Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning donated $3 million to his alma mater, Tennessee, the school announced Friday.
The gift, which the school calls a 'Leadership Commitment,' will benefit both the football program and the Peyton Manning Scholarship Endowment.
Manning, now entering his 18th NFL season, will attend UT's spring game on Saturday. The former Vols QB and All-American played a major role in funding stadium and facilities renovations in past years. A four-year letterman, Manning led the Vols to the 1997 SEC Championship, with a 39-6 record as a starting quarterback and is the school's career record holder in yards passing, touchdown passes, completions, completion percentage, and 300-yard games.
"I believe very strongly in the direction in which Coach Jones is leading our football program," said Manning in a statement. "There is a great deal of momentum and energy surrounding Tennessee Football right now, and I look forward to what this team will accomplish in the coming years."
In the release, the school said it hoped to double the number of Manning scholarship recipients from two to four annually. The endowment was established in 1998 and awards four-year scholarships to freshman honors students.
"We are grateful for the opportunities we have had to give the gift of an education to deserving UT students every year through the scholarship program," said Manning. "It means a great deal to us to give young people an edge in maximizing their potential."
Manning's gift is in honor of longtime Tennessee athetics employees Gus Manning and Carmen Tegano.
- Jeremy Woo