Mississippi State University

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Mississippi State University
MottoLearning, Service, Research
TypePublic University
PresidentDr. Mark E. Keenum
Academic staff1,359[2]
Admin. staff3,361
Students20,424 [2]
LocationStarkville, Mississippi, United States
ColorsMaroon and White          
AthleticsNCAA Division I
Mississippi State Univ Logo.svg
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Mississippi State University
MottoLearning, Service, Research
TypePublic University
PresidentDr. Mark E. Keenum
Academic staff1,359[2]
Admin. staff3,361
Students20,424 [2]
LocationStarkville, Mississippi, United States
ColorsMaroon and White          
AthleticsNCAA Division I
Mississippi State Univ Logo.svg

The Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science[3] commonly known as Mississippi State University is a land-grant university located in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, United States, partially in the town of Starkville and partially in an unincorporated area.[4][5] Mississippi State, Mississippi, is the official designation for the area that encompasses the university.

It is classified as a "comprehensive doctoral research university with very high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation.[6] Fall 2011 enrollment statistics from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning show the MSU Starkville campus is the largest university campus in the state. They also have campuses in Meridian, Biloxi, and Vicksburg. In 2009, Mississippi State University was ranked #18 nationally in Forbes magazine's "America's Best College Buys" and 1 in agricultural schools within the Southeastern Conference.[3] Mississippi State was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best universities in the United States for Engineering and Veterinary Medicine where it ranked #84[7] and #24[8] respectively.



Panoramic; Regimental parade; March 15, 1914; Miss. A & M College (now known as Mississippi State University).

The University began as The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi (or Mississippi A&M), one of the national land-grant colleges established after Congress passed the Morrill Act in 1862. It was created by the Mississippi Legislature on February 28, 1878, to fulfill the mission of offering training in "agriculture, horticulture and the mechanical arts . . . without excluding other scientific and classical studies, including military tactics." The university received its first students in the fall of 1880 in the presidency of General Stephen D. Lee.

In 1887 Congress passed the Hatch Act, which provided for the establishment of the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1888. The Cooperative Extension Service was established in 1914 by the Smith-Lever Act. The university has since had its mission expanded and redefined by the Legislature. In 1932, the Legislature renamed the university as Mississippi State College.

By 1958, when the Legislature again renamed the university as Mississippi State University, the Graduate School had been organized (1936), doctoral degree programs had begun (1951), the School of Forest Resources had been established (1954), and the College of Arts and Sciences had replaced the General Science School (1956).

In July 1965, Richard E. Holmes became the first African-American student to enroll at Mississippi State University.

The School of Architecture admitted its first students in 1973, the College of Veterinary Medicine admitted its first class in 1977. The MSU Vet school (commonly referred to as the CVM) is the largest veterinary school in the nation under one roof.

The School of Accountancy was established in 1979.

The University Honors Program was founded in 1968 in order to provide more rigorous course curricula for academically talented students, as well as to facilitate guest lecture series, forums, and distinguished external scholarships. The program has been vastly expanded to form its own college after Bobby Shackouls, an MSU alumnus and retired CEO, donated US$10 million to found the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College in April 2006.[9]

The school recently also started a joint Ph.D program with San Jose State University allowing an increase in research for both universities, as well as enhancing the stature of both engineering colleges.

In March 2009, Mississippi State announced the conclusion of the university's seven-year capital campaign, with more than $462 million received in private gifts and pledges. [4]


University campus

Mississippi State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Today, the university has the following colleges and schools:

As of Fall 2011, the current total enrollment of Mississippi State is 20,424.[10] The university contains 160 buildings, and the grounds of the university comprise about 4,200 acres (17 km²), including farms, pastures, and woodlands of the Experiment Station. The university also owns an additional 80,000 acres (320 km²) across the state.

Mississippi State University also operates an off-campus, degree-granting center in Meridian where both undergraduate and graduate programs are offered. In cooperation with the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, the College of Engineering offers the Master of Science degree to students in Vicksburg.

Mississippi State's campus is centered on the main quadrangle, called the Drill Field (pictured) due to its heavy use by the Corps of Cadets prior to the end of World War II. The Drill Field is defined at its north and south ends by the mirror-image buildings, Lee Hall (the original University building, now the division of languages building, far left in picture below) and Swalm Hall (home to the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, far right in picture below). Old Main was the original dormitory, west of Lee Hall; it burned in a tragic fire, and was replaced by the Colvard Student Union. The largest building fronting the Drill Field is Mitchell Memorial Library (immediately to right of flagpole in picture below).

The Drill Field and surrounding buildings

From the Drill Field, the campus radiates in all directions. The College of Engineering can be found mostly to the east side of the Drill Field; to the north are the Arts and Sciences, including Computer Science, and the College of Architecture, Art, and Design (CAAD). Humanities are found to the south, while Agriculture dominates the west section. To the west and northwest are also found the athletic facilities, including Scott Field and the Humphrey Coliseum, or The Hump.

Beyond the main campus (and the series of commuter parking lots ringing the main campus) are the North and South Farms. While still used for their original purpose of agricultural research, the Farms are also host to newer facilities, such as the astronomical observatory and Veterinary College (South Farm) and the High Performance Computing Collaboratory (North Farm). At the far west of campus, one finds first the fraternity and sorority houses, and beyond them the Cotton District and downtown Starkville, Mississippi. The University is also home to the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, which host many of the university's research centers, such as the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) and the nationally-recognized Social Science Research Center.

Mitchell Memorial Library

Ulysses Grant
18th President of the United States

Mississippi State University is home to The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Collection

The Mitchel Memorial Library is located in the heart of the campus, on the eastern side of the Drill Field. [11]

The library has a collection of 2,124,341 volumes and 70,331 Journals. [12]

Mississippi State is one of the few universities to house presidential papers. In May 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, Mississippi State University was selected as the permanent location for Ulysses S. Grant's Presidential Library. President Grant's artifacts are to remain permanently at the Mitchell Memorial Library on the MSU campus. These include Grant's letters and photographs while he was President from 1869 to 1877. The MSU library cataloged and cross-referenced 15,000 linear feet of material. Grant's letters have been divided into 31 volumes while a 32nd volume is due to be released. [13] [14]

The Library is also home to the The Congressional and Political Research Center which is located on the first floor of Mitchell Memorial Library, the Congressional and Political Research Center, established in November 1999, is based on the premier collections of Senator John C. Stennis and Congressman G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery. The careers of these two individuals span a total of seventy-two years of service as Congressional leaders. Their papers are invaluable to MSU's political research and teaching. The Center provides research materials and information on individual U. S. Senators and Representatives, the U. S. Congress, and politics at all levels of government and has begun to take on a significant role on a state, regional and national level. [15]

One of the Libraries' premier collections is that of MSU alumnus John Grisham, who donated his papers to the university in 1989. Grisham's collection, now consisting of over 42 cubic feet, has brought national attention to the Library. Materials from the Grisham Papers are on display in Mitchell Memorial Library's John Grisham Room (3rd floor), which opened in May 1998. In addition to Grisham's papers, the Libraries receive his published works, including foreign-language translations. [16]

In 2000, the Charles H. Templeton Collection, which includes over 200 nineteenth- and twentieth-century music instruments, 22,000 pieces of sheet music, and 13,000 records, was transferred to the Libraries. According to world-renowned author and musicologist David A. Jasen, the Templeton Collection contains the most complete collection of Victor Talking Machines from their debut in 1897 to 1930. This Collection, valued at over $495,000 in 1989, serves as one of the Libraries' premier collections. Items from the Collection are on display at the Templeton Music Museum, located on the 4th floor of Mitchell Memorial Library. In 2001, a digitization project was established to digitize and provide access to the entire sheet music collection. To date, over 6,000 pieces of music have been digitized, archived and cataloged. [17]

The Library also hosts The Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival is an annual event that brings the sounds of ragtime past and present to Starkville. The Festival debuted in March 2007, the first of its kind in Mississippi. The multi-day event features seminars, tours of the Templeton Music Museum, and concerts by some of the world's most renowned ragtime and jazz musicians. [18]

During final exams week the library usually host a massive rave party for about 20 minutes, with the intention of to provide fun during this stressful week. In previous years it has been estimated that about 2,000 people attend this rave.[19]

Student life


Residence halls at Mississippi State University:

Old Main

Old Main

Old Main, originally called the Main Dormitory, was the first building on the campus of Mississippi State University. The first section of Old Main was built in 1880. Additions were constructed in 1901, 1903, 1906, and 1922. It is considered to have been the largest college dormitory in the United States. The building was completely destroyed by fire on the night of January 22, 1959. The blaze claimed the life of one of the dorm's 1,100 residents. Bricks salvaged from the fire were used to build the Chapel of Memories. Bricks from Old Main were also dumped in the area that became what served as the band practice field for many years behind the Industrial Educational Building and could be seen on slope of the north side.

Roy Vernon Scott, professor emeritus of history at MSU is the author of Old Main: Memories of a Legend.[20]

Student organizations

MSU has over 300 student organizations. Prominent organizations include the Famous Maroon Band, MSU Road Runners, Student Association, Alumni Delegates, Orientation Leaders, 18 fraternities and 11 sororities, the Residence Hall Association, the Black Student Alliance, the Mississippi State University College Democrats and Republicans, the Campus Activities Board, Music Maker Productions, the Baptist Student Union, the Engineering Student Council, Arnold Air Society, the Stennis-Montgomery Association and ChallengeX. The national literary magazine Jabberwock Review is also based at MSU.

Student media

Mississippi State's local radio station is WMSV.

Prior to WMSV, Mississippi State had a student-run radio station, WMSB which went off the air permanently at the end of the spring semester of 1986. WMSB was a low-power FM station with studios on the top floor of Lee Hall. WMSB was started the Fall Semester 1971 in a freshman dorm room on the third floor of Critz Hall utilizing a FM stereo transmitter that was designed and built as a high school science fair project by one of the station's founders. The station's original call letters were RHOM. It was on air from 8:00–12:00 pm each evening. Later, funding was solicited from the Student Association. Funding was approved, the low-power RCA FM transmitter was ordered and the call letters WMSB were issued by the FCC. The station was moved to studios on the top floor of Lee Hall that were formerly occupied by a student-run AM station.

The student newspaper is the Reflector, published twice per week on Tuesday and Friday. The publication was named the #1 college newspaper in the South in 2007 by the Southeast Journalism Conference. In previous years, The Reflector has consistently ranked in the top 10 among college newspapers in the southern United States.

Music scene

State's music scene is wonderful for fans of mainstream alternative acts like Third Eye Blind, which performed recently during the annual Bulldog Bash. It is considered the biggest outdoor concert in the state of Mississippi. The Bulldog Bash is free and held in the Starkville Cotton District, where many State students live.

Mississippi State is home to WMSV, the campus radio station, which routinely plays older alternative mainstream rock and pop from the 1990s. Much of the music on the radio station comes from syndicated radio programs from Public Radio International, yet the station's homegrown music programs on Sunday afternoons and evenings emphasize jazz and blues classics.

During the spring semester the Old Main Music Festival takes place, it is also free to the public, and is held on the Mississippi State Campus it has featured artist such as Trey Songz, Sugarland and OneRepublic.[21]

The city of Starkville and the Mississippi State campus have been a tour stop for many artists such as Bon Jovi, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan[22] and most famously for Johnny Cash in 1965. After Johnny Cash's performance he was arrested, which lead him to write the song "Starkville City Jail".[23]

Lecture series

Every semester Mississippi State has several distinguished speakers, these have included best selling authors Greg Mortenson[24] and Mississippi State alumnus John Grisham,[25] Academy Award nominated Spike Lee,[26] television science show hosts Jeff Lieberman[27] and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.[28] Also several Nobel laureates such as Sir Harry Kroto (1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry),[29] J. M. G. Le Clézio ( 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature)[30] and Joseph Stiglitz ( 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences).[31]

Greek life

Mississippi State's Greek system comprises 20 fraternities and 9 sororities. Fraternities and sororities take part in a number of philanthropic programs and provide social opportunities for students. Formal rush takes place at the start of every fall semester.

Greek affiliation is popular at Mississippi State, though not as prevalent as other schools in the region. Approximately 20% of the student population participates in the Greek system.

IFC fraternities

Other fraternities


Mississippi State Bulldogs.svg
Davis Wade Stadium at its record-setting capacity of 58,103 against Alabama

Mississippi State University's sixteen athletic teams are known as the Bulldogs, which was adopted in 1961. Previous nicknames included the Aggies and the Maroons. Since 1935, the official mascot for Mississippi State has been a live English Bulldog named Bully. They compete in Division I of the NCAA and the western division of the 14-member Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Bulldogs have garnered a total of 28 conference championships (14 SEC). Mississippi State's most successful sport is baseball. The Diamond Dogs have won 16 conference championships (10 SEC) and 6 SEC tournament championships, while making 28 NCAA Tournament and 8 College World Series appearances. The Diamond Dogs play home games at Dudy Noble Field, Polk-DeMent Stadium, which holds the NCAA record for the largest single on-campus baseball attendance at 14,991 (April 22, 1989, vs. Florida). Mississippi State is also competitive in men's basketball, winning 10 conference regular season championships (6 SEC), 4 conference tournament championships, and 7 divisional championships. The Bulldogs have made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, highlighted by 3 Sweet Sixteen appearances and a trip to the Final Four in 1996. Both MSU men's and women's basketball teams play home games at Humphrey Coliseum, nicknamed "The Hump", one of the most intimidating places to play in the SEC with a seating capacity of 10,500. Bulldog football is also a favorite among the MSU faithful. The Bulldogs play their home games at Davis Wade Stadium, the second oldest Division I-FBS football stadium in the nation, with a seating capacity of 55,028. Bulldog fans are known throughout the nation for bringing cowbells to "ring" Mississippi State onto victory. Cowbells became part of Mississippi State tradition in the 1970s, and were banned by the SEC in 1977, defined as "artificial noisemakers". For over 30 years, fans would secretly sneak their cowbells into the stadium, while security guards carefully "inspected" fans' possessions, continuing the unique tradition. In 2010, the SEC officially lifted the ban on artificial noisemakers, allowing fans to "ring responsibly" during pregame, timeouts, halftime, and Bulldog touchdowns. Mississippi State's first SEC championship came in 1941, as the Bulldogs finished with an 8-1-1 record. The Bulldogs also appeared in the 1998 SEC Championship Game after winning the SEC Western Division championship, before falling to eventual national champion Tennessee 14-24. Overall, MSU has appeared in 16 postseason bowl games, highlighted by trips to the Orange Bowl in 1937 and 1941. The official fight song and battle cry of Mississippi State is Hail State, which is played by the Famous Maroon Band, the university's marching band.


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[33]157
Washington Monthly[34]65

U.S. News & World Report National Rankings'[38]

Graduate Area2012 National Rank
Veterinary Medicine24

Notable alumni




All Star Buddy Myer



Lieutenant General Troy H. Middleton



Author John Grisham


Law and politics

See also


  1. ^ http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4162305
  2. ^ "Faculty Report". Mississippi State Office of Institutional Research. http://www.ir.msstate.edu//faculty_tenure02_08.pdf. Retrieved July 19, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Mississippi State University Sponsored Programs Administration Web Page". http://www.spa.msstate.edu/quicklinks/data.php. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Zoning Map." Town of Starkville. Retrieved on March 1, 2011.
  5. ^ "Campus Map." Mississippi State University. Retrieved on March 1, 2011.
  6. ^ http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=5128
  7. ^ "Best Engineering Schools". U.S. News & World Report. December 15, 2011. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-engineering-schools/eng-rankings/page+4. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Veterinary Medicine". U.S. News & World Report. December 15, 2011. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/veterinarian-rankings. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  9. ^ MSU News: Generous donation by alumnus funds honors college
  10. ^ [1] Accessed February 13, 2008.
  11. ^ "Library Location". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://www.msstate.edu/web/maps/index.php?building=0055. Retrieved Aug - 17- 2012. 
  12. ^ "Library Collection". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://library.msstate.edu/overview/index.asp. Retrieved Aug - 17- 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ulysses S. Grant's Presidential Library". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://library.msstate.edu/overview/index.asp#grant. Retrieved Aug - 17- 2012. 
  14. ^ Smith (May 18, 2012), Ulysses S. Grant: How 'bout them Dawgs!, The Dispatch
  15. ^ "The Congressional and Political Research Center". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://library.msstate.edu/overview/index.asp#cprc. Retrieved Aug - 17- 2012. 
  16. ^ "Grisham Collection". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://library.msstate.edu/overview/index.asp#grisham. Retrieved Aug - 17- 2012. 
  17. ^ "Grisham Collection". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://library.msstate.edu/overview/index.asp#templeton. Retrieved Aug - 17- 2012. 
  18. ^ "Ragtime Jazz Festival". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://library.msstate.edu/overview/index.asp#rag. Retrieved Aug - 17- 2012. 
  19. ^ http://www.msstate.edu/web/phototemplate.php?Id=2362
  20. ^ "Old Main: Memories of a Legend". library.thing.com. http://www.librarything.com/work/3943947. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Old Main". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://www.sa.msstate.edu/event/main/. Retrieved Jan - 14- 2011. 
  22. ^ "Artists". Mississippi State University. 2011. http://www.mmp.org.msstate.edu/aboutus.html. Retrieved Jan - 14- 2011. 
  23. ^ "Johnny Cash". msnbc. 2011. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20611738/#.TxEh4W-XQ-A. Retrieved Jan - 14- 2011. 
  24. ^ "Greg Mortenson". 2011. http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/announcement.php?id=759. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  25. ^ "John Grisham". 2011. http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=515. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  26. ^ "Spike Lee". 2011. http://www.hcdc.msstate.edu/newsletter/november-09.pdf. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  27. ^ "Jeff Lieberman". 2011. http://www.msstate.edu/web/calendar/detail.php?id=8921. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  28. ^ "Neil deGrasse Tyson". 2011. http://www.bagley.msstate.edu/events/cosmic/. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  29. ^ "Sir Harold Kroto - 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry". 2011. http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=1254. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  30. ^ "J. M. G. Le Clézio Nobel Laureate". 2011. http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=4499. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  31. ^ "Joseph Stiglitz Nobel Laureate". 2011. http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=4723. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  32. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2012. http://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/list/. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  33. ^ "National Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  34. ^ "The Washington Monthly National University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2011/national_university_rank.php. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  35. ^ Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2007. National Science Foundation
  36. ^ "MSU flight research lab dedicated as national soaring landmark". Mississippi State University. November 4, 2003. http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=2289. Retrieved October 8, 2008. 
  37. ^ "MSU landscape architecture program gets very high rank". Mississippi State University. May 13, 2009. http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=4578. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  38. ^ "Mississippi State University Rankings". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. 2011-09-13. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/mississippi-state-university-176080/overall-rankings. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 

External links

Coordinates: 33°27′13″N 88°47′24″W / 33.453747°N 88.790049°W / 33.453747; -88.790049