trying to get our books done for the year.

Taylor Pardue (25:22):

OK. So, speaking a little bit about the books, just sort of as a closing thought, again, a lot of people don’t understand how endowments work and everything like that, but as a public university, we, of course, have a responsibility to let the people of North Carolina know how we are investing, how we are stewarding their money, their investment in our university. Talk a little bit about how, I understand you do sort of annual fiscal reports that are videoed and everything and put online for people. Talk a little bit about that, that sort of ….

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (25:55):

We do, and I think that’s a real important point, about transparency. So, a lot of our endowment is held in foundations that are legally separate entities from NC State.

Taylor Pardue (26:08):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (26:08):

So, we have a large number of fundraising foundations.

Taylor Pardue (26:17):

Ok.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (26:18):

But in the spirit of transparency, and because we are a public university, to your point, we do try to provide as much information about our endowments and the money to as many people as we can.

Taylor Pardue (26:42):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (26:42):

So, we have on our website a series of four videos.

Taylor Pardue (26:46):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (26:47):

Every year, we do something called the State of the Endowment, and in August of 2022, we will prepare the State of the Endowment. We will deliver it live and then put the webcast on our website.

Taylor Pardue (27:02):

OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (27:03):

But what we’ll cover in August is how our endowment performed this year and where we ended the year with our endowment, as well as what kind of endowment spending we were able to provide. You already mentioned the rocky markets. We expect that we will have a rocky year, but one of the really cool things about our endowment and how it’s managed is it’s a pretty defensive endowment.

Taylor Pardue (27:31):

Okay, good.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (27:31):

So, we have a very diversified portfolio with a lot of liquidity, and we’re managed in a way that we’re a little bit more insulated from what you see in broader market performance, such as for the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones. So, what I expect is that, while things have been bad, as the Fed start raising rates and inflation has just really taken hold in all corners of our economy, I think our endowment will still outperform what you can expect to see for the rest of the market.

Taylor Pardue (28:11):

Oh, wow. OK.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (28:13):

So, combined with that prudent spending over time in a more defensive portfolio, I think we’ll be fine at the end of the year, and people will hear about that in August.

Taylor Pardue (28:24):

I think that’s so interesting about your background, having worked on Wall Street, it gives you that unique perspective of coming into higher ed. You’ve seen both sides and really are able to manage that endowment.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (28:34):

Well, and I think what I’ve seen is a fair number of recessions.

Taylor Pardue (28:37):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (28:39):

You know, you couldn’t really do this job if you didn’t believe that markets recover, right? That’s …

Taylor Pardue (28:48):

Sure.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (28:49):

I couldn’t say, “Let’s do these investments,” if I didn’t believe these investments, over time, would still be something that would be important to do.

Taylor Pardue (29:00):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (29:00):

It’s very different from being a, sort of an individual investor, where your timeframe is so different. Being an institutional investor means we have the luxury of time.

Taylor Pardue (29:11):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (29:12):

We know markets recover. We don’t know how long it will take markets to recover, but we NC State has the luxury of that time, because we are here for the long term.

Taylor Pardue (29:26):

I think it’s a great perspective of it.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (29:27):

Yeah. Thank you.

Taylor Pardue (29:30):

So, talk a little bit about all the team that helps you do this. I’m sure that, with all of these endowments, with the many numbers that are floating around, you know, like you said, all the different bills that have to be paid, I’m sure it takes a team to succeed like that.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (29:41):

Oh, it does. It’s not just an advancement team and a foundation’s accounting and investment team, but it’s literally a team across the university in so many areas. The deans of the colleges, the advancement professionals and the support staff who make all of this work. So, it is definitely a large team of people responsible for this.

Taylor Pardue (30:07):

I always try to end conversations with asking someone what their favorite thing about NC State is, but with your unique position, maybe a better question is, what is your favorite success story that you’ve seen, through these different endowments, come in over the years?

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (30:21):

I think the last 10 years at NC State have really been pivotal in terms of our institutional momentum and, led by the chancellor and our administration, I think we’ve made so many accomplishments that some institutions might never see in the course of a decade.

Taylor Pardue (30:45):

Oh, wow.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (30:46):

So, the growth that we’ve had over the last 10 years has just been remarkable, and you might not see another institution make that kind of progress — the progress we’ve seen here. So, we’ve modernized a lot of things. We’ve transformed the institution.

Taylor Pardue (31:05):

Yeah.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (31:05):

We’re wealthier than we were. We’d still like to be even wealthier than we are now, but I think there has been so much institutional progress across every corner of the institution, and I think it’s hard to point to one thing over another. Certainly, financially, we’re a different institution than we were.

Taylor Pardue (31:26):

And that’s great, too. You know, numbers speak very loudly; louder than words, sometimes. So, you know, it’s one thing to hear the university saying, “We’re doing great.” You’re seeing growth on Centennial Campus, you’re seeing growth all around the university, but when the numbers really back that up and show people, like I always say, it’s not just a great place to give; it’s an investment. And I think the numbers bear that out.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (31:52):

Yeah. And I think, for the people of North Carolina, too, given that we just still do receive so many tax dollars for North Carolina. You look, and you see the return on investment for the people in North Carolina, whether they’re students here, whether they’re involved in a startup or a small community somewhere where we have Extension services, it just really touches the entire state, and I think that the money that’s gone into the enterprise has been a good return on investment for the taxpayers.

Taylor Pardue (32:25):

Perfect. Mary, thank you so much for your time, and really, again, for all that you do for the university, because I’m sure that is an interesting but an intricate job, and I’m glad that we have someone who is so talented and so knowledgeable on the subject at the helm of that.

Mary Peloquin-Dodd (32:42):

Thank you, Taylor.

Taylor Pardue (32:49):

For more information on NC State’s endowment, please visit go.ncsu.edu/endowment. If you’d like to hear even more stories of Wolfpack success, please subscribe to the NC State Philanthropy Podcast today in the Apple or Google podcast stores, on Spotify or through Stitcher. Be sure to leave a comment and rating as well to let us know how we’re doing. Thanks for listening, and as always, go Pack.