MACON – A Mercer delegation led by President William D. Underwood will join 500 Stamps Leadership Scholars from 41 universities around the country this weekend for the third Stamps Scholars National Convention, hosted by the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Mercer's 14 Stamps Scholars will be accompanied to the convention by Patricia Amirault, associate director of admissions and coordinator of the University's Stamps Scholars Program, and Dr. David Davis, associate professor of English, director of fellowships and scholarships, and Stamps academic program adviser at Mercer.
President Underwood will offer opening remarks along with Georgia Tech President George P. "Bud" Peterson and University of Georgia President Jere Morehead.
Macon native Roe Stamps and his wife, Penny Stamps, started the Stamps Scholars program to support students in their academic pursuit and have since forged a national network of scholars through the program.
"I am delighted that our students will be able to participate in this national forum to learn about research and collaboration across the Stamps network," said Dr. Penny L. Elkins, Mercer's senior vice president for enrollment management. "We are very appreciative of the Stamps' generosity in not only providing scholarships, but organizing an event where our students can interact with other top students from around the country."
The scholars will gather in Atlanta to discuss current challenges in various academic fields as they visit CNN, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Carter Center, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Scholars with similar academic interests will work together in professionally focused threads, see the work that other students are doing at a Stamps Scholars exposition, and hear speeches given by selected scholars.
The convention will also feature speeches from scholarship founders Roe and Penny Stamps, Harvard Business School professor Bill George, public speaker and educator Bill Curry, and CNN journalist Tom Foreman, who is the father of a Stamps Scholar alumna.
In 2006, Penny and Roe Stamps formed the Stamps Scholars Program at their alma maters: the University of Michigan and the Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively. Since then, the scholarship has grown to over 700 current and graduated scholars and is one of the nation's largest merit-based national scholarship programs.
Four Stamps Scholars have won Rhodes Scholarships, three have received Fulbright Fellowships, and two have been named as Barry Goldwater Scholars.
The Stamps Scholarships are generous multiyear scholarships and often include enrichment funding, which allows students to study abroad or explore research opportunities. For the 2014-15 school year, the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation and its partners will provide approximately $20.9 million in scholarship support to 589 Stamps Scholars. About 223 new Stamps Scholars will enroll in the fall of 2015.
According to Roe Stamps, the goal of the convention reflects the changing nature of the Stamps Scholars: from a small program helping a few students to a growing group of diverse young people who can work together to find solutions to the major issues facing the world today.