- Alumni from the University of Virginia have built a multimillion-dollar trust fund to support the institution's vision for access and excellence through its Jefferson Trust, a privately-managed fund in which donors decide how funds are spent.
- Managed by 55 trustees who are graduates and parents of UVA students and whom have contributed $100,000 or more, the fund supports innovations and projects which are not supported by direct institutional investments or state appropriations.
- The school has funded more than 140 projects with $5.5 million in support since its founding in 2005.
Many large state and elite institutions are turning to more strategic investment funds to support revenue bearing opportunities for themselves. There has been a definitive shift from simply asking for donations to taking donations and turning them into venture capital dollars which yield returns for institutions and for student support.
This, seemingly, is the next phase of survival for higher education: that research and professional training are done not to prepare graduates simply for workforce entry at large, but to create new industries and to enter jobs created by university stakeholders. This approach seeks to grow the economy from the inside out, instead of economy dictating the role of higher education from the outside in.