Nicely makes first planned estate gift to KGOU Radio

Spring 2016

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Marilyn Nicely (left) and General Manager Karen Holp visit in the studios of KGOU Radio, which will one day receive a planned gift from Nicely’s estate. “I listen to KGOU constantly; I don’t know what I’d do without it,” she said.

Marilyn Nicely (left) and General Manager Karen Holp visit in the studios of KGOU Radio, which will one day receive a planned gift from Nicely’s estate. “I listen to KGOU constantly; I don’t know what I’d do without it,” she said.

As a law librarian, Marilyn Nicely spent her career making sure that information is available to the public in perpetuity. Now she is ensuring the same through a planned gift to KGOU Radio.

KGOU is a full-service public radio station licensed to the university and operated by OU Outreach. The station serves the greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area and covers Ada, Seminole, Chickasha, Shawnee and northwestern Oklahoma. KGOU partners with NPR and other networks and serves as the lead station for StateImpact Oklahoma, a public radio reporting project.

Nicely’s commitment represents the first-known planned gift to KGOU through the OU Foundation, said Station Manager Karen Holp. “We are grateful for Marilyn’s vision and generosity,” she added. “An en­dowed fund will make planning KGOU’s future easier, providing a little more income stability in future years and complementing the fundraising that we do in the regular course of business. We hope Marilyn’s story will inspire more listeners to consider KGOU in their planned giving.”

“NPR is so important to my life,” said Nicely, who recently retired from OU’s Donald E. Pray Law Library after 39 years of service. “I listen to KGOU constantly; I don’t know what I’d do without it. In this world, it’s absolutely essential to have good information.

“I realize that KGOU has to raise money every year from listeners through its annual membership drive,” she said with a smile. “This is just my way of continuing to contribute from the afterlife.”

Nicely also has included OU law in her estate plan. Though officially retired, she continues to consult for the college’s “Serial Set project,” which she has headed since 2012 in cooperation with Steve Beleu, gov­ernment documents librarian at the Oklahoma Department of Librar­ies. Nicely and student staff members are using government depository publications borrowed from ODL to trace and scan 19th-century presi­dential and congressional documents that relate to Native Americans. To date, they have scanned 220,000 pages and are not yet at the halfway point of their work. Nicely is seeking partners to complete the project, and hopes that the materials will one day be available online through OU Libraries.

“I feel it will be very important to tribes, teachers, attorneys and historians,” she said. “This material covers everything from the Indian Wars to reservations and Indian Removal. It basically demonstrates the Native American conquest through legislation.”

Marilyn Nicely (left) and General Manager Karen Holp visit in the studios of KGOU Radio, which will one day receive a planned gift from Nicely’s estate. “I listen to KGOU constantly; I don’t know what I’d do without it,” she said.