Steve Lively smiling in library
Lively says he didn’t want the price of a textbook to stand in the way of a person earning a degree

Textbooks are expensive – call it a fact of college life. Though, one of UT Permian Basin’s newest grads is working to prove that it doesn’t have to be. Steven Lively put in extra work this last semester to ease the burden textbook prices can often put on students.

“It started with the concept of lending books,” Steven Lively said. “When I would buy a book, I was able to lend it out to classmates. At a point, all of my friends had taken that class and I didn’t have anyone I could lend that book to anymore.” 

Lively took his idea to a Student Senate meeting and then ironed out the logistics of what would soon be known as the book-lending program.

“I learned that students are able to donate their textbooks to a non-profit, in this case UT Permian Basin, and receive a tax write off for the donations. That saves a student money,” Lively said. “In return, students are then able to rent textbooks for free from the library.”

Lively says he didn’t want the price of a textbook to stand in the way of a person earning a degree.

“I wanted to help,” he said. “Without renting for free, someone may never get a shot at a college career.”

The book-lending program isn’t Lively’s only success as a Falcon. He maintained a near perfect GPA for both his bachelor’s and master’s degree – an accomplishment he credits to smaller classroom sizes.

“I felt like I wasn’t a number,” Lively said. “I could get involved more in a discussion. I knew my professors by name and they knew me by name. I can’t get that at a larger university.”

He says he was able to get a world-class education with all the comforts of home at UT Permian Basin. 

“There are so many resources in which students are able to better themselves mentally, emotionally and physically,” Lively said.  “You could make an argument that the student organizations actually further a student’s education. They are able to utilize the principles they learned from class and apply them to real situations.”

Walking through the quad one of his final times as a student, Lively said “I hope I can help someone else reach a goal like I did.”

Now that he has walked the stage and officially earned his master’s degree, Lively has his sights set on his next goal; call it a tall task: summating mountains in Colorado.

“I plan on summating all of Colorado’s 14,000 foot mountains,” he said. “I want to eventually go to law school, but I have a year before I can do that. So I plan on making the most of it.”