Robert Panara (U.S. 2017)

Updated March 28th: The Digital Color Postmark design for this issue is: It measures 2.94″x1.18″.

Updated March 16th: from the Postal Bulletin
On April 11, 2017, in Rochester, NY, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Robert Panara two ounce rate mail use stamp (Nondenominated, priced at 70 cents) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 114000). The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 11, 2017.

The 16th stamp in the Distinguished Americans series honors Robert Panara (1920-2014), an influential teacher and a pioneer in the field of Deaf Studies. The Distingushed Americans series is primarily for rates over the first ounce. The stamp features a photograph of Panara taken in 2009 by Mark Benjamin, official photographer of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Panara is shown signing the word “respect.” Art director Ethel Kessler designed this two ounce stamp.

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Robert Panara Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by June 11, 2017.

Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows:

  • 114010 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $15.95
  • 114016 First-Day Cover, $1.14
  • 114021 Digital Color Postmark, $1.85
  • 114024 Framed Art, $39.95
  • 114030 Ceremony Program, $6.95

Technical Specifications:

Issue: Robert Panara Stamp
Item Number: 114000
Denomination & Type of Issue: Two Ounce Rate, Nondenominated, Mail Use
Format: Pane of 20 (1 design)
Series: Distinguished Americans
Issue Date & City: April 11, 2017, Rochester, NY 14692
Designer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Art Director: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Typographer: Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD
Existing Photo: Mark Benjamin
Modeler: Sandra Lane/Michelle Finn
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Microprint
Printer: Banknote Corporation of America
Printed at: Browns Summit, NC
Press Type: Alprinta 74
Stamps per Pane: 20
Print Quantity: 25,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Phosphor Tagged Paper, Overall
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Processed at: Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit SC
Colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area (w x h): 0.77 x 1.05 in./19.56 x 26.67 mm
Overall Size (w x h): 0.91 x 1.19 in./23.11 x 30.23 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 6.11 x 6.23 in./155.19 x 158.24 mm
Plate Size: 240 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “B” followed by four (4) single digits
Marginal Markings:
Front: Plate numbers in two corners of pane
Back: © 2016 USPS • USPS logo • Plate position diagram • Barcode (114000) in upper right and lower left corners of pane • Promotional text

Updated March 15th: From the USPS:
Robert Panara: Teacher and Pioneer of Deaf Studies to be Immortalized on a Stamp

WHAT:
First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony for the Robert Panara two-ounce Forever stamp. The event is free and open to the public.

WHO:

  • U.S. Postal Service Chief Operating Officer David Williams
  • President of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and Rochester Institute of Technology Vice President and Dean Dr. Gerard Buckley
  • NTID Instructional/Support Faculty member John Panara (son)
  • Stamp Photographer Mark Benjamin
  • Author and Professor Emeritus NTID Dr. Harry Lang

WHEN:
Tue., Apr. 11 at 10 a.m.

WHERE:
Robert F. Panara Theatre
Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604

The public may RVSP online at usps.com/rpanara. Followers of the U.S. Postal Service’s Facebook page can view live streaming video of the event at facebook.com/USPS. The media is asked to share the news on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #PanaraForever and #DeafEducation.

BACKGROUND: The Postal Service’s 16th stamp in the Distinguished Americans series honors Robert Panara (1920-2014), an influential teacher and a pioneer in the field of Deaf Studies. He inspired generations of students with his powerful use of American Sign Language to convey works of literature. At age 10, Panara was profoundly deafened after contracting spinal meningitis, which damaged his auditory nerves.

Panara taught English for two decades, beginning in 1948, at Gallaudet College (now University), in Washington, DC. In 1967, he helped found the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and became its first deaf faculty member. He taught English to both deaf and hearing students at NTID, part of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York State for the next 20 years.

The two-ounce Forever stamp features a photograph of Panara signing the word “respect.” The issuance coincides with the 200th anniversary of the founding in 1817 of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT — marking the beginning of formal education for deaf students in America.

Once purchased, the stamp is always good for mailing two-ounce First-Class letters anytime in the future, regardless of price changes. The current price is 70-cents.

Updated March 13th: The USPS confirms this stamp will be issued on April 11th in Rochester.

Updated February 7th: This stamp will be issued Tuesday, April 11th, with a ceremony at 10 a.m. in Rochester, New York, according to the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, where Panara taught for more than 20 years. No specific location is given.

“I’m very proud to see my dad honored and Deaf culture recognized in this way, and I want to thank the personnel at the USPS Stamp Development Office for all their work in the design process,” said Panara’s son John, himself a faculty member at RIT/NTID, in the press release.

From the USPS, November 22nd, 2016:

s_panara1The 16th stamp in the Distinguished Americans series honors Robert Panara (1920-2014), an influential teacher and a pioneer in the field of deaf studies. The stamp features a 2009 photograph of Panara. He is shown signing the word “respect. “During his 40-year teaching career, Panara inspired generations of students with his powerful use of American Sign Language. Panara taught at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC for nearly 20 years at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (part of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York state). Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with an existing photograph by Mark Benjamin, official photographer of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester. panara_sheet

8 thoughts on “Robert Panara (U.S. 2017)

    • Also, the NTID’s own press release (similar to the newspaper article) is at It also doesn’t refine the date beyond “April” in Rochester.

      The ROPEX show is in May, btw.

  1. Does anyone know if Robert Panara is of Italian descent? and if so, what part of Italy are ancestors from?
    Thank you for your help,

  2. My guestimation would be April 6th.

    As the USPS so likes to do, there is a Outstanding Undergraduate Scholarship Awards Reception and Ceremony. If this is the case then the ceremony would be sometime from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM. And part of the awards ceremony, with NO Signing afterwards.

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