The $100 million gift, funded by the estate of Marvin Mann ’54, is the largest gift given to the university by a single donor and the largest single gift ever made to a higher education institution in the state of Alabama.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Samford University today announced a transformational $100 million gift—the largest gift to the university by a single donor and the largest gift ever made to a higher education institution in the state of Alabama by a single donor. Funding for the generous donation comes from the estate of Marvin Mann ’54, who passed away on March 19. According to Mann’s wishes, $95 million will go toward endowed student scholarships and $5 million will go to support the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadershipwhich was established by Mann in 2008 in honor of his late wife, Frances.
“Marvin Mann’s generality to Samford is unmatched in the institution’s history books. This is a truly transformational gift that will fulfill Marvin’s desire for more students to have the life-changing opportunities he had as a student and to strengthen the university for the future,” said President Beck A. Taylor .
Mann, a first-generation college graduate and native of Springdale, Alabamaunderstood the meaning of hard work and treasured the value of his Samford education. Having grown up in the Great Depression, he began working at four years old, candling eggs at his grandfather’s distribution business. After graduating from Samford in 1954, 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. He was named …