Temple University's endowment topped $500 million for the first time as of Oct. 31, university officials announced Tuesday.

The university credited the growth to increased donations and better investment strategies.

"Our stakeholders have shown confidence in Temple and have helped push our endowment past the half-billion-dollar level, which is a great achievement," said Ken Kaiser, Temple vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer. "It also demonstrates that our financial management strategies are sound."

The university invests about 4.5 percent, or $18.5 million, of its endowment return every year toward scholarships, endowed chairs, and other initiatives.

"We are grateful to our donors, whose support is not only inspiring but also making a lasting impact," president Richard M. Englert said.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the university said, it doubled fund-raising for endowed scholarships to $15.6 million.

The university also diversified its assets and transferred $10 million a month in short-term bond funds and operating cash into the endowment over a 15-month period, officials said.