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Southwestern has selected a new firm to handle the bulk of its nearly $285 million endowment.

The Board of Trustees Investment Committee selected Commonfund, a Connecticut-based firm that specializes in managing college and university endowments, after considering proposals from companies across the country. The Investment Committee was formed last year to help maximize the potential of Southwestern’s endowment.

Commonfund was founded in 1971 to help colleges and other nonprofit institutions improve their financial resources. It currently is the largest nonprofit investment manager in the country, with more than 1,800 clients and $40 billion in assets under management in a broad range of highly diversified investment strategies suitable for endowments.

“The Commonfund is one of the most effective endowment managers in the country,” said Richard Anderson, vice president for fiscal affairs at Southwestern. “Our investment portfolio has now been separated into a broad range of diversified investment vehicles similar to the asset allocation of the best performing college endowments. These investments include stocks, bonds, alternatives, and other asset classes.”

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Rita Nakashima Brock, co-director of Faith Voices for the Common Good and a Visiting Scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif., will deliver the Fleming Lecture in Religion on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. in the Mood-Bridwell Atrium.

Brock is a leading feminist theologian and writes on ethics for Politics and on the lectionary for Disciples World.  She taught for over two decades at several colleges and universities and, from 1997-2001, directed the Radcliffe Fellowship Program at Harvard University. Her latest books include Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us and Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, both co-authored with Rebecca Parker.

For more information on the lecture, contact Laura Hobgood-Oster at


Tibetan writer and filmmaker Dorje Tsering Chenaktsang, commonly known as Jangbu, will speak at Southwestern University Oct. 6-7 as part of a month-long festival highlighting the art and culture of Tibet.

On Monday, Oct. 6, Jangbu will give a talk titled “An Overview on the Development of Modern Tibetan Literature.” The talk will begin at 7 p.m. in Olin 110 (building 10 on the campus map at

On Tuesday, Oct, 7, Jangbu’s latest documentary will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The documentary, titled “Kokonor,” is about the impact of tourism on a small Tibetan community on Lake Qinghai (in the People’s Republic of China).“Jangbu is one of Tibet’s most innovative modern writers, and one of Tibet’s first filmmakers,” said Patricia Schiaffini, a Chinese professor at Southwestern whose research focuses on Tibet.

In addition to writing scripts for world-acclaimed movies about Tibet, Jangbu also is a well-known poet.In conjunction with Jangbu’s visit, Southwestern will host an exhibit of pictures of China and Tibet by Austin-based artist Rama Tiru. The exhibit will be on display throughout October in the Walzel Lobby outside the Alma Thomas Theater.

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Media Coverage

The Austin Business Journal ran a story about Southwestern’s new investment fund manager. Read the story at