Recent Gifts of Real Estate
Bill Oakley grew up in Columbia in southeast Alabama where his dad was a farmer and a small town merchant. He spent summers hunting arrowheads in the freshly turned soil of family land, and working in the family’s cotton gin and warehouses. When it was time to attend college, Bill followed in his father’s footsteps by attending The University of Alabama. A few years ago Bill gave the University some of his father’s papers including old grade sheets with hand-written notes from UA President Dr. George Denny. Recently, Bill arranged through his estate plan to give the University 1,000 acres of land that he said had been in his family for more than sixty years. The land sits adjacent to 500 acres that Bill’s sister, Margaret Oakley Nicholas, bequeathed to UA in 2011. Bill now calls Reston, Virginia, home when he is not traveling the world.
Estelle Taylor was born in Tuscaloosa where she played on the grounds of Bryce Hospital and the campus of The University of Alabama. Most of Estelle’s family attended UA including her mother and all ten of her mother’s siblings. Estelle and her two sisters, Anne and Louise, graduated from the University. All three sisters worked in University libraries while attending school. Estelle earned her degree in chemistry; Anne became a teacher; and Louise was a nurse. Estelle gave UA four acres of land in Jefferson County that she inherited from her sisters. “It was their house site,” Estelle said. “The house burned down, but the land is beautiful. I decided the best thing to do with it was to give it to the University because we all graduated from UA.” Estelle and her husband, Arthur, own a marina in Demopolis. “I recently bought a two bedroom houseboat, but I think we’ll sell it as soon as I get it all fixed up,” she said.
Phyllis Todd is a native of Tupelo, Mississippi. She met her husband, John, in Birmingham where she was attending nursing school and he was finishing his residency in internal medicine. After living in Newfoundland and Florida for four years, the couple settled in Tuscaloosa in 1963. Phyllis has found the college town’s atmosphere especially appealing. “You meet some interesting people that you might not otherwise be exposed to,” she said. Phyllis is a history buff and enjoys the unique offerings found in the Hoole Special Collections Library on UA’s campus. Phyllis gave the University a house in Tuscaloosa that she and her husband purchased years ago. Proceeds from the sale of the house created two endowed funds to support UA libraries. “I feel like the library system gives the greatest opportunity for education to be promoted,” she said.
Clarence Scott began his education in a one-room schoolhouse, received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UA in 1929, and served in the Army during World War II. For 35 years, he worked for International Paper Company in Mobile, Alabama. In 1995 he married Martha Tanner Scott, a native of Houston, Texas. While he was still a student, Clarence made his first gift to the College of Engineering, giving money to Dr. Ray Farabee for departmental supplies. To express their appreciation to the College of Engineering, Clarence and Martha gave 379 acres of standing timber located in Washington County, Alabama with the proceeds from the sale of the timber to fund The Clarence W. and Martha T. Scott Endowed Dean’s Discretionary Fund for Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama. Before his passing, Clarence noted that his relationship with Dr. Farabee influenced his future giving, effecting this “creative” gift, which he hopes “may influence other people to give something besides money.”
Joanne and Robert Hodgkins met while they were students at The University of Alabama and married shortly after graduation. Joanne taught Elementary education in the Alabama public school system; Robert, who earned degrees in both commerce and law from UA, worked for State Farm Insurance Company for 40 years. Their love for UA was a lifetime passion and the reason they endowed three named scholarships. Through her last will and testament, Joanne gave UA over 400 acres in Sumter County, Alabama, the proceeds from which will be used to support their three scholarships.
Alton Scott, born in Yellow Pine, Alabama in 1919, enrolled in the College of Commerce at UA in 1937. In 1940, he left school and joined the U.S. Army as a bombardier in World War II. After the War, he returned home to Washington County, Alabama, to live in the family home and tend to the timberland he inherited from his father. To continue his support of the University in perpetuity, he transferred the 1,900 acres of prime timberland and a substantial interest in a natural gas and oil field into a trust. The income produced by the management of this land has funded three professorships in the College of Engineering at The University of Alabama. Alton’s gift provides funding to attract and retain prominent engineering professors and perform research in areas that are critical to the economic development of the State of Alabama.
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