Chances are that you’ve met Fred Agel ’52, a devoted alumnus, loving family member, and incredibly generous person: he is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and the Board of Trustees, and you can often find him volunteering his free time in the library archives. November 19th was a special day for Fred, who celebrated his 85th birthday with friends, family… and a big surprise. To honor Fred and show how much they love and appreciate him, his entire family planned a Day of Service volunteer event with the OU community at Books for Africa.
“I hoped that we could find a way to work through OU since it has been, and continues to be, such an important part of my father’s life,” said Laurie Agel Amerson, Fred’s daughter. “I believe that my entire family has watched my father’s community service, and each and every one of us finds a way to be involved in our communities. He taught by example the importance of giving back, and three generations later, he is still teaching.”
The volunteer event on February 16th brought together more than 40 students, alumni, Center for Civic Engagement staff, and friends of Mr. Agel. Members of the newly established Thornwell Jacobs Society were especially excited to join in, as the project not only highlighted their goals of integrity, initiative, and perseverance, but took place during Thornwell Jacobs’ birthday weekend.
“Celebrating Fred Agel is celebrating Oglethorpe,” said Ruwa Romman ’15, historian of the Jacobs Society. President Antonio Mantica ’15 said with a smile that, if Fred were a sophomore, he would be a prime candidate for membership in the Society.
In addition to the Day of Service, several departments have sent Fred thank you cards, and the baseball team (of which Fred is a former member) has given Fred a baseball, signed with all of the players’ names.
“This is a great way to celebrate his legacy,” said Heather Staniszewski ’02, assistant director of the Center for Civic Engagement, who helped plan the event. “It’s exciting to see family, alumni, and students working together in his honor.”
“The day was a huge success,” added Laurie. “My dad spent a lot of time just looking at everybody working and sorting books with a big smile on his face. The most wonderful thing for me was seeing all four generations of my family working side-by-side with OU students.”
If you would like to participate in future service projects, contact Heather Staniszewski.