MidAmerica Nazarene University announced that a portion of the assets from the estate of Edgar (Class of 1972) and Maron (Lorimer) Moore sold at auction September 13. The sale of nearly 1,400 acres of farmland in Henry County, Missouri, in six separate tracts, brought the university $4.1 million.
The estate gift, in excess of $9 million, represents the largest one-time gift from an alumnus in the 50-year history of MNU, according to MNU President David Spittal.
“We are so grateful for the vision of Edgar and Maron Moore and what their generous gift of land and other assets will do now and in the future at MNU,” Spittal said. “The Moores’ great passion was to help educate young people. Due to their foresight, this legacy will live on at our university.”
The auction was held at the Benson Community Center in Clinton, Missouri, by Webb & Associates. Attendees numbered more than 100 and 25-30 pre-qualified buyers were there to bid on the property. Dave Webb, principal of the firm and an MNU alum, marketed and sold the property, assisted by alumnus and auctioneer Kevin Borger. Both Webb and Borger spent months in preparation for the sale, marketing the property through national advertising and personal solicitation. In addition, both alums chose to donate their commission on the sale to MNU, helping the university realize the greatest gain on the sale of the property.
Jon North, vice president for University Advancement, expressed his gratitude to the auctioneers for their dedication to the university.
“Through the work of Dave Webb and Kevin Borger, we feel the land brought the highest, best dollar it could have for the university,” North said. “We appreciate their commitment to the university and the fact that the Lord brought the right buyers and sellers together for this event.”
Edgar and Maron Moore cultivated a rich relationship with MNU during their lifetimes. The Olathe-area natives were known for their generosity, especially to educational institutions. In 1972, Edgar graduated from MNU having completed his bachelor’s degree at age 62. He later ran for and was elected to the Kansas State House of Representatives.
After Maron’s career in public education, she engaged in a wide variety of civic, charitable, and social organizations. During this period, having observed the needs of troubled youth and broken families, the Moores became convinced they needed to help solve the challenges of future generations by investing in youth and education.
Together they donated more than $1 million to Kansas 4-H and to the Clovia Scholarship House at Kansas State University. After Edgar’s death in 1991, Maron continued their philanthropy with significant contributions to various local projects and organizations, including Johnson County Community College. Their estate planning and gift to MNU represented the culmination of their lives of service and giving to ensure quality education in the state of Kansas.
An often-quoted Johnson's County Gazette statement from Edgar gives the best insight into the Moores’ desire to invest in Christian higher education at MNU.
“I like to look at the lights on the campus of MidAmerica and wonder just how far those lights are really shining. They go far from the Olathe community into dark places of the world and they bring light and hope. It is up to us to help them shine.”
Remaining portions of Edgar and Maron Moore’s gift will be distributed to the university in the next six months, pending the final probate of the estate.