MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The University of South Alabama announced during Friday’s 60th anniversary celebration a $20 million gift for the construction of a new performing arts center, according to a release.
Long-time South supporter Abraham “Abe” Mitchell is making the donation and has now given the university $120 million overall. This makes Mitchell one of the largest donors to a public university in the state.
The Jaguars men’s and women’s basketball team and volleyball team play their games in the Mitchell Center. The football team plays at Hancock Whitney Stadium, but the playing surface is named Abraham A. Mitchell Field. The business school at South is also named after Mitchell.
“It gives me great happiness to see the impact that my support – and that of my family – has brought to the University of South Alabama,” Mitchell said. “The impact it has had on our students, on their ability to attend and graduate from college, and their ability to pursue their dreams and establish dreams for their future generations.”
The site for the new center has not been announced and further fundraising is ongoing, according to the release. The “state-of-the-art facility” will complement the current Laidlaw Performing Arts Center.
“World-class cities feature world class event venues,” said Jo Bonner, University of South Alabama president. “Mr. Mitchell’s generosity allows us to take the next big step toward advancing the arts both on campus and throughout the region.
South’s commencement ceremonies are being held this Friday and Saturday.