Elizabethtown College to Celebrate Tenth Year of Stamps Scholarship Program with Largest-Ever Class
Elizabethtown College first began its partnership with the Strive Foundation, formerly the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, in 2011. Founders E. Roe and Penny Stamps had been gradually expanding the institutions their foundation was partnering with since it began in 2006 and one of their employees, Etown alumna Joanne Muniz ’90, suggested the foundation look into partnering with her alma mater. Nearly 10 years later, the Strive Foundation and Elizabethtown College have combined to award over 50 Stamps Scholarships to Etown students including nine awardees this year.
The Stamps Scholarship is the most generous merit award offered at Etown, covering full tuition as well as an additional enrichment fund that scholars can use toward experiences like study abroad, research, and leadership development. Each year, the College targets a cohort of at least seven scholars based on leadership potential, commitment to service, and innovation. In addition to candidates submitting their college applications, the selection process includes interviews with Etown faculty and representatives from the Strive Foundation before being notified in the spring of their senior year of high school.
In addition to the scholarship and enrichment fund, Stamp Scholars also have access to many benefits on both a national and an on-campus level. All scholars attend the Stamps Scholars National Convention which is held every other year. The event draws over 800 scholars from across the country in Atlanta for two days of programming that are completely designed by Stamps Scholars. Scholars attend sessions with faculty and professionals, keynote speakers, and complete service projects in the area. On campus, scholars attend a fall retreat and spring banquet each year. The retreat typically includes team-building activities and discussions centered around personal and academic goals. The spring banquet is a chance for the scholars to come together and invite their families to share in dinner and conversation while reflecting on the previous year. Stamps Scholars at Etown are also linked up with a faculty guide. Students meet with their guide on a regular basis to set goals and discuss progress as well as work on service projects.
Dr. Jean Pretz, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Stamps Scholars Program at Etown interviews all Stamps applicants and oversees the faculty guide program as well as all other Stamps-related activities on campus. Pretz said, “One aspect of the Stamps Program that I am especially proud of is the supportive community among the scholars. All of the Stamps Scholars are talented and ambitious, yet there is no sense of a competitive atmosphere among them. The Scholars recognize that each is unique in their gifts and their goals. In our retreats, we take time to share our goals but also our vulnerabilities and how we have grown through our experiences. I am especially proud that scholars support one another at a personal level and celebrate together when they experience success.”
To date, Etown has graduated 25 Stamp Scholars. They have gone on to attend graduate school at prestigious universities including Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Florida School of Law as well as start careers with companies including Google, UNICEF, and Eurofins amongst others. Seven Elizabethtown College Stamps Scholars went on to earn the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and two scholars have been awarded the Etown Points of Distinction Award, the highest honor given to a graduating senior at Etown.
Sophomore Public Relations major, Ally Bonicker said, “The Strive Foundation and Stamps Scholarship has given me the opportunity I otherwise would not have had to attend this distinguished school and be mentored by an array of advisors who exemplify what it means to be a community leader and contributor to the world. Being part of a group of people that works continuously to inspire each other is such a unique and extraordinary experience.”
You can meet all of Elizabethtown’s current and past Stamps Scholars as well as learn more about the program on the Elizabethtown College Stamps Scholarship webpage.