Vol legend Peyton Manning is giving back to Tennessee again.
Manning and his wife Ashley, who are in town for Saturday’s Orange and White Game, announced a $3 million “leadership commitment” to the University of Tennessee on Friday night.
The funds will benefit both the already-established Peyton Manning Scholarship Endowment and the football program. Manning is making the donation in the name of long-time UT administrators Gus Manning and Tegano. Gate 16 at Neyland Stadium will be named the Gus Manning Gate, and The Carmen and Deborah Tegano Student-Athlete Dining Hall will be established in the new residential dorm that is under construction on the corner of Lake Loudon and Volunteer Boulevards on campus.
“Gus and Carmen both personify what it means to be a Vol for Life, and both have made the University of Tennessee a better place,” Manning said in a release from Tennessee. “No one has served Tennessee and its athletics program better than Gus, and Carmen has also served this University with tremendous distinction.
“We have been fortunate to maintain a close friendship with Gus, Carmen, and Debbie Tegano since I left UT, and our sincere hope is that the decision to honor them in this way is reflective of the positive impact they continue to have on this great University.”
Manning, who played at UT from 1994-97, is scheduled to be on hand for the Orange and White Game Saturday where a new spring award that features his name will be presented.
The 39-year old Denver Broncos quarterback and five-time NFL MVP set the NFL all-time mark for touchdown passes during the 2014 season and is approximately 2,000 yards short of breaking the NFL’s all-time passing yards mark as well heading into 2015. He’s been an outspoken supporter and friend of Butch Jones since he’s taken over at Tennessee as well.
“I believe very strongly in the direction in which Coach Jones is leading our football program,” Manning said. “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.”