Agnew donates rental property to church

- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -

Dr. Theodore L. Agnew Jr., Emeritus Professor of History at Oklahoma State University, will donate his rental property on Bellis Street in Stillwater to the United Methodist Church through the Oklahoma Conference Foundation, his family announced today.

The property will be presented in a brief ceremony on Thursday, April 6, 11:30 am, at the First United Methodist Church, 400 West Seventh Street, in Stillwater. Receiving the gift on behalf of the Oklahoma Conference Foundation will be David Battles, Vice President for Planned Giving. An opportunity for questions and photographs will follow the presentation.

Dr. Agnew’s property consists of a single-story house located in the area to be occupied by the OSU Athletic Village, as designated in the OSU Master Plan approved by the Board of Regents on March 3.

“I am pleased to be able to make this gift as an Agnew Family Endowment which will be available to promote the causes of United Methodism in years ahead,” Dr. Agnew said.

Supporting Dr. Agnew in his gift are his five children, Theodore Lee Agnew III, Susan Elizabeth Agnew, Hugh LeCaine Agnew, Peter Wallace Agnew, and Marion Jeanne Agnew.

Dr. Agnew may be contacted for more information or further questions at 405-372-9404.

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4 Responses to Agnew donates rental property to church

  1. Tamara Colbert Maschino says:

    What a generous gift to your community that will benefit a very honorable and worthy cause. It is a lovely gesture that balances the sad loss of the neighborhoods in this area.

  2. Lee Agnew says:

    It may be presumptuous to comment on my own story, and more so to try to speak for my father. But Dad and I have had people asking us questions, both about his intentions, and the long-term future of the property (one reporter asked Dad if he was trying to “sabotage eminent domain!”), so I thought I’d address them in this excerpt from my own blog entry from last week:

    “Here’s the dilemma [our father] had faced, along with the other property owners: With the Board of Regents’ approval of the Master Plan, his choices were either (a.) sell to OSU as a ‘willing seller’ for what they offer, or (b.) force OSU to take him to court under Eminent Domain, spend lots of money on lawyers, maybe not get as much for the house as he would have under option ‘a,’ and lose the house to OSU eventually anyway.

    “When Dad donates his house to his church, the church will turn right around and sell it to OSU — but Dad gets a tax deduction for the donation, and an annuity from the endowment. He doesn’t have to pay tax on the capital gains from rental property appreciation. Neither does he have to pretend he’s a ‘willing seller’ when he isn’t, or go through the ordeal of a court fight. In the words of my sister Marion, he gets ‘the chance to do ONE part of this the way he actually WANTS to.’ And making the statement that he’d rather give his house away than sell it to OSU carries a certain weight of its own.

    My brothers and sisters and I applaud his action, and support his decision wholeheartedly. And we remain concerned about, and angry on behalf of, the other homeowners who are not in a position to make that kind of gesture.”

    In this context, I would especially like to emphasize that last sentence.

  3. Tamara Colbert Maschino says:

    It makes me angry too, that any one of us who own property in this area would even have to make these type of decisions. In my family’s view, we were not willing sellers, my mother would never have planned to move from her home at all. As we pack her possessions and move her many memories , it is difficult and sad because it was so unecessary.This was not a project of great need that would have solved world hunger, global warming or provided space for a research facility to cure cancer. It is lakes and tennis courts and athletic facilties for the few. Mom wanted to hold out, but she began to have health problems and OSU was not worth our precious mother.

  4. Fantastic story, great strategy, I hate Eminent Domain. It is so easily abused now and the pricing structures are so under market value. It is time to reign in Eminent Domain.

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