In the 1970’s, UPS began a remarkable program to support independent higher education by making a series of gifts of preferred stock and cash totaling $4.2 million to create an endowment for the Independent College Funds of America (later the Foundation for Independent Higher Education). By donor designation, the endowment and its grants are dedicated to support the work of state-based associations that coordinate collaborative programs and fundraising to benefit member private colleges and universities.
Early in 1980, the preferred stock held in the fund was converted into UPS common stock, which was subsequently repurchased by the company, with the funds creating a general endowment then managed by the Investment Committee of the FIHE Board and now by the CIC Board. A $4.2 million investment by UPS has become a fund with a recent market value of over $38 million and has generated an additional $50 million in grants to State Fund Members to support their Member Colleges and students through the UPS Scholarship Program.
In addition to the UPS Scholarship Program, the CIC-FIHE Endowment has provided National Venture Fund grants for innovative, collaborative projects and First Opportunity Partners Fund grants to enhance access and success at private colleges for students from low-income, first generation, or minority families. Through these grant programs dedicated to supporting the work of the State Funds, the CIC-FIHE Endowment has had–and will continue to have–a determinative impact on the advancement of the independent college sector nationwide.