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A $100 million gift to Samford University marks the largest single-donor gift the Christian institution has ever received. It is also the largest gift an individual donor has ever made to a higher education institution in Alabama.

The gift comes from the estate of alumnus Marvin Mann, who died in March. In keeping with Mann’s wishes, $95 million will go toward endowing student scholarships, and the remaining $5 million will support the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, which Mann established in 2008 in honor of his late wife.

“Marvin Mann’s generosity to Samford is unmatched in the institution’s history books,” said university president Beck 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 first-generation college graduate from Springdale, Ala., spent 32 years working for IBM before going on to found Lexmark International Inc. in 1991, where he served as chairman and CEO until 1999.

The gift is expected to provide roughly $3.75 million annually in financial assistance that will benefit more than 100 students a year.