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Endowments make an impact forever

​​​Donors who establish an endowment, or give to an existing one, make a difference at Marshfield Clinic in a very special way; their gifts support the Clinic's mission forever. 

Marshfield Clinic currently holds 23 different endowments supporting a wide range of activities. 

What is an endowment? An endowment is a fund that is not intended to be spent in a single year, but rather to provide annual support in perpetuity. In other words, endowments are started with the intention of providing yearly support to an area of the Clinic's mission forever. Endowments have a lasting impact on the Clinic's work each and every year. 

How much is the annual support? Currently, Marshfield Clinic annually utilizes up to 4 percent of a specific endowment's balance. To compensate for market fluctuations and ensure that endowments continue to grow, the Clinic utilizes a three-year average balance when calculating the yearly spendable amount. For example, an endowment with a three-year average balance of $1 million will provide $40,000 per year to a Clinic program.

What do endowments support? Endowments support all areas of the Clinic's mission: research, education and patient care.  The majority of endowments at Marshfield Clinic support medical research at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.

Research endowments generally fall into one of three categories:

  • Endowed Chairs provide support to specific leadership positions at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI). The Dr. James Weber Endowed Chair in Human Genetics is an example of an endowed chair, currently held by Murray Brilliant, Ph.D., director of the Center for Human Genetics. The yearly spendable amount from this endowed chair is utilized by Dr. Brilliant for his research in genetics.
  • Distinguished Physician/Scientist Endowments provide support to a specific area of research rather than a specific person or position. The Celine Seubert Distinguished Physician/Scientist Endowment in Cardiology Research, currently held by Dr. Shereif Rezkalla, will continue to support a physician or scientist with an interest in cardiology research.
  • Program Endowments provide regular and much-needed support to ongoing initiatives.  The William P. Cherek Summer Student Research Internship Program Endowment is an example of a program endowment which supports MCRI's summer research internship program.
William Cherek and Dana Moran, a previous summer student intern. William Cherek and Dana Moran, a previous summer student intern.

How are endowments making an impact at Marshfield Clinic?

This question is best answered with an example.  Each summer since 1974, MCRI​​ has hosted students in a unique learning opportunity.  Working with a mentor, students spend 12 weeks planning and implementing a research project, and then present their findings at the end of the program.  This program is funded entirely with donated funds.  The annual support from the William P. Cherek Endowment provides a level of annual funding which covers the costs of two students for the entire summer. 

As a result of this endowment funding, the program was able to expand in 2013 from 8 to 10 students. The impact of this expansion cannot be easily measured.  Will these students' experiences lead them to a career in medical research and if so, what will they discover?  Will they find a cure for cancer? Time will tell.

How are endowments started?  Endowments are started by special people with a vision for a brighter future and the desire to make a gift they know will make an impact for generations to come. Friends of Marshfield Clinic interested in learning more about establishing or supporting endowments may contact the Development Department at 1-800-858-5220 or visit