Laura and Billy Scott came to Angelo State because of family, and now they are making connections with the ASU students most in need of family support.
Already married while attending ASU as students, Billy left during his junior year to work and support their growing family. Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in communication in 2002, but she can actually trace her ASU lineage all the way back to her grandfather, the late Dr. Lloyd D. Vincent, who served as ASU president from 1967-94.
“I spent a lot of time on campus,” Laura said. “From the time I could walk, I was up here. We would hang around his office, and he had some games for us. We’d run around the file room and play hide-and-seek after it got dark in the evenings. My grandparents would also take me to plays.”
“We went to a lot of basketball and volleyball games, too,” she added. “I also remember putting my gum on the Gum Tree when I was a little kid. My parents lived in ASU’s Rosemont Apartments that aren’t there anymore. So when I enrolled at ASU, it felt like home to me.”
Now the owners of Berkshire Hathaway, Addresses REALTORS in San Angelo, the Scotts had for 10 years hosted a toy drive for the Concho Valley Children’s Emergency Shelter and CV Home for Girls. But when those facilities were transitioned into a drug and alcohol rehab center for girls, there was no longer any need for the toy drive.
“So this last year, we wanted to find another organization we could help,” Laura said. “An agent in our office introduced us to ASU’s Fostering Ram Success program. I talked to Candace Aguirre in Student Affairs, and when she told us about the program, we were just flabbergasted. We had no idea there were that many kids at ASU who had gone through the foster care system. We were just blown away.”
“Our goal was to be able to stand in and fill in the gaps a little bit for those kids and get them some of the basic things they needed and wanted for Christmas,” she added. “We ended up buying about 160 gifts for them between us, our agents, our clients and community partners. The kids had asked for things like cases of water, food cards and gas cards. They were not being selfish or greedy, and that was really humbling for us.”
Other gifts included several laptops for students so they could complete their class assignments and an iPad for a music student to store their sheet music and do away with several large loose-leaf binders.
“When we delivered the gifts, it was really neat,” Billy said. “We didn’t want the kids to think we were there for self-recognition or anything like that. We just wanted it to be organized and make sure everyone got a gift. We aren’t doing this for any recognition. We just want to help the kids and the Ram Family, because that’s what we are.”
“To watch them open up their gifts, I still get choked up just thinking about it,” Laura said. “That made it all worthwhile. Plus, now we know their names and a little bit about them, and we get to develop relationships with them. Our goal for this year is to help them all celebrate their birthdays. The more they know that they belong to ASU and San Angelo, the better.”
“Kids come from all over because they recognize the value of ASU.”
And it’s not just the students in Fostering Ram Success that benefit from the Scott’s generosity. They are regulars at ASU basketball and baseball games, and they actively support both the Ram Club and the annual Phil George Blue & Gold Dinner and Action that raise money for ASU Athletics. Their son, Reid, an ASU engineering student who is also a talented artist, has donated acrylic paintings for the auction, raising thousands of dollars.
“We do it to show our dedication to ASU and gratitude to the Ram Family,” Billy said.
With their current and future bond to the Ram Family firmly established, we asked Laura and Billy to reminisce a bit about their ASU past.
WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT BEING AN ASU STUDENT?
Laura: Angelo State is such a beautiful campus. The communication classes I took were small core groups of students, and I made really good friends. I still have connections with a lot of them. One of them even did the remodel on our house. That’s a nice thing about ASU. You make these connections that are long-term special friendships. Billy and I also had lot of classes together our first two years.
Billy: We had psychology together and we could only afford one book. But Dr. Sangeeta Singg separated us because she didn’t want students relying on someone they knew to help them. I’m not sure how we got through that. We may have made a copy of the book. You do what you have to.
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES ON CAMPUS?
Laura: I spent a ton of time in the Academic Building because that’s where my communication and English classes were. I still love that building. It’s kind of weird and quirky.
Billy: The Planetarium is also awesome. We loved that. But we lived off campus, so between actually going to classes and working, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time on campus, except mainly for going to the games.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASU MEMORY?
Laura: Mine is from before I actually attended ASU. We came to see a production of “Carousel,” and it was one of the first plays I ever saw. I think it’s what got me into theatre, speech and debate. And that’s another thing that’s neat, that ASU is so open to the public. It’s not just for the students, it’s for the community.
Billy: Mine was at the beginning of the school year, they used to have concerts with big artists to welcome the students. I was in a country band called The Swigs, and we got to open up one of the concerts for Neal McCoy. Playing for the whole student body was really cool.
HOW DID ASU PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
Billy: I was in the business program. When I went into business with my dad, those classes had taught me what I needed to know from the academic side. Then my dad actually taught me the business. So that really came together well.
Laura: Communication is such a great, broad major. Before getting into real estate, I did some marketing, and it prepared me for that. For what I do now, being able to communicate with so many different types of people and personalities on a daily basis is really a bonus. And now Billy is in real estate and we run a business together. So thank goodness he also has a business background.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PROSPECTIVE ASU STUDENTS?
Laura: I would say that you just can’t make a better choice. There are so many scholarship opportunities that give you the chance to graduate debt-free. I also think a lot of people underestimate what ASU has to offer until they get here. You have this small-town, family feel to the campus, but with all the same educational opportunities as much bigger universities, if not better. Kids come from all over because they recognize the value of ASU.
Billy: We also have really nice facilities for the students to live in. There is great support from the community. The athletic programs are very successful. There are not many schools our size that offer all the academic programs ASU has. Plus, when students come here, they see the love from the community, the love from ASU and the Ram Fam, and they say, ‘This is my new home,’ and they stay.