The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation has partnered with the University of Mississippi to launch one of the top scholarship programs in the Southeast at the university.
Valued between $98,000 and $138,000 each, the Stamps Leadership Scholarships at Ole Miss become the most comprehensive, full scholarship packages for in-state and out-of-state students identified for their strong intellect, leadership and service, UM Chancellor Dan Jones announced Tuesday (Oct. 9).
The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, founded by Penelope and E. Roe Stamps IV of Miami, selected UM as its latest partner in offering premier scholarship opportunities to incoming freshmen. Each scholarship package will cover selected students' full cost of attendance along with significant enrichment funding.
The balance of a scholarship award – after need-based aid and other scholarships received are credited to the students' accounts – will be assigned equally to Ole Miss' and the Stamps Foundation's budgets. The package includes a $12,000 stipend for educational activities outside the classroom, including study abroad, research and other enrichment pursuits.
Expected to be strong recruitment incentives, the inaugural five Stamps Leadership Scholarships will be awarded for the 2013-14 academic year, with that number projected to grow to 10 new scholarships annually through private support from alumni and friends, which will be matched by the Stamps Foundation.
"Penny and Roe Stamps are generously providing deserving young people lifelong inheritances by funding these incredible educational opportunities," Jones said. "Their support enhances our tools to recruit exceptional students. We are extremely fortunate to have the University of Mississippi associated with these tremendous scholarships.
"Clearly, Penny and Roe Stamps are interested in improving the world, and we, likewise, are committed to transforming individual lives. Their emphasis on enrichment activities complements our view of how learning is enhanced when students experience the global community."
With affirmation of the partnership, UM is creating the Chancellor's Scholars Program of elite awards, which will include the Stamps Leadership Scholarships as well as its longtime top academic awards of Newman and Carrier scholarships.
Generous philanthropists who have funded scholarships for hundreds of students across the nation, Penelope and E. Roe Stamps IV had no previous affiliations with Ole Miss. The couple began the Stamps Scholars program at their alma maters of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan. Ole Miss was recently invited to present a proposal to the Stamps Foundation after artist William Dunlap of McLean, Va., brought his alma mater to the family's attention.
"Our challenge to each university is the same: We expect you to put together an incredible educational opportunity for some amazing kids," Roe Stamps said. "Each school answers the challenge differently, but the overall results justify our confidence in our partner universities. After the introduction by our good friend Bill Dunlap, Chancellor Jones and his fabulous staff have taken the discussions from there. This will be a great partnership."
Dunlap thanked the Stamps for inviting UM to join the program.
"Penny and Roe Stamps recognize how much their own educational experiences have meant to their lives and express appreciation by helping other to have outstanding experiences," he said. "I'm just so glad they have Ole Miss in their sights."
Among the 28 other institutions that partner with the Stamps Foundation to offer scholarships to the most promising students are the universities of Virginia, Southern California, California at Los Angeles, Texas at Austin, Illinois, Florida and Georgia as well as the College of William and Mary, California Institute of Technology and Purdue University. For the fall 2012 semester, there are 295 Stamps Scholars at 25 different universities.
"We started on an 'ad hoc' basis at Georgia Tech (in 2006)," said Roe Stamps, a venture capitalist with undergraduate and master's degrees in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. "As we got to know our students and followed their progress, we were increasingly impressed with the quality of the scholars and the personal growth they enjoyed. Our experience was similar at Michigan, and, with the programs well-established at both schools, we decided to branch out to a number of other leading U.S. schools."
A signature benefit of the Stamps Leadership Scholarships is support for enrichment activities.
"The four years that students spend as undergraduates are exceedingly important for their development," Stamps said. "There are so many things to learn and so many things to do during those years, many of which are outside the classroom. Our financial assistance enables young men and women to take best advantage of the experience."
Student experiences in UM's Sally McDonnell Honors College, Croft Institute for International Studies, Lott Leadership Institute and other nationally prominent programs were highlighted for the Stamps Foundation, which hosts bi-annual Stamps Scholars National Conventions to create a sense of community among recipients.
"We were excited to see in the proposal how student-centered the educational experience is at Ole Miss," Stamps continued. "While this program will be brand new, it is quite mature in how it will be positioned in Ole Miss's recruiting efforts, as well as how it will use intentional programming to achieve outstanding student development. It is clear that Ole Miss wants not only to create a phenomenal program but is also already considering ways to assess such a program down the road to make it even better."
Interested high school seniors should apply through the Special Programs and Scholarships Application found by clicking on "scholarships" at http://www.olemiss.edu/finaid. This is the same application used for UM's Residential College, Honors College, School of Pharmacy, Croft, Lott Institute, Chinese Flagship Program, Center for Manufacturing Excellence and/or entering freshman scholarships. The deadline is Jan. 15, 2013.
Roe Stamps is a South Florida financier who has enjoyed a remarkable career as a venture capitalist and a co-founder/managing partner of Summit Partners in Boston. He is a member of the Audit Committee of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. In 2004, he was awarded the Outstanding Service Award by the National Venture Capital Association for his work to engage the industry in public policy discourse and to raise awareness of venture capitalism's contributions to the U.S. economy.
Since relocating to South Florida in the early 1990s, Penelope Stamps, a former interior designer, has devoted her time to charitable causes. She is the president of the Stamps Foundation and has served on boards of private elementary and secondary schools, as well as various community and arts organizations in the area. Her philanthropic interests include higher education, animals, and the environment. She holds a degree from the University of Michigan's School of Art & Design.