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Gunalan Nadarajan

Dean
Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

Looking back to 2012 and my first few days as dean of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, I recall thinking that our students were nothing less than extraordinary and the excellence our school embodied across all disciplines was astounding. Now, almost ten years later, I am proud to see the growth our students, faculty, alumni, and programs have achieved. With U-M’s return to campus, I have the pleasure of seeing this collaboration and action in person. While the School’s history hasn’t always taken a linear path, I have seen my role as dean to help the school define and embody the strengths of our unique program and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our students. They find their voices through creative practice that engages them in an abundance of ideas, processes, and materials within disciplines, guided by faculty and the structure of an interdisciplinary curriculum.

Our tight-knit creative community is situated within one of the world’s most highly ranked Tier One research universities. Our curriculum builds on this strength of resources, creating collaborative opportunities for our students as they develop their creative practice in a more intimate experience. This provides them with a competitive edge that is fundamental to their future. Our interdisciplinary curriculum and approach build both conceptual and technical skills that equip students with a foundation to allow them to think beyond traditional boundaries of media. They can learn broadly about what engages their curiosity and feeds their creativity by exploring courses that excite them, curating an experience that will develop their artistic vision.

Grounded in engaged creative practice, we are committed to creating work that makes a difference in our communities and the world. As agents of change, we are shaping culture and shifting the future. Students and faculty contribute to projects that are socially engaged and share new ways of thinking, seeing, and making to serve the public good and address the challenges of our times. To do this, students need to step out of their familiar environments to foster creative insights and encourage independence. As the only school on campus to have an international experience requirement since 2010, we instill the importance of being global citizens. Experiencing new cultures and methods of making have become a necessity in preparing them for success and fostering a sense of social responsibility.

Lastly, we are a community of collaborators, innovators, and researchers. Stamps students and instructors participate on interdisciplinary research teams to introduce new knowledge and solve problems on issues including healthcare delivery, equity and access within food systems and education, and environmental sustainability. Their skills in observation and critical thinking have become essential in university-based research, expanding the role of creative work and inquiry.

These are the hallmarks that have guided me through my tenure and define the unique student experience at Stamps, and they have been integral to our mission over the last decade. Through all our adaptations, past and present, we have always worked diligently and enthusiastically to embrace creative practice as a way of life, a way of thinking, and a way of impacting the world.

Looking to our future, my vision is that we will continue to transform art and design education here and around the world and be recognized as a leader in creating educational experiences that foster collaboration, multifaceted thinking, and cross-fertilization of ideas. Our ability to deliver this breadth and depth of opportunity is only made possible with the support of our generous community. By making a gift to the Stamps School, you enable us to provide a world-class art and design education and prepare the next generation of creative leaders. Your support makes an impact by:

  • Bridging the tuition gap to ensure financial burdens don’t impede students’ educational experiences.
  • Investing in programs and research that illuminate and expand the role of creative work at U-M.
  • Providing emergency funding for students to overcome unforeseen obstacles.
  • Creating opportunities for students to engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion interests and efforts.
  • Funding international travel for students to pursue enriching experiences regardless of financial need.

Whether it’s through an increase in those who wish to support our students by way of annual gifts or a rise in the number of generous donors who include us in their future plans through estate planning and charitable IRA rollovers, investing in art and design education has a significant impact on not only the School, but the University of Michigan as a whole. With it comes the growth, innovation, and fresh ideas that will shape our global society of the future.

Every day since I joined the Stamps community, I have seen students chasing their passions in pursuit of new knowledge and discovery. As the coming year marks the end of my tenure, it is with optimism and excitement that I look forward to the next decade of amplifying the importance of creative work and thought as our students set out to address new challenges. I feel honored to have played a role in advancing the mission of the Stamps School during my time here, and much of this would not be possible without philanthropic support from alumni and friends like you. Today, I invite you to support our students by making a gift to Stamps. It is with your help that we can continue to give them the support they need to continue discovering the undiscovered.

With warmth and gratitude, 

Guna Nadarajan Signature

Gunalan Nadarajan, Dean
Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

PS: If you are interested in making a gift but have questions, contact our team at stampsgiving@umich.edu. They help donors craft meaningful gifts and can share information about matching-gift opportunities.

Our tight-knit creative community is situated within one of the world’s most highly ranked Tier One research universities. Our curriculum builds on this strength of resources, creating collaborative opportunities for our students as they develop their creative practice in a more intimate experience. This provides them with a competitive edge that is fundamental to their future. Our interdisciplinary curriculum and approach build both conceptual and technical skills that equip students with a foundation to allow them to think beyond traditional boundaries of media. They can learn broadly about what engages their curiosity and feeds their creativity by exploring courses that excite them, curating an experience that will develop their artistic vision.

Grounded in engaged creative practice, we are committed to creating work that makes a difference in our communities and the world. As agents of change, we are shaping culture and shifting the future. Students and faculty contribute to projects that are socially engaged and share new ways of thinking, seeing, and making to serve the public good and address the challenges of our times. To do this, students need to step out of their familiar environments to foster creative insights and encourage independence. As the only school on campus to have an international experience requirement since 2010, we instill the importance of being global citizens. Experiencing new cultures and methods of making have become a necessity in preparing them for success and fostering a sense of social responsibility.

Lastly, we are a community of collaborators, innovators, and researchers. Stamps students and instructors participate on interdisciplinary research teams to introduce new knowledge and solve problems on issues including healthcare delivery, equity and access within food systems and education, and environmental sustainability. Their skills in observation and critical thinking have become essential in university-based research, expanding the role of creative work and inquiry.

These are the hallmarks that have guided me through my tenure and define the unique student experience at Stamps, and they have been integral to our mission over the last decade. Through all our adaptations, past and present, we have always worked diligently and enthusiastically to embrace creative practice as a way of life, a way of thinking, and a way of impacting the world.

Looking to our future, my vision is that we will continue to transform art and design education here and around the world and be recognized as a leader in creating educational experiences that foster collaboration, multifaceted thinking, and cross-fertilization of ideas. Our ability to deliver this breadth and depth of opportunity is only made possible with the support of our generous community. By making a gift to the Stamps School, you enable us to provide a world-class art and design education and prepare the next generation of creative leaders. Your support makes an impact by:

  • Bridging the tuition gap to ensure financial burdens don’t impede students’ educational experiences.
  • Investing in programs and research that illuminate and expand the role of creative work at U-M.
  • Providing emergency funding for students to overcome unforeseen obstacles.
  • Creating opportunities for students to engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion interests and efforts.
  • Funding international travel for students to pursue enriching experiences regardless of financial need.

Whether it’s through an increase in those who wish to support our students by way of annual gifts or a rise in the number of generous donors who include us in their future plans through estate planning and charitable IRA rollovers, investing in art and design education has a significant impact on not only the School, but the University of Michigan as a whole. With it comes the growth, innovation, and fresh ideas that will shape our global society of the future.

Every day since I joined the Stamps community, I have seen students chasing their passions in pursuit of new knowledge and discovery. As the coming year marks the end of my tenure, it is with optimism and excitement that I look forward to the next decade of amplifying the importance of creative work and thought as our students set out to address new challenges. I feel honored to have played a role in advancing the mission of the Stamps School during my time here, and much of this would not be possible without philanthropic support from alumni and friends like you. Today, I invite you to support our students by making a gift to Stamps. It is with your help that we can continue to give them the support they need to continue discovering the undiscovered.

With warmth and gratitude, 

Guna Nadarajan Signature

Gunalan Nadarajan, Dean
Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

PS: If you are interested in making a gift but have questions, contact our team at stampsgiving@umich.edu. They help donors craft meaningful gifts and can share information about matching-gift opportunities.

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