As supervisor of the instrument shop for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mann was responsible for building and maintaining scientific instruments. He also administered a shop technique course for graduate students and services 50 other University departments.
A University employee for 29 years, Mann lived outside Saxapahaw. He and his wife have two grown sons and four grandchildren, and are active in the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) church.
In nominating Mann, one colleague wrote that Mann “is bilingual — he speaks both professor and good old boy.” Another said that Mann made problems evaporate, saving the University “countless headaches and cost overruns.” Mann even had a standing offer with groundskeepers that whenever their litter sticks need sharpening, he would gladly do it while they waited. “In short, Mr. Mann’s concern for the University community comes before his personal concerns,” one writer said.