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Building Home

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The word ‘home’ comes up a lot when you talk to Scott Morrissey.

He’s a star baseball player for Clarkson and he started remodeling his parents’ home when he was a tween. He’s also one of only a few college seniors anywhere with his own home-construction firm.

“My family motivates me,” he says. “They’ve worked hard and they’ve done everything they can to support me. When you have examples like that at home, it’s easier to get up, get out there and work for the things you want.”

For Scott, that’s the ability to run his own firm and live near family.

“These past few years have been tough economically,” he says. “Lots of graduating seniors have to move to where the jobs are. Even people like me—who want to be their own boss—have to find other places with a humming economy and an established culture of innovation and development. Clarkson is showing me how to find these in the region where I want to live, and—when necessary—how to find them in myself or build them from scratch.”

He says his instructors have also helped him add structure to the construction firm he started.

“Larry Compeau, my business professor, gets a lot of credit for teaching me  how to critically evaluate my professional decisions. It was his voice I heard when I was setting up my construction company’s accounting system and website,” he says.

“I hired two workmen, and even after buying the tools and equipment we need—and gas to get to jobs—I’ve never missed payroll.”

Scott also compliments Clarkson’s baseball coach Jim Kane—for his ability to improve players while keeping them focused on their studies.

“I’ve played baseball for as long as I can remember,” he says. “I came here to play, but the real value of Clarkson is my business education.”

Scott’s an outfielder—a position that requires a lot of running around every inning—and he’s majoring in entrepreneurship and innovation. Still, he calls Clarkson business instructor Karen St. Hilaire a driving force in making his business grow.

“She’s the one who told me, ‘Everybody has ideas. Lots of them. But it’s the people who take risks who make things happen.’ She’s the one who told me to move from inaction to action—and then showed me how.”

It’s taken some sacrifice on his part.

“In the summer, I’m up at 6:00, work a full day, play ball at 4:00 and then have dinner with family.”

To Scott, this was a first glimpse of success on his own terms.

“I want to be my own boss. I want to build a house start-to-finish. I want to make my family proud.”

Now, word of mouth in his hometown of Troy (near Albany) is helping his construction business take off. He says he has more jobs than he can get to. So, like all baseball players, he has his eye on home.

“All the time now,” he says, “I’m thinking about my business and I’m itching to get started, full-time.”
Scott Morrissey

Scott Morrissey '13