Alabama Digital News

Samford Scores $100 Million Gift, Largest Ever Single Donation in Alabama


Samford University President Beck A. Taylor. Journal photo by Ally Morrison

By Ally Morrison

Samford University announced May 12 that it had received a $100 million gift, the largest single gift ever made to a higher education institution in Alabama.

The contribution came from the estate of Marvin Mann, a Samford alumni who passed away March 19. 

Per Mann’s wishes, $95 million will be allocated to endowed student scholarships, and $5 million will go to support the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, which Mann created in 2008 in memory of his wife, Frances.

During a press conference, Samford University President Beck A. Taylor announced the donation.

“While we mourn the passing of such an incredible man, today we celebrate the amazing legacy that he leaves behind,” Taylor said. “We are humbled and overjoyed to be the beneficiaries of this transformational act of generosity. What an amazing day in the life of Samford University.”

According to a press release from Samford, Mann was a first-generation college graduate, graduating from what was then known as Howard College and now is Samford University.

After graduation, he worked for IBM for 32 years and went on to found Lexmark International Inc. in 1991, where he served as chief executive officer and chairman until 1999. 

Mann was named Alumnus of the Year in 2004.



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