Samford University


January 19, 2009

Our Story

Growing up in Tarrant, Alabama, Marvin Mann was smitten by his high school’s homecoming queen, a smart and spirited young woman named Frances Marlin.  A few years later, they married on a Christmas Eve and embarked on a remarkable life’s journey.  Marvin graduated from Samford in 1954, served in the U.S. Navy, and found success in a business career that culminated as chairman and CEO of Lexmark International, a leading computer printer company with markets worldwide.  He also chaired the board at Fidelity Investments, where 300 mutual funds had assets of more than $1 trillion.  Yet he and Frances always remembered where their journey began.  Last year, Samford’s Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership was made possible by a generous gift from Marvin to honor the memory of his lifelong love who passed away in 2007, in the 54th year of their marriage.


The world is better because of Marvin and Frances Mann. 

Our Mission

The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career, and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility, and service to others.

Our Core Values

The Samford community values lifelong:

  • belief in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
  • engagement with the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • learning and responsible freedom of inquiry.
  • personal empowerment, accountability, and responsibility.
  • vocational success and civic engagement.
  • spiritual growth and cultivation of physical well-being.
  • integrity, honesty, and justice.
  • appreciation for diverse cultures and convictions.
  • stewardship of all resources.
  • service to God, to family, to one another, and to the community.

Our Vision

Anchored in Christian understanding, Samford University will be a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith, in the Baptist tradition. Within that commonality, the Community will be innovative in teaching, learning and research; sensitive to global issues; aggressive in self-assessment and continuous improvement. Faithful to its mission, Samford will be known and acknowledged worldwide by holding to its core values. The world will be better for it.

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