SARASOTA, Fla. - An alumnus of the University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus decided to donate $3.5 million to the school.

Bill Mariotti’s donation on Monday marks the largest individual contribution in USFSM’s history.

“Providing the atmosphere and tools for learning is very important for our future,” Mariotti said in a university news release. “Providing scholarships gives opportunities to those whom might not be able to attend college by traditional methods.”

Mariotti, 56, of Sarasota is the president of the family-owned site development company his father started.

Mariotti was originally enrolled in classes at USFSM in the 1980s when his father suffered an injury while working at a demolition site. The younger Mariotti decided to delay his college education to help with the family business.

After more than 30 years, Mariotti returned to classes and earned his bachelor’s degree in general business with a concentration in management and marketing. He graduated in December 2015.

Mariotti said he came to the decision over the past year after talking with friends and family, including his sister, Debbie, who co-owns the business with him. He has no children, and said it made sense to leave a legacy at USFSM.

“Bill has been a tremendous supporter and friend of our campus for many years and we are so fortunate that he has decided to leave a lasting legacy for our students through this planned gift,” said USFSM Interim Regional Chancellor Terry Osborn.

Mariotti stipulated the donation be allocated to nine funds. Forty percent will go towards the support of buildings on USFSM’s campus, and another 30 percent will support a fund named the Bill Mariotti Endowed Chair in Business at USFSM’s College of Business.

Go to USF Sarasota-Manatee’s website for more information.