Day of Service Celebrates Extraordinary Alumnus Fred Agel ’52

Mr. Fred Agel '52 (center) is surrounded by Day of Service volunteers, gathered in his honor.

Chances are that you’ve met Fred Agel ’52, a devoted alumnus, loving family member, and incredibly generous personhe 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.

Oglethorpe’s First Lady Betty Londergan Tells Heifer International’s Story Through Travel Blog

Oglethorpe’s First Lady Betty Londergan was featured this morning on CBS Atlanta 46 for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the nonprofit Heifer International, which “work(s) with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.” 

She is traveling to 12 countries in 12 months to share the stories of Heifer’s good works around the world—all chronicled in her blog project called Heifer12x12.com. Currently seven months into her literal and virtual journey, she’s traveled to Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda and Romania, to name a few.

Watch the CBS report here:

CBS Atlanta 46 

For her work, Londergan recently was named Volunteer of the Year from the Southern Region in the national CLASSY Awards. She is the author of several books and in 2010 embarked on a year-long project called What Gives 365, during which she gave away $100 every day for a year and blogged about it.

Londergan’s work also extends directly to the Oglethorpe campus. Oglethorpe will host Heifer International’s Heifer Sustainability Summit on October 12-13, 2012.  And, through Londergan’s efforts in collaboration with Oglethorpe’s Center for Civic Engagement, the campus will launch the OU Heifer Club in fall 2012—the first Heifer club on a college or university campus in the south.