University System of Maryland Foundation

Endowment Value: $1.436 billion (June 2019)

The University System of Maryland (USM) is Maryland’s public higher education system. USM is made up of 12 institutions and two regional higher education centers. The University System of Maryland Foundation manages USM's endowment.

University System of Maryland (USM) students have been driving change at the USM Foundation for several years. In 2013, students circulated a petition to divest from fossil fuels with nearly 600 signatures from students at Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and other colleges. In response, in 2014, along with the United Nations, the USM Foundation was a seed investor in the iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF. The ETF tracks the results of the MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index and addresses two dimensions of carbon exposure – carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves. The fund was designed for individuals and institutions interested in socially-responsible alternatives to fossil fuel divestment. On January 29th, 2015, a member of the USM Foundation investment team rang the NYSE's closing bell to officially usher in the new fund’s ticker onto the exchange.

After significant pressure from student organizers, the USM Foundation stated in June 2016 that it would stop investing directly in coal, oil, and natural gas companies.

The University System of Maryland is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments: 

Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News

USM Foundation Statement on Socially Responsible Investing

University System of Maryland to direct its endowment away from fossil fuels (June 2016)

Maryland Endowment Plans to Cut Worst-Performing Hedge Funds (July 2016)

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