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Graduate Fulfills Promise to Pay Rensselaer Back for His "Great Education"

Steve Laskey

Steve “Coyote” Laskey has enjoyed a lot of success in his life, though the early road on which he traveled wasn’t always smooth.

“It was Rensselaer that prepared me for success,” says Laskey, a ’72 graduate who earned an electric power engineering degree. “Attending Rensselaer was a challenge in so many ways. Since then, almost everything else has been easy. I came away with the confidence and the ability to do anything.

“I always felt that if I can pay this back, I’m going to.”

Laskey, an all-state high school basketball player in Kansas, won an academic scholarship to Rensselaer, where he also played varsity basketball. Since Laskey shared a first name with other players, he was called “Coyote,” his high school nickname.

“As a basketball player, they gave you a job so you could earn room and board,” Laskey says. “Mine was cleaning dorms.

“The athletic program really kept me disciplined. Between basketball, road trips, study and work, I was in a ‘sink or swim’ situation because I had to keep my grades up to keep my scholarship.”

Laskey graduated with a 3.86 GPA. Today, he’s president of an Arizona corporation that makes PVC pipe for water and sewer systems throughout the country.

“Rensselaer helped me, and now I want to help someone else,” says Laskey, a member of the Let’s Go Red booster club. He’s also a member of the Rensselaer Heritage Society for naming Rensselaer a beneficiary of his estate, and he recently made a significant pledge in support of Rensselaer’s $75 million East Campus Athletic Village.

“I came from meager beginnings,” Laskey says. “I’m able to make these donations because of the great education I received at Rensselaer. I don’t feel indebted, but I did promise myself if I could ever pay this back, I would.”

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