The University's endowment regained in fiscal year 2010 more than 50 percent of the value it lost in fiscal year 2009, according to the recently released year-end report by the University of Virginia Investment Management Company. During the 2010 fiscal year, the endowment - which serves as the source of sustainable private support for instruction, service and research - gained $597 million back from the $1.1 billion it lost during the previous fiscal year, according to an e-mail from Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. In the context of the wider U.S. markets, the endowment seems to have performed particularly well. It has, for instance, generated a 15.1 percent annual return for the fiscal year, which was slightly greater than the 14.4 percent return earned by the S&P 500 during the same period, according to an e-mail from University spokesperson Carol Wood. "Over the past three fiscal years, UVIMCO'S pool has recorded a loss of 1.2 percent versus the 9.8 percent loss generated by the S&P 500," Sandridge said. "Those are good results for the University." Because funds from the endowment are allocated to the budget, this relatively strong performance will have some effect on University finances this year. "If you apply the current board spending policy results in an annual endowment distribution for fiscal year 2010-11 of 5.3 percent of the June 30, 2010 market value of the Pooled Endowment Fund, the endowment distribution will total $143.9 million," Wood said. "Any excess remains in the endowment where it continues to appreciate." Wood said she attributes the success of the endowment to strong performance in equities, resources and credit. "The UVIMCO staff has been both smart and diligent in addressing the losses incurred during the economic downturn," Sandridge said.