The Gift of Opportunity: Educator Helps Talented Students Through Estate Gift
When Richard E. Haskell, Ph.D., was growing up in rural New Hampshire in the 1940s and '50s, he had plenty of ambition and talent. As the son of a late minister and a schoolteacher, however, there was one thing he lacked.
"We had no money," he says. "I'd decided I wanted to go to RPI, but when I went to the admissions office, they told me I was too poor!"
Being a resourceful country boy, Richard didn't back down easily. "I was determined to go anyway, so I said, ‘What can you do for me?'"
He finagled a tuition-only scholarship—and rolled up his sleeves. "I worked in the summer and scraped around for room and board for the first year," he recalls. "I did well, so in my sophomore year I received a General Motors scholarship that covered not only tuition, but also some room and board."
Richard continued to do well, graduating with his B.E.E. in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1963—and co-authoring a textbook on plasma dynamics during his stay. Prepped for a lucrative career, Richard instead opted to head into education, helping create the engineering school at Oakland University in Michigan.
"I always had this knack for explaining things to people," he reflects. A couple of sabbaticals notwithstanding—including one at NASA during the year of the last moon flight—Richard remained an educator for the next five decades.
He always knew that one day he would want to enable other talent-rich, cash-poor students to attend his alma mater, which is why he has set up the Edith and Richard Haskell '60 Scholarship, an endowed fund to be fully funded through his will.
"All the things I've done in my career have been made possible by my education at RPI. I wanted to make sure that opportunity is available to other students," he says now. "It was a natural thing for me to do."
Make Your Mark
If you would like to make an impact on Rensselaer students through your estate plans, contact Art Tracy '92 MS at 518-276-2561 or email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org today.