MONTEVALLO — The University of Montevallo received the largest gift in the school’s history going toward a new building for its business school.

A $3.6-million gift was donated to the University of Montevallo’s Stephens College of Business, Al.com reported. 

The college is named after Michael E. Stephens, who died last year. The college of business was named in his honor in 1997.

Stephens bequeathed the money to the school of business for the facility.

Dean Stephen Craft said building a new business building was always a “dream” for Stephens.

“Michael Stephens has made yet another transformative impact on the school that bears his name,” Craft said. “Every time we met, Mike spoke at length about the Stephens College faculty and students – their happiness and well-being were always on his mind and in his heart. I am very pleased that we will see Mike’s vision of a new home for the Stephens College of Business realized.”

Stephens earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Montevallo in 1973. He underwent rehabilitation from a severe diving accident.

Stephens was the executive director of Lakeshore Hospital, founder and CEO of ReLife and worked through the Lakeshore Foundation with disabled people.

School officials have not indicated when the building will begin construction.

“We will take time, as a campus community, to consider how a new building will best serve our College of Business students and the entire campus,” said President John W. Stewart, III. “We will be seeking input from the College of Business, the Board of Trustees, other campus constituents and Mrs. Stephens in the coming weeks and months concerning this transformative gift.”

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