A gain of $4.5 billion dollars in just the last fiscal year (which ended in June) puts the New Haven-based Ivy League university called Yale tops in growth among schools with endowments over one billion bucks. In 1985, the school's endowment was a mere $1.3 billion. How do they do it? Probably really risky investments in private equity firms and hedge funds! Enjoy it while you can. With this growth, Yale would pay more into the $2 billion operating budget than its current rate of 5.25% of the endowment, but it limits the funds paid out to the school to "withstand lean years." Lean years which will surely never, ever arrive.... or have already!