University of South Carolina

Gift allows USC to add Carolina Scholars

By Megan Sexton, msexton@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-1421

Five additional students will be named Carolina Scholars -- the University of South Carolina’s most prestigious in-state scholarship -- with the help of a gift from the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation.

The gift will allow the university to expand the pool of Carolina Scholar freshmen recipients by five, bringing the total number to 25 a year, starting in 2013-14. These additional five recipients will be Stamps Carolina Scholars, and will receive a $10,000 annual scholarship for four years, plus an enrichment fund of $8,000 to use for endeavors such as study abroad, leadership scholar projects, internships and undergraduate research. The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation will pay for half of these five scholarships, with other donors providing matching funds.

“Carolina Scholar students are representatives of the best our state has to offer,” USC President Harris Pastides said. “We are pleased to be able to extend the scholarship to additional South Carolina students through the generosity of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation.”

The students will become part of the university’s prestigious Carolina Scholars program, started in 1969 to celebrate the virtues of a world-class education and keep the state’s most academically talented students in South Carolina. Through private support, the university expanded from nine students in the first year to more than 80 on campus today. Carolina Scholars receive automatic entrance into the South Carolina Honors College, recently ranked as the nation’s top public honors college.

Each Carolina Scholar award provides an annual scholarship of $10,000, a laptop computer, preferred freshmen housing and parking privileges. In addition, the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs provides recipients with advising, mentoring and a comprehensive calendar of events during their four years at Carolina.

“We are thankful for this gift from the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation and the trust the Stamps have placed in our university. These new Stamps Carolina Scholar scholarships will become the top-tier in-state award at USC and will help us continue to attract South Carolina's most talented students,” said Steve Lynn, dean of the South Carolina Honors College.

The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, founded by Penny and E. Roe Stamps IV of Miami, selected USC as its newest partner in offering premier scholarship opportunities to incoming freshmen. The foundation partners with 33 universities and supports nearly 300 students. This year's 120 new Stamps Scholars were chosen from more than 160,000 applications across the country.

The original schools in the Stamps scholarship program were Georgia Tech and the University of Michigan, the alma maters of E. Roe Stamps and Penny Stamps. Other schools receiving the scholarship funding include the universities of Chicago, Georgia, Virginia, Florida and Southern California.

“We started on an ‘ad hoc’ basis at Georgia Tech,” 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 Carolina Scholar awards is the $8,000 fund for enrichment activities.

“The four years that students spend as undergraduates are exceedingly important for their development,” he 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.”

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, Penny 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 and Design.

Stamps Carolina Scholars will be recruited and selected through the same process the University of South Carolina uses for its Carolina Scholar Program, with the addition of an interview with Roe Stamps. USC will nominate up to 10 candidates who best exemplify the values of the Stamps Carolina Scholar Program and submit the names and application materials to the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. Final selection of the Stamps Carolina Scholars recipients will be determined by the Stamps Foundation, based on application materials and an interview. All Carolina Scholar recipients are funded, in part or in full, by donor-established accounts at the USC Educational Foundation.

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Posted: 01/23/13 @ 11:00 AM | Updated: 01/23/13 @ 4:00 PM | Permalink