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June 7, 2004

Stamps gift enhances experience for art and design students

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A $5 million gift from The Michigan Difference campaign co-chair Penny Stamps and her husband, E. Roe Stamps IV, exemplifies how alumni giving can provide momentous impact upon the programs from which they graduated, says School of Art & Design (A&D) Dean Bryan Rogers.

Penny Stamps, a 1966 A&D graduate who lives in Miami, has committed $4.5 million for various initiatives at the school and has given the other $500,000 to athletics to name the student commons.

"If one considers two central aspects of our context—first, A&D is a small, emerging unit at the University and second, external funding for the arts is extremely hard to come by—a gift of the magnitude of the Stamps' enables us to make a quantum leap, indeed to emerge," Rogers said. "We are so privileged to have this opportunity."

Stamps and her husband hope other alumni will follow their lead and give to their favorite programs.

"We are proud to be a part of the success of the Michigan Difference campaign," Stamps said. "We want to help President (Mary Sue) Coleman achieve her goals for the University, and we want to express our confidence in the vision that Dean Bryan Rogers has for the School of Art & Design."

Stamps, who also serves on the A&D Dean's Advisory Council, has established four priorities for the couple's gift to the school, including:

· Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Visitors Program, which brings artists and scholars from around the world to the school each week during the academic year. The guests give lectures or performances at the Michigan Theater for students and the local community. One past visitor was Nobel laureate JM Coetzee.

· Work on State Street, a storefront gallery that presents student creative work to the campus and local communities, giving them an experience in connecting beyond the classroom. The gift from Stamps was key in establishing and operating a venue that Rogers notes would have been impossible without their vision and support.

· Roman J. Witt Visiting Professorships, named for Penny Stamps' father, which brings visiting professionals to the school for residencies ranging from one week to two years ensuring a regular infusion of fresh ideas.

· Stamps Scholars, an undergraduate scholarship program that started two years ago and currently supports five undergraduate students who are receiving $10,000 in each of four years.

"The most exciting part of the gift has been the creation of new initiatives in the School of Art & Design that would not have been possible via University funds," Stamps said. "The Visiting Lecture series and the Work Gallery are enriching the students and faculty experience in art on both (the Central and North) campuses."

The naming gift for athletics is for the Student Commons , part of the Athletic Department's new Academic Center, which is scheduled to open in 2006. The commons will be an integral area prominently positioned on the main floor of the building and will be a central gathering point for all Michigan student-athletes and other undergraduate and graduate students.

"This University, the Athletic Department and especially our students have found true friends in Penny and Roe Stamps," said Bill Martin, The Donald R. Shepherd Director of Intercollegiate Activities. "Their ($500,000) gift to the Academic Center Student Commons creates a haven of study and camaraderie for more than 700 student-athletes and others, and we are all grateful and appreciative of this extraordinary gift."

The Michigan Difference campaign goal is $2.5 billion, of which nearly $1.3 billion has been raised.

For more on the School of Art & Design, visit: http://art-design.umich.edu/flash.html

Related links:

The Michigan Difference: http://www.giving.umich.edu/

 

Contact: Betty Smith
Phone: (734) 936-1950
E-mail: bmshawk@umich.edu