Opportunities for Donors

Panelists in Bolding Studio

To ensure the continued success of the Mann Center, ongoing support is needed, both in the form of permanent endowments and in annual giving. Annual, non-endowed gifts benefit specific programs while making possible the ongoing work of the Center. Endowed gifts provide donors the opportunity to create an enduring legacy in their name that supports a specific initiative of the Center, while endowed sponsorships provide an ongoing source of income to promote the success of all Center initiatives.

For more information, please contact Azalea Hulbert at 205.726.4634. Gifts may also be made online via the University Advancement website

Scholars in Ethical Leadership

The Mann Center is developing a new, boutique honors program for Samford undergraduates. The program, which will involve both academic and co-curricular components, will build students into ethical leaders and positive agents of change. Upon successful completion of the four-year program, students will receive an undergraduate certificate. The program will entail significant administrative and program costs, as well as scholarship and travel expenses for students.

Endowment for Excellence in Ethics Education

The Mann Center is offering named endowments to promote excellence in ethics education, which will be used to support the general work of the Center. However, donors may designate a small percentage of the funds to focus on a specific area of ethics education (e.g. nursing, journalism, etc.).

Better World Theatre

The Mann Center's Better World Theatre initiative, a collaboration between the center and the Samford Department of Theatre and Dance, allows students to explore ethical issues in their field of study by acting out scenarios they are likely to encounter in the professional world. Produced, directed, and performed by students, these plays allow both the actors and the audience to gain a better understanding of the challenges they will face in their careers.

Conversations on Ethics and Leadership

The Mann Center produces a series of video interviews with thought leaders on current topics of interest, titled Conversations on Ethics and Leadership. To date, interviews with experts in politics and law, business, and bioethics have been produced.

Courageous Conversations

The Mann Center convenes an ongoing, occasional series of campus forums called Courageous Conversations, co-sponsored by University Ministries and other Samford entities. The programs encourage moral discourse about critical issues, with past programs focusing on diversity; immigration; academic honesty; freedom of expression in cyberspace; sex and sexual conduct; and inclusivity towards individuals with physical and mental disabilities, among others.

Ethics and Leadership Resource Center

The Mann Center serves as a resource for students, staff, faculty, and the community in the field of ethics and leadership. Our mission to become the thought leader in public discussion of ethics and leadership, both locally and nationally, will require a comprehensive, world-class collection of books, periodicals, online resources/subscriptions, and other media offering the latest in ethical and moral thought. The resource center will serve as the academic backbone of all that is taught and learned at the center, ensuring a level of scholarship worthy of the field, and of Samford University.

These resources will be available to Samford students, faculty, and staff and to the general public. While many resources may be housed online, donations are also welcome to support a physical collection and maintain a devoted space where faculty and staff, students, and community members can study, collaborate, and reflect.

International Service Practica

The Mann Center conducts annual international service practica, which are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. These projects, in collaboration with Samford’s Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, allow students to lead social change through economic empowerment. The center currently conducts an annual service practicum in South Africa, and is seeking other opportunities around the globe.

Leadership Academies

In collaboration with Samford’s schools and other departments, the Mann Center is developing leadership academies for both faculty and students. As the development process continues, specific needs and naming opportunities will be identified; please contact the Center to learn more.

Mann Center Faculty Fellowships

The Mann Center serves as an incubator for new courses and other initiatives that promote moral development and build competencies in ethical leadership. These fellowships will make it possible for three to five faculty fellows each year to devote substantial time to this important work.

Funds will support fellows’ research and cover the costs incurred by academic departments that release these scholars from a portion of their teaching responsibilities. These prestigious fellowships, the first of their kind at Samford, will make it possible for the Mann Center to produce a continuous stream of research and course content benefiting the entire Samford campus and the business community. An annual, competitive application process will select Fellows.

Mann Center Offices

To support its continued growth, donations are needed to maintain and furnish the physical offices of the Mann Center. Naming opportunities are available through both endowed and one-time gifts; please contact the Center to learn more.

Mann Center Speaker Programs

The Mann Center periodically brings nationally and internationally known speakers to Samford to discuss relevant issues with campus and community audiences. Speakers are drawn from across the professions and academia, and represent diverse fields including philosophy, business, journalism, sociology, and politics, to name a few.

Ongoing funding is needed to cover the cost of speaker travel and honoraria, as well as general administrative costs associated with the planning and execution of such programs. Support may be provided annually, or as a one-time endowment. The donor may specify a focus area (i.e. healthcare ethics, ethics and law, etc.), with final selection of individual speakers as the responsibility of the Center.

Student Recognition for Excellence in Ethical Leadership

In collaboration with Samford’s schools and other departments, the Mann Center is creating an award that will be given to nine students each year who exemplify excellence in ethical leadership. As the award program is further developed, specific needs and naming opportunities will be identified; please contact the Center to learn more.

The Mann Medal

Samford University awards the Mann Medal in Ethics and Leadership annually to nationally or internationally known leaders or organizations whose efforts have made significant contributions to ethics in society. The work recognized with the award must address a clear need or problem facing society, have significance on a large scale and be an inspiring example for others to follow. Sponsorships are available starting at $3,000, and cover expenses such as the cost of the ceremony and medal, travel expenses for the honoree, and a gift to the honoree’s organization or foundation.

Benefits include: recognition in promotional materials and during the event; a reserved table for the sponsor's guests; and access to a private reception with the medalist for sponsors. Presenting sponsors receive these benefits, as well as an additional reserved table for guests and the opportunity for an appropriate representative of the sponsoring organization to participate in the presentation of the medal.

The Mann Society

The Mann Society is an opportunity for businesses, professional firms and other institutions to join others in promoting ethical leadership. New leaders are stepping forward to invest their influence, experience and resources in the social capital necessary to build a more sustainable moral infrastructure – one that promotes sound ethical practices in all professions to emphasize personal responsibility and living well together for the good of all. Through education, mentorship, policy and personal example, the Mann Society fosters solutions to today’s ethical challenges in business and the professions.

Benefits include: exclusive opportunities for Mann Society senior managers and executives to participate in special Mann Center events with their peers; reserved seating made available upon request for all Mann Center events; prominent display of your firm’s name and logo on the Mann Center website and promotional materials; reserved seating for selected Samford University cultural events (ballet, theatre, athletics) with fellow Mann Society members; and special presentations by the center’s director at your location, customized for the management and employees of your organization.



Drayton Nabers, Jr.


Brooks Hall, 227A


C. Cameron Collins 
Program Manager
Brooks Hall, 227B

Mitzi Lafferty  
Administrative Assistant
Brooks Hall, 227
Mann Logo 

 The Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership emphasizes the indispensable connection between ethics and good leadership in business, government, social services and the classic professions. Much of the center’s work is at this vital nexus of ethics and leadership. 

Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
205-726-4634 or Cameron Collins, Program Manager