BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech’s endowment recently surpassed $1 billion. University leaders tell The Roanoke Times that benchmark figure brings a mark of financial stability and prestige. Virginia Tech Foundation CEO John Dooley credited the generosity of donors for reaching the milestone. A thriving stock market also helped. In fiscal year 2016-17, the newspaper reports the foundation paid nearly $35 million in endowment funds for various programs to support the university in Blacksburg. According to a Chronicle of Higher Education database produced earlier this year, Virginia Tech is now the fifth university in Virginia with an endowment of more than $1 billion. The others are the University of Virginia, the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University and Washington and Lee University, according to the database.