Published on December 16, 2020 by Morgan Black  
Ted Mann
Ted L. Mann '85, partner with Mann & Potter PC, shares his Cumberland School of Law story, and why he and his wife give back, in this letter to alumni. 

Dear Cumberland School of Law  Alumni, 

I hope that everyone is healthy in the face of one of the most challenging times of our lives. There are so many who are presently suffering from the deadly COVID-19 virus and the unfortunate economic challenges of our economy. The last thing most people want to see in these stressful times is a request to make a charitable contribution to our law school. I do not view my post-graduate commitment to Cumberland School of Law in the light of a charitable contribution. Rather, I believe that I am making an investment in present and future law students, many of them who shared my experience. 
 
I came to Cumberland School of Law as a student with very few financial resources.  To say that I was poor would be an understatement. But for the financial generosity of academic scholarships made available to me, I would probably not be a Cumberland School of Law graduate. I met my wife while I was a student at Cumberland, although she was not a law student. Being a student at Cumberland School of Law set in motion a chain of events that had led me to a thirty-five-year career as a practicing trial lawyer.  I have been blessed to meet so many amazing people on my journey as a lawyer. 
 
Venita and I have been blessed to afford investments in our current and future students at Cumberland School of Law through a variety of scholarships and assistance funds. Fortunately, through the hard work of Dean Strickland and the administrative staff at Cumberland School of Law, we alums have many opportunities for charitable giving aimed at different purposes and in flexible amounts. 
 
However, I want to speak to you about a different type of investment that you can make to benefit Cumberland. Two years ago, I made a decision to purchase a life insurance policy that will help fund a needs-based scholarship for future Cumberland students. Upon my death, the benefits of this insurance policy will be paid to Cumberland School of Law to establish this scholarship for students like me who were faced with extraordinary financial challenges. By setting aside a few dollars every day, I am able to make a considerable investment in the lives of future Cumberland School of Law students in financial need of completing their legal education.
 
If you choose to give to Cumberland School of Law through the purchase of a life insurance product, the staff at Cumberland School of Law can guide and assist you in structuring the policy in a way to make it advantageous to you from a tax standpoint.  Though that was not my purpose or intent in contributing to Cumberland School of Law through a life insurance gift, your premium payments may provide some tax deductions.
 
I have never viewed good stewardship through the lens of dollars and cents. Investment in people and programs to benefit students is my long range goal. We all leave this planet at some point. If upon my death I can benefit a financially struggling student at Cumberland School of Law, what better legacy can be left? 
 
Cumberland School of Law has been one of the great blessings of my life. Each time I visit, I think fondly about the students, staff and faculty when I attended. But it is not all about recalling the memories of your time at Cumberland School of Law. I call upon each of you to lay a foundation to create opportunities for future Cumberland students to enjoy similar experiences so that that they too can create fond memories and a lasting impact upon our legal profession.
 
Thank you for your kindness and generosity to a place that I love. 

Very truly yours,

Ted L. Mann               
 
To learn more about supporting Cumberland School of Law through life insurance or other estate gifts,  or, if you've already included Cumberland School of Law in your estate planning, please contact director of development Paula Kierce at pkierce@samford.edu.