September 21, 2012

U-M School of Art and Design Receives Unprecedented Gift

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan School of Art & Design is pleased to announce, that in recognition of the ongoing and continuing support of donors Penny and E. Roe Stamps, the school will be renamed the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design.

The Stamps’ total commitment to the School—where Penny Stamps is an alumna (BS, Design ’66) —is 40 million USD, 32.5 million USD from the Stamps family foundations, and a 7.5 million USD match from the university. The transformative support makes the Stamps the most generous donors in the School of Art and Design’s history and among the most charitable benefactors to an art and design school in the United States.

The Stamps funding addresses an urgent need for universities to be affordable while fostering creativity and global citizenship in college students. The funding further adds to the Stamps’ support for programs and facilities on campus while adding Stamps Creative Work Scholarships to provide merit scholarships for a significant number of art-and-design students, allowing the school to attract and retain the best students.

Penny and her husband, Roe Stamps, have been involved with this school philanthropically since 1998, providing initial funding for a then-fledgling lecture series. Subsequently Penny Stamps became involved with the school strategically, as chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, providing key financial support as the school sought to re-envision art/design education in the 21st century.

“It has been very rewarding for us to be a part of A&D’s growth and development during these past 15 years,” said Penny Stamps. “We are enormously proud of the programs we support and want to ensure that they continue to benefit students for generations.”

During the last ten years, under the leadership of Dean Bryan Rogers, (who stepped down on July 1) the school has been engaged in an ongoing effort to rethink and restructure as an educational institution; to ensure that the work of creative makers is positioned not outside of but within the intellectual fabric of university life; and to create a post-disciplinary art/design education that is responsive and relevant within a national and global context.

“This is a radical vote of confidence for the current direction of the school and the progress it has made in reinventing art/design education within a university context,” says current Dean Gunalan Nadarajan, who replaced Bryan Rogers in July 2012.

The Stamps, who reside in Miami, Fla., are committed to continuing to play an integral role in the School of Art and Design’s ongoing transformation.

At the School of Art and Design, the Stamps will continue to fund programs that bring renowned creative thinkers to campus, including The Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series, a world-class lecture.

Stamps’ funding has also increased the visibility and reach of art/design work within the university culture through Work•Ann Arbor, a gallery space near central campus that provides undergraduate students with greater exhibition opportunities.

In addition to their exceptional support for the School of Art and Design, the Stamps will continue to contribute generously to a university-wide Stamps Scholars Program that supports approximately 72 students per year in the university’s undergraduate schools, making it one of the largest of its kind at the University of Michigan and the most selective.

The gift coincides with U-M’s recent efforts to recognize the vital role of the arts within the university. In the past eight years, the university has committed 84 million USD to the arts.

The gift and the naming of the school mark a point of arrival. We will need the best creative minds to solve the global problems of today and tomorrow. The Stamps School at the University of Michigan is in the unique position to provide students with the education they need to meet these challenges.

For more details on the Stamps’ gift, click here.

Watch videos from the Penny Stamps Speaker Series here.

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