How This Investor Puts His Stamp on Education and Other Areas,Too

Born in Georgia in 1946, E. Roe Stamps IV., attended Georgia Institute of Technology and later received his MBA from Harvard Business School. Stamps went on to cofound Summit Partners, a Boston-headquartered private equity and venture capital firm established in 1984. In the 1990s, Stamps retired from Summit's day to day operations and moved with his wife, Penny, to South Florida. In the Sunshine State, the Stampses turned to philanthropy and established the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. Penny serves as president of the foundation, and daughter Annie serves as vice president. Through the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, the couple has steadily supported outfits in the South Florida area and beyond. Penny has an arts background and was an interior designer, which helps explains the couple's support of arts and culture. Some of the couple's other interest areas include health, animals, and human services.

It's tough to talk about the Stampses, though, without bringing up another area of their philanthropy: education and scholarships. The story of the couple's commitment to scholarships can be traced to 2000, when the Stamps Foundation provided an initial grant of $250,000 to the Georgia Tech President’s Scholarship Program. That initial scholarship class now includes a Rhodes Scholar, a medical doctor, and other high-achieving graduates.

In 2006, on the heels of this philanthropy, the couple launched the Stamps Scholars Initiative, partnering with Stamps' alma mater Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Michigan, from where Penny graduated. In just a decade, the initiative has grown to partner with over 40 colleges and universities around the nation. Scholarships are run at schools including Barry University in Miami Shores, Dartmouth College, Morehouse College, and Wake Forest University. The 184 Stamps Leadership Scholars of 2015 were selected from over 600,000 applications. Those looking to apply for a Stamps Scholarship should begin here.

Apart from this scholarship program, Stamps and Penny have also heavily supported Penny's alma mater, University of Michigan, including with a $32.5 million gift in 2012 which renamed the art and design school the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. The couple, through through their foundation, have also supported education outfits such as Columbia University (which received $2.5 million in a recent year), Duke University, Killington Mountain School, Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program, and Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, which "challenges students to achieve more than they ever thought possible and empowers them to be a positive force for change in their world." The Stamps Foundation has also bankrolled City Year Miami, where it's worth noting Annie Stamps has worked as a corps member.

Given Penny's strong background in the arts, it's no surprise that the couple's philanthropy features arts and culture as well. Past grantees include Concert Association of Florida, Lowe Art Museum University of Miami, Museum Of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Museum of Science, Musical Arts Association of Miami, MoMA, Miami City Ballet, and The Wolfsonian-FIU.

The couple also has an interest in human services and health. Past grantees include National Diabetes Foundation, Cancer Research Institute, Community Partnership For Homeless,and Chapman Partnership, which provides homeless services. An element of the couple's philanthropy also includes supporting the armed forces. Stamps, by the way, in between schooling, served in the U.S. Navy.

Stamps and Penny also earmark funds for animal outfits. Past grantees include Alley Cat Allies, a "nonprofit advocacy organization whose mission is to transform and develop communities to protect and improve the lives of cats," and Best Friends Animal Society, which received close to $230,000 in a recent year.

The Stampses' scholarship program involves outfits across the United States. Many grants through the Stamps Foundation, though, involve Florida. Chicago, where Penny was born and where Stamps once worked, is also another important region. The couple, through their foundation, gave Chicago Community Foundation $2.9 million in a recent fiscal year. They've also given millions to Chicago Community Trust.

Apart from work through his own foundation, Stamps sits on the board of John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is trustee emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation, and a Trustee at the University of Miami, among other board memberships. It's unclear how much the Stampses' are worth, but in a recent fiscal year the Stamps Foundation held more than $86 million in assets. Expect money to continue flowing, particularly towards the Stamps Scholars Initiative, which may well expand to even more schools down the line.

Related: E. Roe Stamps IV.