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The Steenbergens "Trust" in the Future

The Steenbergens
As students on the Ohio University Southern Campus visit the Ohio Horse Park and gaze across State Route 52, they can see more than just serenely rolling hills and grassy bluffs. Instead, students can envision future winding paths of picturesque bridle trails, varied terrain for equestrian training, and a potential public arena and horse park. For this, the students can thank Bob and Phyliss Steenbergen.

In 2003, the Southern Campus received a donation through a charitable remainder trust (CRT) from the Steenbergens. For donors, a CRT provides an income stream for life, permits assets to bypass capital gains tax, and allows for a charitable income tax deduction. A CRT also allows donors to benefit The Ohio University Foundation and to see the benefits of their gift at work. A CRT may be funded with any marketable asset and allows for creative charitable giving.

Rather than giving cash, the Steenbergens put 155 acres of land in a trust. This property adjoins the land owned by the Southern Campus Ohio Horse Park and had been unusable due to its steep terrain. The land that the Steenbergens donated will expand the Ohio Horse Park, which currently includes indoor and outdoor lighted arenas, a dressage ring, a 40-stall barn, and a breeding facility. In order to accommodate the increasing number of riders at the park, this new property also will become home to the new Steenbergen Stable. The ever-expanding and improving facilities of the Southern Campus are intensely preparing students pursuing careers in the equine industry.

Considering their long-time involvement in higher education, it comes as no surprise that the Steenbergens chose to donate their property to Ohio University. Bob Steenbergen, a former Pharmacist Mate in the US Navy, has served on the boards of trustees for the Nazarene Bible College of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Trevecca University of Nashville, Tennessee; and Mount Vernon Nazarene University of Mount Vernon, Ohio. Phyliss Steenbergen actively participated in philanthropy associated with all three of these institutions as well. She explained, "We're very interested in education and we appreciate all the university does. The land was just another way to support the students."

This land transfer benefits Ohio University and its students in two ways. First, it creates a highway entrance to the riding ground, which was previously cut off to most riders due to inadequate road access and extreme terrain inclines. This new highway entrance will allow the use of horse trailers, increasing public and student activity. Second, this property provides the Southern Campus with an ideal layout for future bridle trails and a large public arena - both great campus improvements.

As residents of Ashland, Kentucky since 1947, the Steenbergens have become well acquainted with Ohio University and its Southern Campus operations. "This area and the people here get a lot from the campus," said Mr. Steenbergen. "The students are so involved, and we like being a part of that."

The Steenbergens were able to support Ohio University's students while being fiscally smart. In return for donating their land, they are set to receive payments from their CRT for a fixed period of years. If you would like information on how a charitable remainder trust could benefit you, your family, and The Ohio University Foundation, please contact Kelli Bell at (740) 597-1819 or bellk@ohio.edu.