About the Benefactors

Penny W. and E. Roe Stamps IV

E. Roe Stamps, IV, Georgia Institute of Technology, BS IE '67, MS IE '72, Honorary Doctorate '14
Penny Stamps, University of Michigan

Philanthropy has been a way of life for Penny and Roe Stamps since 1993, the year they relocated to southern Florida and established the Strive Foundation—an organization dedicated to supporting education, arts and culture, and animal welfare programs.

Married in 1971, Penny and Roe eventually made their home in the greater Boston area where Penny—an alumna of the University of Michigan School of Art & Design—launched an interior design practice for residential clients. After receiving his MBA from the Harvard Business School, Roe entered the Private Equity business, and in 1984 he co-founded the Boston-based private investment firm of Summit Partners. Prior to that, he had earned BS and MS degrees in industrial engineering and served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve.

After the Stamps moved to Key Largo they immersed themselves in philanthropic activities. Having attained their personal goals of pursuing careers, raising children, and providing for their family’s future, they made a conscious decision to use their surplus resources for the betterment of their community and the world—with an emphasis on education.

Since then, Penny and Roe have devoted significant time and resources to an array of Florida-based organizations including the University of Miami, The Knight Foundation, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Community Partnership for the Homeless, Ransom Everglades School, the American Red Cross Miami Chapter, the Humane Society of Miami, Breakthrough Miami, and the Grayvik Animal Care Center.

But topping their list of philanthropic priorities is education. Through the Stamps Charitable Family Foundation, they have shown their deep commitment to higher education by supporting projects and programs at 41 universities nationwide. As the major function of the Foundation, the Stamps Scholars Initiative currently provides financial assistance to more than 800 students.

In 2000, Penny worked with the University of Michigan School of Art & Design to launch the Roman J. Witt Visiting Professors Program in honor of her father. She also established the Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Visitors Lecture Series. In recent years, the Stamps have increased their commitment to the University of Michigan, providing support for an auditorium named in their honor and funding a student commons areas within the Ross Business School Academic Center.

In 2012, Penny and Roe made a major pledge to Michigan’s A&D School, becoming the most generous benefactors in the history of the school and among the top contributors nationally to any school of art and design. In recognition of their visionary support, the institution was renamed the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

In addition to supporting education through strategic gifts, Penny served on various University of Michigan governing boards including the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Art & Design, the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Education, and the President’s Advisory Group

Roe currently serves as a trustee at the University of Miami, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and several other distinguished organizations. He is also a trustee emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation. Among many honors, he has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the highest award conferred by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. He was inducted into Georgia Tech's Engineering Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2012, he was the recipient of Harvard Business School’s most prestigious honor, the Alumni Achievement Award.

Despite the unrelenting demands of his schedule, Roe always find time to enjoy his family—including son Will, daughter Annie, and grandson, Hunter —as well as their black Labrador retriever, Ella, and more than 14 stray and pedigreed cats.