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Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

University of Michigan art school gets new name in honor of $32.5M donation

By Kellie Woodhouse

University of Michigan's School of Art & Design received a $32.5 million gift from a private donor, officials announced Thursday.


Penny and E. Roe Stamps

Courtesy of the University of Michigan

The gift was matched by a $7.5 million allotment from the university, giving the art school $40 million in new funds.

The donation was given by Penny and E. Roe Stamps, and the art school will be renamed the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design in their honor. The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the change Thursday.

Penny Stamps, a 1966 U-M art and design school grad, and her husband have already established scholarship and visitor programs and an art gallery at the school. They live in Miami, Fla.

The university said the couple is among the largest donors to any art and design school in the nation.

Former U-M art school dean Bryan Rogers, who retired in May after 12 years as dean, said the gift was a "very unlikely thing to do in today's world."

"Money for the arts, in particularly the visual arts, is very hard to come by," he said.

Read more about how the gift will transform the School of Art & Design.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


John Tucker

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

My step-father Gerry Kamrowski taught at the Art School for over 40 years, Penny Stamps probably had classes with Gerry. I watched the Art School struggle for funding all those years and it is so wonderful that the Stamps have done this. Gerry always said that the only thing a society leaves behind is their art.

Dr. Fate

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

This kind of sounds like a meme poster to me: $32.5 million donated. School gets named "Penny Stamps."


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

finally getting some of are bailout money back.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

make that our sorry


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

AMAZING gift! Thank you to the Stamps for supporting the future of the arts!


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 11:48 a.m.

I think having the instinct and ability to donate this much money to donate and following through on that instinct to donate to the arts should be celebrated. Maybe that is her contribution to the art world instead of a painting. She should be remembered.

Nick Danger

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

Thank you thank you thank you


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:47 a.m.

so are broke now?? barely.... they give expensice gift...

Peter Baker

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:37 a.m.

Well that's amazing. Thank you to the Stamps.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 4:19 a.m.

Well, I for one think that $32.5 million could be put to better use in this economy than art and design. And the UM is not hurting for money as a lot of individuals are. The visual arts are a luxury, and not a necessity like food, shelter and health care.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

Art and Architecture is part of the heart and soul of a country. Think of the treasures remaining from the Persian, Greek and Roman Empires, the incredible pottery and masks from African countries, Chinese painting and pottery. Art is an important human expression. to Candy, be assured that there are charities at work all over to help the poor. But Architects also contribute to the economy, buildings are built, workers are employed.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

The Schcool of Art and Design is a wide and deep subject, and you are obviously shallow. Students go on to careers that often involve community projects in improving the environment of urban housing, solutions for improving the quality of life, and designing green structures that use less energy. A nation without creativity and ingenuity being rewarded is not a country I would want to live in.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:43 a.m.

stop its all good in Ann Arbor, everone has 32.5 million to spear on junk art. how spending on qualty of life , u of M can use that money to help fight the highest campus crime rate in the country.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:46 p.m.

Unbelievable. This couple chooses to donate this to the U. of M. rather than another place and people are questioning the naming of the facility? Is all the money from heirs named Kellogg, Upjohn, etc. necessarily from the people who did something spectacular? Each of us is special in our own right. I realize that most of us don't have that type of money to donate, but people who make such wonderful gifts typically gain naming rights. Please don't belittle that gift to the U. of M.? Would you rather they gave it to another university or art museum?


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.

he should of just have the money too one lucky panhandler down town, that would of made more a diffrence and inpact the wasting on U ofM /what are they reall going to do with the money?


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Why don't our public school systems sell naming rights to schools as a fund raiser?


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

You would be ok with sending your kid to Pepsi Cola Elementary?

Mr. Me

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 2:35 a.m.

Because nobody wants their names on our public school systems.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

If these donors really had class, they would insist the school be named after a distinguished professor or alumnus/a. Not themselves.


Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

Clearly you're a great arbiter of who does and doesn't have class.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Yes what a classless bunch of people, giving 32 million to the arts. Some people can find fault with anything.

tom swift jr.

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

Sheesh, welcome to the Negativity Forum, we can find something bad about puppies, kittens, winning lottery tickets, and grandmothers.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

@ssAA, apart from being rich (obviously) and a very generous donor through the years, is Ms. Stamps distinguished for some personal accomplishments in the arts other than donating money? I am not trying to disparage anything related to the Stamps' contribution or to the renaming of the building, but I can't find anything on a limited search of her name that describes her career in any way, including any nonfinancial contribution to the arts. I suspect (though I don't know, of course) that this is what @commuter72 was getting at, i.e., someone distinguished for significant nonfinancial contribution(s) to the arts or design.


Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

How about the distinguished alumna, Penny W. Stamps? I heard she donated millions to benefit the art and design school.

Linda Peck

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

This is a great boon for the School of Art and Design!

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

Good deal. Art and music take a shot every time we turn around these days. It's great to see this kind of support.