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Policy 3.12
Policy and Procedures for Naming Opportunities and Endowed Funds

Responsible Official: VP for Development & University Relations
Administering Division/Department: Gifts
Effective Date: November 13, 2014
Last Revision: May 14, 2015

Policy Sections:

Overview

Emory University Board of Trustees and its appropriate committees—through the recommendations of the President’s Cabinet and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR)—establishes the following policy and procedures to govern the creation of named endowed funds and approval for naming of colleges, schools, departments, units, institutes and University-wide centers as well as Physical Space (buildings, facilities and grounds, or portions thereof) owned by the University.

The policy establishes minimum gift levels and general approval guidelines for naming of colleges, schools, departments, units, and University-wide centers and institutes as well as the naming of Physical Space. Emory University Board of Trustees must approve all naming that includes “the naming of any buildings or grounds owned by the University either on or off the campuses of the University” (Emory University bylaws, Article II, Section 3), as outlined in this document.

The policy also establishes the minimum gift levels to be used across all Emory University schools, units, departments, and divisions for the establishment of privately funded endowment funds. Such minimums are important to ensure that the academic unit or program has sufficient funds available to accomplish the purpose of the fund established by the donor.  All named endowment funds, as outlined in this document, shall be approved as outlined in the DAR Policies and Procedures for Gift Agreements.

Any gift that includes the establishment of an endowment or the naming of a Physical Space must include a formal Gift Agreement.  

Policy Details

SECTION 2:  ENDOWMENT DESCRIPTIONS

2.1 General Endowment:

A fund that can be established through gifts from private individuals, corporations, foundations, associations, and other organizations, so long as those gifts meet university guidelines on endowment minimums by type (below) and are accompanied by a signed Gift Agreement. Endowments are invested to allow for the principal to remain intact (nonexpendable) in perpetuity, while a portion of endowment earnings are distributed annually to support the purpose designated by the donor(s) through a formal Gift Agreement with the University. Endowments may be designated to benefit academic or non-academic positions, students, programs, Physical Space (buildings, facilities and grounds, or portions thereof), or specific academic or non-academic departments and units. They are typically named after their donor(s) or a person(s) the donor wishes to honor. Endowments may be established by a one-time gift, a series of gifts, a pledge paid over a period of five years, wills, trusts, gifts of appreciated assets, or by a combination of these. Gifts can be added to an established endowment at any time. In certain instances, which must be outlined in a Gift Agreement, a specific amount of the gift commitment must be received prior to the actual naming of the position, program, building, space, project, or fund. 

2.2 Permanent or True Endowment: 

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) states: "Endowment funds are funds received from a donor with the restriction that the principal not be expendable." These endowments are only subject to modification as may be allowed by law and Emory University regulations. Establishment of any endowed fund requires a minimum gift of $50,000 and will follow financial management policies approved by the Board of Trustees that ensure appropriate prudence in investment of and spending from the Fund in order to comply with the provisions of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act and any subsequent revisions to the Act.  

2.3 Quasi-Endowment: 

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) states: "A quasi-endowment fund is a fund established by the governing board to function like an endowment fund but which may be totally expended at any time at the discretion of the governing board." These may be gift funds that the donor did not specifically direct for use as an endowment or unrestricted funds available to the institution from other sources. The funds are invested in the same manner as a true endowment and have the same payout provisions. Establishment of a quasi-endowment requires minimum funding of $25,000 and the principal can only be partially or totally expended upon approval by Emory’s Board of Trustees.

SECTION 3:  ENDOWMENT FUNDING MINIMUMS BY TYPE

Note: The amounts listed below represent University-wide minimum funds gift levels needed to establish and name the associated fund type. Depending on specific program needs and the donor’s objectives, higher amounts may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome. A Dean or Director may establish higher minimums for their unit, if necessary, with the approval of the Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.  

3.1 Endowed Leadership Position

  • $5 million minimum gift—or more, depending upon the size and scale of the unit—is necessary. 
  • To provide discretionary funds to support the strategic vision of the academic or non-academic unit, as determined by the Dean, Director, or Vice President. 
  • In such cases, the position—not the specific person—is supported by the endowment.

3.2 Endowed Unit Director or Department Chairperson Position: 

  • $1 million minimum gift—or more, depending upon the size and scale of the unit—is necessary. 
  • To provide discretionary funds to support the strategic vision of the unit, as determined by the Unit Director or Department Chairperson.
  • In such cases, the position—not the specific person—is supported by the endowment.

3.3 Endowed Faculty Chair

  • $2 million minimum gift is necessary. 
  • To recruit, retain, and reward superior faculty members.
  • To enhance the faculty member’s scholarly efforts and/or research program. 
  • In such cases, the position and/or specific discipline—not the specific person—is supported by the endowment.

3.4 Endowed Faculty Professorship

  • $1 million minimum gift is necessary.
  • To recruit, retain, and reward outstanding faculty members.
  • To enhance the faculty member’s scholarly efforts and/or research program. 
  • In such cases, the position and/or specific discipline—not the specific person—is supported by the endowment.

3.5 Endowed Visiting Professorship

  • $300,000 minimum gift is necessary. 
  • To support outstanding, visiting faculty members.
  • Intended to rotate to new visiting faculty on a pre-determined time frame.
  • To enhance the faculty member’s scholarly efforts and/or research program. 
  • In such cases, the position and/or specific discipline—not the specific person—is supported by the endowment.

3.6 Endowed Faculty Fellowship

  • $500,000 minimum gift is necessary.
  • For any rank of faculty member.
  • For research and teaching efforts, and for visiting scholars while in residence.
  • In such cases, the position and/or specific discipline—not the specific person—is supported by the endowment.

3.7 Endowed Symposium

  • $500,000 minimum gift is necessary.
  • To be used to cover all or most of the expenses associated with planning and implementing conferences/symposia in specific areas and/or on specific topics.
  • The endowed fund and the Conference/Symposium may carry the name of the donor, or someone of his/her choosing, in recognition of the gift.

3.8 Endowed Lectureship

  • $250,000 minimum gift is necessary. 
  • To be used to cover all or most of the expenses associated with planning and implementing lectures in specific areas and/or on specific topics.
  • The endowed fund and the Lecture or Lecture Series may carry the name of the donor, or someone of his/her choosing, in recognition of the gift.   
  • Can pay administrative costs, publications, advertising, travel, lodging, and honoraria. 

3.9 Endowed Artistic Director Resource Fund

  • $200,000 minimum gift is necessary. 
  • To be used to cover a portion of the expenses required to support the fiscal needs of the artistic director.
  • The endowed fund may carry the name of the donor, or someone of his/her choosing, in recognition of the gift.   
  • Can pay administrative costs, publications, advertising, travel, lodging, and honoraria. 

3.10 Endowed Musician Chair Resource Fund

  • $150,000 minimum gift is necessary.
  • To support outstanding musicians.
  • Intended to support salaries and programmatic funds for musicians, where the position and/or specific discipline – not the specific person – is supported by the endowment.

3.11 Endowed Lecture Fund

  • $50,000 minimum gift is necessary. 
  • To be used to support a portion of the expenses associated with planning and implementing lectures in specific areas and/or on specific topics, but is intended to combine with other donor or internal funds.
  • The endowed fund—but not the Lecture or Lecture Series—may carry the name of the donor, or someone of his/her choosing, in recognition of the gift. 
  • Can pay administrative costs, publications, advertising, travel, lodging, and honoraria.

3.12 Endowed Graduate Fellowship

  • $300,000 minimum gift is necessary.
  • $750,000 minimum gift is necessary for an Honors Graduate Fellowship.
  • To support a student working toward an advanced degree in any of the graduate fields.
  • Academic merit and/or financial need may be a consideration.
  • The donor may suggest other preferential criteria.

3.13 Endowed Concert Series Fund

  • $250,000 minimum gift is necessary.
  • To be used to support a portion of the expenses associated with planning and implementing musical performances. 

3.14 Endowed Scholarship

  • $100,000 minimum gift is necessary. 
  • $750,000 minimum gift is necessary for an Honors Scholarship.
  • To support an undergraduate or graduate student. 
  • Academic merit and/or financial need may be a consideration.
  • The donor may suggest other preferential criteria.

3.15 Endowed Book Fund

  • $50,000 minimum gift is necessary. 
  • To purchase books, library technology, or other materials in a specified field. 
  • May also be used for preservation of books. 
  • May also be used for repair, cataloging, and other expenses of the library.

3.16 Program Support Endowment:

  • $50,000 minimum gift is necessary.
  • To support specific or general programs of Emory or of a particular unit/department.
  • Can support areas such as faculty, staff, students, operations, research, etc.
  • May be at the discretion of a Dean, Director, Unit Director, or Department Chairperson.

3.17 Endowed Laboratory

  • $350,000 minimum gift is necessary, depending on the discipline and size and scope of the program. 
  • To be used for equipment, research, and general laboratory support.

Section 4:  NAMING THROUGH NON-ENDOWED FUNDS

Non-endowed funding commitments can, in certain circumstances, qualify for a naming opportunity. In such cases, it is critical that funding streams be committed to—in writing—for a period of no less than five years and that the annual funding amount is equivalent to the approximate payout of the corresponding established endowment minimum. It is also necessary that the donor and Emory University establish—in writing—that the naming is to last no longer than one year after the end of the fiscal year in which the last payment was received.  

4.1 Non-Endowed Chair:  To establish a term chair without any provision for endowment requires a minimum gift commitment of $500,000, payable at a minimum rate of $100,000 per year for not less than five years.

4.2 Non-Endowed Professorship: To establish a term professorship without any provision for endowment requires a minimum gift commitment of $250,000, payable at a minimum rate of $50,000 per year for not less than five years

4.3 Non-Endowed Lectureship: To establish a term lectureship without any provision for endowment requires a minimum gift commitment of $75,000, payable at a minimum rate of $15,000 per year for not less than five years.

4.4 Non-Endowed Concert Series Fund: To establish a term concert series fund to support musical performances without any provision for endowment requires a minimum gift commitment of $50,000, payable at a minimum rate of $10,000 per year for not less than five years.

4.5 Non-Endowed Artistic Director Resource Fund: To establish a term artistic director resource fund without any provision for endowment requires a minimum gift commitment of $50,000, payable at a minimum rate of $10,000 per year for not less than five years.

4.6 Non-Endowed Musician Chair Resource Fund: To establish a term fund to support musicians without any provision for endowment requires a minimum gift commitment of $35,000, payable at a minimum rate of $7,000 per year for not less than five years.

4.7 Non-Endowed Scholarship: To establish a term scholarship without any provision for endowment requires a minimum gift commitment of $10,000, payable at a minimum rate of $2,500 per year for not less than four years.

Section 5:  OTHER NAMED FUNDS

The endowed funds and other funding requirements described above are listed because of their broad appeal to the donors of most colleges, schools, departments, and other units of the University. A variety of other purposes require funding and offer numerous gift opportunities. Each college, school or department can establish named funds to support the particular activities of its programs so long as the endowment funding minimums stated above are observed. 

Section 6: NAMING OF COLLEGES, SCHOOLS, DEPARTMENTS, UNITS, AND UNIVERSITY-WIDE CENTERS AND INSTITUTES

Upon the recommendation of the President, the Board of Trustees will have final approval in any decision to name a college, school, department, unit, and University-wide center and institute. In considering the naming of one of these important, socially valuable areas, it is critical that Emory proceed with extreme sensitivity considering a number of factors in addition to the level of gift. Therefore, in consideration of such naming the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • If naming is in recognition of a gift, the scale, nature, and designated use of the gift must enable transformational change to occur in the unit. This criterion implies that the gift will allow the unit to undertake a well-defined series of strategic program improvements that will significantly strengthen its competitiveness materially.  Ideally, these improvements will elevate the unit within a distinguished group of national peers, consisting of the top programs among all national universities.
  • Any particular proposal for naming is clearly and broadly supported as being consonant with the reputation and aspirations of the unit. Critical voices, of course, include the dean, director, or unit head, the faculty leadership, the alumni leadership of the unit, the administrative leadership of the University, and Emory’s Board of Trustees.
  • The present value of any proposed gift should be used as the basis for testing the potential for material improvement through a well-defined program.
  • The background, character, reputation, and other qualities of the person for whom the unit is to be named are consistent with the reputation of Emory University.
  • Naming is already a well-accepted practice among the leaders nationally in the domain of the unit under consideration. Or, instead, naming is so obviously compatible with the mission of the unit that Emory can be comfortable in taking the lead in setting a new pattern.

To aid in determining the appropriate funding level required for naming, the following minimum funding is required: 

  • College, School or Unit, or Institute: $25 million minimum gift commitment—or more, depending upon the size and scale of the unit—is suggested. 
  • Department: $10 million minimum gift commitment—or more, depending upon the department's size and scope of programs. 
  • University-Wide Center or Institute: $10 million minimum gift commitment—or more, depending on the disciplines involved and the size and scope of the programs.
  • Unit-Based Center or Program: $5 million minimum gift commitment—or more, depending upon the center’s size and scope of program—is suggested to name a center or program that is wholly within a college, school, or department.

SECTION 7: NAMING OF PHYSICAL SPACE (BUILDINGS, FACILITIES AND GROUNDS, OR PORTIONS THEREOF)

The Board of Trustees, through recommendations from the Real Estate Building and Grounds Committee, will have final approval on “naming of any buildings or grounds owned by the University either on or off the campuses of the University” (in accordance with Article II, Section 

3 of the University Bylaws). New naming opportunities for interior spaces (such as rooms and furnishings) will remain under the authority of the individual school or division, in consultation with the Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. In consideration of such naming, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Generally, when the naming opportunity concerns a new building or renovation of an existing building, a donor will be required to provide a gift supporting a substantial portion of the funds needed to complete the project.  Appropriate naming opportunities and naming gift thresholds will be established and documented in a funding plan for each project, and will involve the appropriate dean/director, the Senior Vice President for DAR, and the President’s Cabinet.  
  • If donated funds are for new construction or renovation/refurbishment, they will be directed to the actual cost. If, however, the donated funds are to establish naming for an existing building or space, their specific designation will be determined by the dean/director in consultation with any other appropriate department leadership. These funds will typically support the unit or department supported by the building or space. 
  • Naming of a building or an area requires a completed Gift Agreement and full receipt of cash or assets that can be converted to cash immediately. Buildings will not be named in honor of a donor in return for an estate commitment. 

 SECTION 8:  PROCEDURES FOR SEEKING APPROVAL FOR NAMING

The approval processes outlined below are to be followed based on the type of naming opportunity being proposed. A prospective donor should not be approached about the naming opportunity until initial internal approval is received. Therefore, there needs to be careful planning in advance of any solicitation involving naming to ensure a smooth process with the donor. 

To initiate the naming approval process, Deans/Directors are required to work through their respective Chief Development Officer to review the naming proposal with the appropriate Vice President for Development (Health Sciences, Academic Programs, or Development Programs). After initial review and discussion, the Vice President for Development will forward the recommendation to the Senior Vice President for DAR.  Upon the approval, the Senior Vice President for DAR will forward the request for discussion and consideration depending on the type of naming, as indicated below:  

8.1 For Naming of Colleges, Schools, Departments, Units, and University-wide Centers and Institutes, the Board of Trustees is the final authority for review and approval. Therefore, if the Senior Vice President for DAR approves the recommendation, it is then forwarded to the President’s Cabinet for review and discussion. If the President’s Cabinet approves the recommendation, it is then brought to the Board of Trustees, first through the EDCC Committee, for final review and approval. The Dean/Director is then notified and, if approved, may begin or finalize gift negotiations with the prospective donor. If the request is denied, the Dean/Director will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of any modifications that can be made to obtain approval.

8.2 For Naming of Physical Space (Buildings, Facilities and Grounds, or Portions Thereof), the Board of Trustees (BOT), upon recommendation of the Real Estate, Buildings, and Grounds Committee, is the final authority for review and approval (in accordance with Article II, Section 3 of the University Bylaws). Prior to final approval by the BOT, there are several iterative approvals that must be received.  The Senior Vice President for DAR initiates review and must approve the recommendation before bringing it to the President’s Cabinet for review and approval. If approved by the President’s Cabinet, the Senior Vice President for DAR submits the recommendation to the Emory Development and Communications Committee (EDCC) of the BOT to review and approve the gift amount and name.  If approved by the EDCC, the recommendation is then submitted to the Naming and Inscriptions Subcommittee (NIS) to approve signage before submission to the Real Estate, Buildings, and Grounds Committee (REBG) for final review and approval.  Once final approval is granted by the BOT, the Dean/Director is then notified to begin or finalize gift negotiations with the prospective donor. If the request for naming is denied by any of the above parties, the Dean/Director will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of any modifications that can be made to obtain approval. 

8.3 For Naming of Interior Space in a New or Existing Building, the Senior Vice President for DAR and the Dean/Director of the appropriate unit (if applicable) is the final authority for review and approval.  This is the case when requesting approval for individual naming opportunities and approval for a full “menu” of naming opportunities for a focused fundraising effort. 

8.4 For Named Endowed and Non-Endowed Funds, the process for approaching a donor for a named endowed or non-endowed fund—as long as the proposed outright gift or pledge adheres to the minimum funding requirements outlined earlier—does not require internal approval prior to solicitation. A signed Gift Agreement is required for all named funds, and all steps outlined in the DAR Gift Agreement Policy and Procedures must be followed. If unique circumstances arise in the negotiation process, exceptions and modifications must be submitted to and approved by the appropriate Vice President for Development (Health Sciences, Academic Programs, or Development Programs) who may seek further approval from the Senior Vice President for DAR, the Executive Vice Presidents (Health Sciences or Academic Affairs) and/or the President’s Cabinet. 

SECTION 9:  PERMANENCE OF NAMING

The naming of Physical Space (buildings, facilities and grounds, or portions thereof) is intended to be in place for the life of the specific Physical Space.  If, in the determination of the Board of Trustees, circumstances change so that the purpose for which the Physical Space was established is significantly altered or if the Physical Space is no longer needed or habitable, the Board of Trustees, in consultation with appropriate academic and/or administrative leadership and the donor(s), if possible, will determine an appropriate way to recognize the donor’s naming gift in perpetuity. If the University and the donor(s) previously established a Gift Agreement or contract that provides a practicable course of action, then that action shall be followed.

SECTION 10: REMOVAL OF A NAME

University naming opportunities shall bear only the name of individuals or entities that exemplify the attributes of integrity, character and leadership consistent with the highest values of Emory University.  If, in the sole determination of the Board of Trustees, those attributes are not maintained, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to remove the donor's/honoree's name from a Physical Space, College, School, Department, or Unit at any time.  

SECTION 11:  EXCEPTIONS

The Board of Trustees and the President of the University or his Cabinet-level designee(s) shall have the latitude to approve the establishment of named funds in amounts less than those stated above, or to determine minimum levels for naming of positions, programs, or facilities not outlined in this document.  For instance, if a donor provides a gift for a building that is already funded through other means or already constructed, lower minimum gifts might be appropriate.  

SECTION 12:  Miscellaneous

12.1 Naming Rights:  Following the authority given in the above policy and procedures document, the Board of Trustees and the President retain the right to approve or disapprove any naming opportunity in serving the best interests of Emory University.

12.2 Naming Consideration for a Pledge: If a naming will be the result of a total gift pledged to be paid over a period of years, the timing of the official naming must be clearly articulated in a formal Gift Agreement. Two options are: 1) In most cases, naming will go into effect only after the pledge is fulfilled and the required total amount has been received by Emory; or 2) In some cases and subject to approval by the Senior Vice President for DAR, naming will go into effect immediately with a clear and documented understanding that the naming will be altered or removed if the full pledge is not paid in a mutually agreed upon timeframe.

If the pledge is not fulfilled, but the naming has been authorized by the Board of Trustees, then this change must be reported to the Board of Trustees—through the appropriate committee—so that it can be reflected in the official minutes. If only partial funding is received that is less than the required naming threshold, yet sufficient for an alternative naming opportunity, the above procedures will govern any renegotiation. 

12.3 Naming Consideration for a Deferred Gift (e.g. bequest, charitable trust, charitable gift annuity, retirement fund provision): Notwithstanding the exceptions below, deferred gifts qualify for a naming opportunity only when the gift funds are realized. Any exceptions to this policy must be reviewed by the appropriate Vice President for Development, with all final decisions being made at the discretion of the Senior Vice President for DAR. 

All factors to be considered when exercising such discretion include, but are not limited to, the amount of the gift, type of gift, donor giving history, age of donor, and the type of naming opportunity. 

Details for consideration must be outlined in a signed Gift Agreement and should include language clearly stating parameters around which the future decision will be made, based on the realized value of the gift and the established endowment thresholds at that time.  

Depending on the specific circumstances and at the discretion of the appropriate Vice President and Senior Vice President for DAR, a decision might be made to allow for future naming to be made based on current endowment thresholds, so long as the current value and projected value of the realized gift is sufficient to support the intended program in the future.  

Naming will not be considered for programs requiring current funding, such as building projects, but may be considered for existing physical space.  

12.4 Naming Consideration for Honorary, Memorial, or Recognition Purposes: If the naming to be considered is in honor or recognition, but does not carry with it a gift or a significant enough gift to meet Naming Policy thresholds, the request should be forwarded to the Senior Vice President for DAR (if any gift is involved) or the appropriate Executive Vice President (Health Sciences or Academic Affairs) and, upon their approval, to the President’s Cabinet.  Naming considerations in memorial of an individual follow the same approval process as an honor naming, but require a moratorium period of five years before submitting the request. Depending on the details of the naming request, the President’s Cabinet will make the final decision or determine if additional approval is needed through the Board of Trustees.  

Related Links

Contact Information

SubjectContactPhoneEmail
Clarification of Policy  Ben Tompkins  404-727-8073  btompki@emory.edu 
Clarification of Policy  Lisa Tillman  404-727-5933  latillm@emory.edu 

Revision History