Fond Farewell: Construction Management Student Brandon Laster
Construction management major Brandon Laster, a senior, passed away Dec. 10. He was 26.
Born February 12, 1992, he was raised outside the Oroville area in a family of ranchers. He transferred to Chico State in spring 2015 as a construction management major and quickly immersed himself in student groups, field trips, and other activities, while also managing and planning improvements for his family walnut farm.
“As a teacher, you are thrilled when you get a student like Brandon in your class. He always sat in the front and he brought such a positive presence to the classroom,” said construction management professor Patrick Brittle. “The energy he added to the room was noticeable due to his ever-present smile and his lighthearted demeanor.”
In addition to conversations related to academics, Laster was easy to talk to and connect with on a personal level outside of the classroom, Brittle said.
“I would often talk to him after class about his work on his family farm,” he said. “I was both interested and impressed with his ability to work with his hands and keep his family’s farm up and running all while juggling the responsibilities that come with being a student.”
Professor Alan Bond, advisor of the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter, said Laster was an active member who strived to attend all the camaraderie events such as barbecues and bowling, as well as attend professional development opportunities with his peers. He got along well with everyone and brought humor into every environment he was in.
“He was just a happy guy all the time,” Bond said. “His passion was for people.”
Classmate Julian Tran described him as full of knowledge, helpful, great at telling stories, and polite, and shared that his greatest interests included his friends, trucks, video games, technology, and working on his ranch.
“From the day I met him, I could feel a good energy around him and knew that he would be a friend—and that was five years ago,” he said. “Brandon was the conduit to introducing more friendships at Chico State, and I am thankful for that. …. His presence will be missed.”
On Thursday, December 13, the University flag, which is currently at half-staff in remembrance of former President George H. W. Bush, will honor Laster and a plaque will be placed at the flagpole in his memory.