$40 million gift for UM School of Art and Design

Sep 20, 2012

It's the largest gift in the art school's history, and believed to be one of the biggest gifts to any art school (perhaps in first place: Detroit's College for Creative Studies, with a $50 million gift from the Ford family in 2006). 

The money is coming from two donors, Penny and E Roe. Stamps (that name will sound familiar to Ann Arbor residents: they also sponsor the Stamp Lecture Series in town).

The art school will now be called the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design.

Administrators hope the gift will start to put them on the map with other prestigious art institutions,  like the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD annual operating budget: about $133 million). 

Gunalan Nadarajan is the UM art school's dean. He says now they can lure some of the best art students in the country by making tuition extremely affordable. "We are able to afford to get the right student, by providing them with the scholarships that they would need in order to make the decision to come here."

The school won't get the $40 million all at once, but until now the art school's operating budget has been around just $10 million.