Skip to Content

Stamps School Announces $25K “Big Idea” Award for 2021

In her April 2018 commencement speech, Stamps alumna Penny W. Stamps (1944-2018) issued a call to action to Stamps students. “What’s your big idea?” She prompted. “What are you willing to spend your moral capital, your intellectual capital, your sweat equity in pursuing outside the walls of the University of Michigan? You have your artistic skills, now develop your ideas — your big idea,” she said. “Imagination has no limits.”

Using Penny’s inspirational charge as a guiding light, the Stamps School is proud to announce the 2021 Big Idea Award. Provided with generous support from the Stamps Family, friends, and other supporters in the community, in loving memory of Penny, the award provides one Stamps senior or team of eligible Stampers with $25,000 to help launch a major, ambitious project after graduation. Last year’s inaugural Big Idea Award recipient was Erin Wakeland (BFA ‘20) for her big idea, Camp I Prefer.

The 2021 winner will be announced as part of the Stamps Commencement celebrations. A committee of external reviewers nominated by Stamps faculty and representing a wide range of expertise will determine the winner. The deadline to apply is February 14, 2021 (with faculty recommendations due for finalists no later than March 23, 2021).

While $25,000 offers transformative funding to the winning project, Stamps School of Art & Design Dean Guna Nadarajan feels that all ships will rise with the introduction of this prize. “This is an opportunity for the entire community to envision the boldest of futures for their biggest ideas.”

Learn more about eligibility and application requirements.