MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - On Friday, May 3, University of South Alabama officials announced, Abraham Mitchell donated the largest gift an individual has ever made to a public university in the state, $50 million: $1 million for every year.
Officials said $25 million will endow a new scholarship program and the other $25 million will support the Mitchell College of Business.
According to university officials, the Mitchell family has given $93 million in donations to the university, including the $50 million just announced.
Abe Mitchell said the Mitchell family holds the distinction as the state's leading family in philanthropic support of a public university in Alabama.
"I am delighted to be a part of the University of South Alabama family," Mitchell said. "When I consider my investment in USA and the people it serves, I remain certain that I have received far more than I have given."
Mitchell named the scholarship program the Mitchell-Moulton Scholarship Initiative in honor of retiring USA President Gordon Moulton's longtime commitment to the University and to enhancing higher education opportunities for students in the Gulf Coast and beyond.
Mitchell said his decision to establish the new scholarship initiative was based, in part, on President Moulton's expressed wish to create more academic scholarship opportunities before retiring from the University.
"Even before this latest gift, Abe Mitchell's philanthropy in support of the University of South Alabama's missions to enhance education, health care and the quality of life throughout the Gulf Coast, the state of Alabama and beyond, was almost incomprehensible," said USA President Gordon Moulton.
Officials said giving by the Mitchell family – Abe Mitchell, the late Mayer Mitchell, and Mayer's wife, Arlene – supports every mission area of the University teaching, research, service and health care.
Areas of support include the Mitchell Cancer Institute, Mitchell College of Business, Mitchell Center arena, USA Children's and Women's Hospital, and a host of gifts for student scholarships, faculty support, health care enhancement, improvement of campus facilities and athletics.
"It is rare in the life histories of American universities that one can find a citizen-friend who has affected the quality of both academic and health care programs as profoundly as has Mr. Mitchell," said Dr. Joseph Busta, vice president for development and alumni relations. "He stands alone in this state and among the very few in the country whose philanthropy is altering the course of a university."
Officials said the latest $25 million scholarship gift will have the impact of a $50 million gift because it is a matching challenge gift. They said other donors will be able to give to the University and Mitchell will match their gifts dollar-for-dollar to create a scholarship endowment of $50 million. They went on to say the money will be invested and only the interest used, so the fund will support academic scholarships annually.
University officials said under the matching challenge program, donors who make gifts of at least $10,000 will be recognized by having their names attached to the scholarships.
Also, under the Mitchell-Moulton Scholarship Initiative, all in-state high school graduates and out-of-state residents who receive Alabama resident tuition rates (Mississippi students from George, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Perry and Stone counties and Florida students from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties) will receive annually renewable scholarships according to the following schedule:
- 23 ACT score and 3.0 high school grade-point average: $2,500 per year
- 24-27 ACT score and 3.0 GPA: $3,500 per year
- 28-29 ACT score and 3.5 GPA: $5,000 per year
- 30-31 ACT score and 3.5 GPA: $8,000 per year
- 32 ACT score and 3.5 GPA: $9,000 per year
- 33 and above ACT score and 3.5 GPA: $11,000 per year
Out-of-state high school graduates who are not eligible for resident tuition will receive annually renewable scholarships under the Mitchell-Moulton Scholarship Initiative as follows:
- 23 ACT score and 3.0 high school grade-point average: $5,000 per year
- 24-27 ACT score and 3.0 GPA: $7,000 per year
- 28-29 ACT score and 3.5 GPA: $10,000 per year
- 30 and above ACT score and 3.5 GPA: $12,000 per year
Nearly seven years ago, an Orange Beach man was tortured and robbed in his own home. As of Friday night, Shaun Cassidy, 65, is behind bars for a number of charges involving minors.
Tre Mason rushed for 304 yards and four touchdowns, leading No. 3 Auburn to a wild 59-42 victory over No. 5 Missouri in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.
According to authorities, deputies and investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on South Bay Grove Drive in Freeport around 3:30 p.m. after a 4-year-old was shot in the chest with a BB gun.
A double dose of Tigers invade Atlanta for the 2013 SEC Championship.
Auburn and Missouri fans get decked out for the big showdown in Atlanta.
A.C. Hillman, 93, of Lucedale will be the Grand Marshall of the city’s Christmas parade Saturday, December 7, which coincides with the anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.