Mr. Mitchell is a co-founder of the Mitchell Company, a real-estate firm in Mobile, Ala. Mr. Mitchell, 79, pledged $50-million to the University of South Alabama. He is directing $25-million of the gift to endow academic scholarships and the other half to support the Mitchell College of Business. The donor never attended the university. His involvement grew over the years through a friendship with the late Gordon Moulton, who served as president of the institution from 1998 to 2013. Mr. Moulton died in September. Mr. Mitchell also gave the university $11,185 for a fundraiser for the Mitchell Cancer Institute last year. He gave the institute $20-million in 2006.