A $100 million gift to Samford University from the estate of Marvin Mann is the largest gift from a single donor made to a higher education institution in Alabama, according to Samford.
Mann, an IBM executive who founded Lexmark International, bequeathed $95 million toward endowed student scholarships and $5 million to support the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership. He established that center in 2008 in honor of his late wife.
“Marvin Mann’s generosity to Samford is unmatched in the institution’s history books,” said Samford President Beck A. Taylor. “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.”
Mann, a native of Springdale, graduated from Samford in 1954. He was named Alumnus of the Year in 2004 and received an honorary doctorate in commerce from Samford in 1993.
The gift is expected to provide about $3.75 million annually in scholarships going to about 100 students annually.