MSU officially opens ag and bio engineering building

November 10, 2007

STARKVILLE, Miss.–Students, faculty and staff members in Mississippi State’s agricultural and biological engineering department are settling into their new campus home.

In ceremonies Saturday [Nov. 10], university officials led a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the new 40,000-square-foot building near the center of campus. Constructed with three stories and a basement, the red brick structure is located on Creelman Street between Dorman Hall and McCarthy Gymnasium.

“Mississippi State has the oldest agricultural engineering program in the region and one of the first biological engineering programs in the nation, so it is fitting that this new facility will help us continue to set benchmarks,” said vice president Vance Watson. “The state-of-the-art capabilities of this building will advance learning opportunities for our students long into the future.”

Watson heads MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. He also is dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The department offers teaching programs in the university’s two oldest major academic units, the agriculture college and the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering.

The new facility, which houses offices, classrooms and research laboratories, replaces the considerably smaller, 1950s-era Howell Engineering Building, which is situated near Humphrey Coliseum on the western edge of campus.

“Our department is unique in its partnership between two university colleges,” said department head Bill Batchelor. “The new facility provides not only the needed teaching and research space our students and faculty deserve, but also places us in closer proximity to both of our college partners.”

Departmental majors consistently have the highest ACT scores of all students at the university. For the most part, they are preparing to enter medical school, work in biomedical engineering companies, research and develop new renewable energy sources, manage agricultural enterprises, and pursue a variety of careers dealing with natural resources and ecosystems.

The department also offers the state’s only graduate program in biomedical engineering.

Construction of the new $11-million facility was funded through state appropriations and private contributions. Naming opportunities for private donors remain for classrooms, laboratories and offices.

For more information about private support for the new facility, contact development officers Jud Skelton of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at 662-325-0643 or Michele Anderson of the Bagley College of Engineering at 662-325-2464.

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