Yale Endowment Chief Charity Lunches Auctioned Off for $25,700

  • David Swensen raises money for school's athletic department
  • Auction comes night before Yale hosts Harvard in football

Online charity bidding reached $25,700 for two lunches with David Swensen, the longtime investment chief of Yale University’s endowment fund -- one of the best-performing in the Ivy League.

A lunch for four people in New Haven, Connecticut, raised $13,700, and a second lunch for four in New York had a winning bid of $12,000. The auction at Bidding For Good’s website ended at 10:15 p.m. New York time on Friday.

Proceeds benefit the Yale athletic department, which is honoring six alumni Friday night, including Swensen, who earned a Ph.D. from the school in 1980. The auction coincided with the Blue Leadership Ball, in the Payne Whitney gym on the New Haven campus, which takes place the night before Yale hosts rival Harvard University in football.

Yale’s $25.6 billion endowment trumped Harvard in annual performance for the fiscal year ended June 30. Yale posted an 11.5 percent investment return while Harvard, with a value of $37.6 billion, gained 5.8 percent.

Swensen, who has worked for the fund since 1985, didn’t respond to requests to comment.

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