Education: The Affluent Miniversity

At a time when most private colleges are struggling to find the funds just to keep alive, Connecticut's Wesleyan University has a most unusual problem: it has more money than it can spend—and thus has the cash to experiment with projects that can make it a better place to teach and learn.

The relative affluence of Wesleyan, a Methodist-founded, all-male university with only 1,240 undergraduates and four Ph.D. programs, stems from the shrewd investment practices of its recent trustees. In 1953, they took an endowment of $18.2 million and have since built it...

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