Light & Verity

Campus clips

The endowment, online learning, big names on campus.

The university's endowment posted a return of 4.5 percent for the year ending June 30. That's significantly less than the double-digit gains of recent years, but the S&P 500 stock index fell by 13.1 percent over the same period. The endowment was worth $22.9 billion at the end of the fiscal year.


Open Yale Courses, the initiative that makes a full semester of lectures from Yale courses available for free online, recently added eight new offerings. The additions include courses by economist Robert Shiller and classical historian Donald Kagan. The lectures can be found at


How does Yale measure up? Depends on who you ask. The university ranked second (behind Harvard) in the annual ranking of world universities by Times Higher Education magazine. U.S. News and World Report slotted Yale third (behind Harvard and Princeton) among American universities. And the university got a B-plus on the Sustainable Endowment Institute's College Sustainability Report Card. (An F in endowment transparency brought its average down.)


Some 1,500 audiotapes from Osama bin Laden's former compound in Afghanistan are now being preserved and digitized at the Yale library. Spanning a period from 1988 to 2000, the tapes include conversations, speeches, and sermons by bin Laden and his associates. They were found after al Qaeda fled Afghanistan in 2001.


Former president Bill Clinton '73JD was just one of the prominent visitors to the university this fall. Clinton gave a speech in Woolsey Hall while on campus for his 35th law school reunion. Former British prime minister Tony Blair kicked off his teaching career at Yale on September 19, then appeared in Woolsey for a conversation with Yale president Richard Levin. And former U.S. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor received an honorary degree from the university's Berkeley Divinity School on October 16.


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