Contact: Checky Herrington
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University launched a branding initiative that reinforces its standing as a premier research institution where students are driven to make a difference during a campus celebration Tuesday [Oct. 13].
MSU President Mark E. Keenum, with the help of five distinguished university alumni, challenged the campus community to take active roles in shaping the future of MSU by sharing their success stories with broader audiences.
“This is an exciting time in MSU’s history. We’re experiencing unprecedented growth along with increasing recognition of our accomplishments as a leading research university,” Keenum said. “We’ve been building up to this day by defining what makes our culture unique and the many ways we’re making a positive impact on local, national and global stages. It’s time to let the rest of the world know about the great things happening at Mississippi State,” he added.
Led by MSU’s Office of Public Affairs, the branding initiative began taking shape over the summer with the introduction of several communication programs designed to raise awareness of MSU’s strengths, including diversity, cross-campus collaboration and a supportive and nurturing environment for students. MSU is sharing its success stories through a new social media hub, a revamped website, advertising, public relations and employee communications.
MSU alumni participating in the celebration were Camille Scales Young, vice president of Cornerstone Government Affairs; Bryan Wilson, managing partner of Tacoma Ag, LLC; Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO of Entergy Mississippi, Inc.; Kevin Robinson, chief meteorologist for WLWT Cincinnati; and Leslie Henderson, co-founder and general manager of Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company.
“We’re growing in so many positive ways,” said Keenum. “As part of our strategic plan, we’re looking at all aspects of the MSU experience so we can provide more opportunities for our students to lead, participate and excel.”
With a record enrollment of more than 20,800, Mississippi State comprises students from all 50 states and 88 countries. Last year, MSU awarded a record 4,315 degrees at all levels, and Vicksburg native Donald “Field” Brown became MSU’s second Rhodes Scholar.
Student-led teams at MSU are involved in a number of research and development projects with state, national and global impacts. They’re designing the eco-friendly car of the future, finding a cure for pandemic flu, developing concussion-free football helmets, and partnering with NASA on future space exploration.
Mississippi State has been in the top 10 nationally in agriculture-related research for more than 15 years and is applying its vast body of knowledge to find solutions for world hunger and food security. MSU has entered formal partnerships with both the United Nations World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organization, and Keenum serves as vice chairman of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research.
Mississippi State now serves as the national lead for the FAA’s Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and last year MSU was invited for the fourth consecutive time to participate in the nation’s premier automotive engineering competition.
MSU is broadening its reach in engineering through degree partnerships, including a program offering two Bachelor of Science degrees through a collaboration with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Meanwhile, the university is reinstating its petroleum engineering program in response to an array of corporate requests.
This year, MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering announced an international collaboration in automotive materials engineering with the Université Internationale de Rabat in Morocco. MSU and the state of Mississippi are exploring opportunities to enhance education, research and economic development through the new relationship.
“What we’re doing drives Mississippi,” Keenum said. “We’re an economic engine for the state and a key asset in building Mississippi’s profile as a research, technology and innovation leader. We’re expanding our footprint beyond Mississippi and the region so that students can explore even more opportunities to shape the world of the future.”
During the launch, Keenum assured supporters that more is on the horizon for MSU, including a milestone anniversary in 2028.
“Students beginning kindergarten this fall will be our freshman class in 13 years, during the university’s 150th anniversary,” he said. “We will be ready for them by continuing to provide the resources and the environment they need to succeed in their lives beyond graduation.”
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.