Samford Receives $100 Million Gift, Largest in State Higher Education History
The late Marvin Mann went from being a first-generation student to giving the greatest gift in Alabama history to the university that gave him that same opportunity. Thanks to a generous donation of $100 million, it will provide the same opportunity to thousands of future Samford students in the years to come.
Read his story here.
A catalyst for future investments
On Thursday, May 12, Samford University announced the gift of a life. From the estate of the late Marvin Mann, this gift will transform the lives of future students at Samford by providing access to education for undergraduate and graduate students.
Marvin Mann graduated from Samford in 1954 and became a beloved member of the Samford community. After winning the prestigious Alumnus of the Year award, he also received the inaugural Ethics-in-Business Award in 2006, later renamed the Marvin Mann Ethics-In-Business Award. These two prizes reward exceptional dedication to the service of institutions without sacrificing Christian virtues or charity.
You might be wondering where all that money will go? $95 million of the gift will go toward scholarships for undergraduate and graduate programs. The remaining $5 million will be donated to the Frances Marlin Mann Center, which he founded in 2008 in honor of his wife, Frances. Samford will continue to honor its legacy by modeling its commitment to service, leadership and generosity.
“I am both excited and humbled – sentiments that I am sure all share with my colleague… This gift does not represent the cornerstone of support for this university, but rather a catalyst – a catalyst for future investment in this special place that provides a unique and transformational high-quality, Christ-centered education to its students—students who, in turn, transform the families and neighborhoods, churches, cities, and organizations they call home.
-Beck Taylor, President, Samford University
The gift of education
Mayor Randall Woodfin was also present today. Woodfin, an alumnus of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, celebrated the life and gift of Marvin Mann. Woodfin has awarded his own education to generous donors such as Marvin Mann who will impact the lives of future graduates.
He concluded the announcement with powerful words, incorporating Samford’s motto: For God, For Learning, Forever.
“I… We… honor the gift of his [Mann’s] life and generosity, the gift of education and all that it can bring, and of course, the gift of Samford University, for God to learn forever.
-Randall Woodfin, Mayor of the City of Birmingham
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