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A transfer, generally as a gift, of money or property to an institution for a particular purpose. The bestowal of money as a permanent fund, the income of which is to be used for the benefit of a charity, college, or other institution.

A classic example of an endowment is money collected in a fund by a college. The college invests the endowment so that a regular amount of income is earned for the school. Typically, the monies for the endowment are derived from donations by alumni of the college.

Often, an endowment is designed to support a particular activity, such as the construction of a new wing by a hospital. Each donor sets up an endowment fund sufficiently large to earn income to pay the expenses of one room or a different part of the wing, such as a library.

The Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act (7A U.L.A. 233 [West Supp. 1992]), which was first created in 1972 and has since been adopted as law in many states, regulates spending and investment decisions related to such endowments.

The term endowment is also used to describe the act of putting aside the amount of property that a wife is lawfully due to inherit from her spouse. At Common Law, a woman was "endowed at the church door," upon marriage, when she acquired her Dower right—the right to use one-third of her husband's land upon his death for the remainder of her life.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. the creation of a fund, often by gift or bequest from a dead person's estate, for the maintenance of a public institution, particularly a college, university, or scholarship.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

ENDOWMENT. The bestowing or assuring of a dower to a woman. It is sometimes used: metaphorically, for the setting a provision for a charitable institution, as the endowment of a hospital.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
For his part, Dr Abdullah Nasser Al Sadhan said: "We commend the innovative initiatives launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy in collaboration with different economic entities.
The other endowment will fund the digitization of selected pieces of the collection of Fay Jones, including papers, photographs and other documents, currently housed as part of the Special Collections Department at UA.
"Endowments: Stable Largesse or Distortion of the Polity?" Public Administration Review 67(3): 445-457.
Through this project, GAIAE aims to contribute to achieving the financial sustainability of endowment and non-profit bodies and encourage the endowments sector to meet development needs.
Why do colleges have endowments? Why not encourage donations that can be spent over a finite time horizon?
Dubai: The Awqaf and Minor Affairs Foundation (AMAF) has granted a licence to the first endowment foundation in the UAE, it was announced.
He said that the National Prime Minister gave directive to exert more efforts on development of endowments for serving the communities.
FMI's move is part of the Global Endowment Vision, which has been adopted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to revive the endowment as a development tool
Republicans have (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-18/universities-seek-to-defend-endowments-from-republican-tax-plan) expressed concern about the tax-exempt status  of college endowments for several years, arguing the largest ones aren't spending enough on tuition assistance and questioning how the funds are managed.
As in fiscal 2015, the year's long-term return figure fell short of the median 7.4% that most institutions say they need to earn in order to maintain their endowments' purchasing power after spending, inflation and investment management costs, the study said.
A Qatari woman has donated one-third of her wealth as a permanent endowment for various acts of philanthropy.