Mobile native makes $20M donation to University of South Alabama

The university will use the donation to fund a major project on campus.

Mobile native makes $20M donation to University of South Alabama

A Mobile native donated $20 million to the University of South Alabama for the construction of a performing arts center.

Abraham 'Abe' Mitchell is a member of the Mitchell Family, which includes Mayer and Arlene Mitchell. They endowed the University of South Alabama College of Business, in 1999. The Mitchell College of Business was named for the donor.

Jo Bonner, the University president, announced Friday that Mitchell's generous donation will fund the performing arts centre. This brings Mitchell's donations to the university up to $120 million.

Further fundraising efforts are underway. The facility, once completed, will serve the Mobile University and the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center.

Mitchell's generosity enables us to make the next major step in advancing the arts on campus and across the region.

According to the university, the Mitchell family has given more money to a public university in Alabama than any other family. The gift includes $22 million for USA's Cancer Research Institute, which provides care to the Gulf Coast Region. In 2006, USA's trustees dedicated the Mitchell Cancer Institute to the family. Abraham Mitchell also made a commitment of $50 million to the University in 2013, as part the 50th Anniversary celebrations. The gift included a challenge grant of $25 million to match gifts made to endow undergraduate scholarships at the university, as well as an unrestricted commitment of $25 million to the Mitchell College of Business.

Bob Riley has appointed Arlene Mitchel to the University of South Alabama Board of Trustees to fill the vacancy left by her husband's death.

This is the largest donation from an individual to Alabama education in the last few years. In 2021, the University of Alabama at Birmingham received a $95 million donation that was used to rename its School of Medicine. Samford University was gifted $100 million by Marvin Mann's estate in spring 2022. James and Sallie Johnson gave $5 million to UAB for research in the Department of Neurology and UAB Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics.