Education Funding

Former Punter Donates $1 Million to RPI Football Team

TROY, NY — A former punter for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) football team has made a $1 million gift to his alma mater’s football program. The gift — made by successful businessman Brendan Keegan, RPI Class of 1991 and his wife, Dana Keegan — is by far the largest gift ever received in the program’s history.

[Photo above: Dana and Brendan Keegan]

The gift will help support the football team’s coaching staff, recruiting efforts, equipment, travel, and locker room media technology.

RPI competes on the Division III level in football and had an 8-3 record in 2022.

“Leadership is my passion and recognizing the people and organizations that helped build my foundation is very important to my family,” said Brendan Keegan. “Athletics plays a key role in developing lifelong attributes such as courage, teamwork, resilience, faith, service, family, and grit. And giving back to Rensselaer, the football program, and the student-athletes is simply a gesture of gratitude and a thank you – now let’s go win a championship!”

“We are grateful for Brendan and Dana’s significant gift to the football program,” said Rensselaer President Dr. Marty Schmidt ’81. “Athletics represents a vital part of the fabric of Rensselaer and this gift will go a long way in helping to support our dedicated student-athletes.”

Keegan is the Chairman, CEO & President of Merchants Fleet, a fleet technology company and creator of the bFEARLESS movement. Keegan is a six-time president and chief executive officer, having raised nearly $10 billion in capital with experience leading business transformations and corporate turnarounds. ​Keegan serves as a co-owner and board member of Merchants Fleet, United Autosports, Revolution Armor, Sky Meadow Country Club, and ExpressIT Delivery.

Keegan earned a B.S. in Management from RPI. While a student, he was a member of the varsity football team, the Professional Leadership Society, Epsilon Delta Sigma Management Honor Society, Theta Chi fraternity, The Polytechnic newspaper, and Phalanx, RPI’s honor society. He was elected Class President in 1991 and served all four years.

“We are extremely grateful for Dana and Brendan’s gift,” said Ralph Isernia, head coach. “Their priorities are in alignment with the mission and vision of the RPI football program. This gift is a game-changer for our entire organization and will greatly impact the experiences of our student-athletes. We are excited for the future of RPI football.”