Dawe named holder of MSU College of Arts and Sciences first professorship

Contact: Amy Cagle

In recognition of his accomplishments and leadership, Mississippi State Biological Sciences Department Head Angus Dawe (right) was formally appointed Friday [Sept. 9] as the College of Arts and Sciences’ first endowed professor. The Cornwall, England, native has been named the Dr. Donald L. Hall Distinguished Professor, a position made possible with an endowment created by its namesake, (left) 1962 MSU pre-medicine graduate and Vicksburg native Donald L. Hall. Congratulating Dawe and Hall is Rick Travis, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU’s largest academic unit that is marking its 60th anniversary this fall. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University announced today [Sept. 9] the formal appointment of Angus Dawe as the first endowed professor for the institution’s largest academic unit, the College of Arts and Sciences, which marks its 60th anniversary this fall.

Dawe began leading the Department of Biological Sciences for the college earlier this year. For his accomplishments and leadership, he has been named the Dr. Donald L. Hall Distinguished Professor, a position made possible with an endowment created by its namesake.

“The generous gift from Dr. Hall for this endowment creates an immeasurable impact as it acknowledges an esteemed faculty member and furthers the groundbreaking work of our college,” said Rick Travis, interim dean. “This endowed faculty position allows us to provide our students with access to a great professor and researcher who can challenge and mentor them extensively during their studies at Mississippi State.”

Dawe joined MSU from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he was an associate head of the biology department. He began his appointment with NMSU in 2004, serving in progressive roles. For his research, Dawe twice received major funding from the National Science Foundation for individual and collaborative research projects on chestnut blight. Dawe’s primary research focuses on the biology of plant pathogenic fungi, particularly the molecular interactions of the pathogens and their hosts. Earlier in his career, Dawe was a senior scientist in the Center for Agricultural Biotechnology at the University of Maryland.

Dawe earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Sheffield University in his native England, and a master’s in biotechnology and Ph.D. in cellular, molecular and developmental biology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with postdoctoral work at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

“It is an honor to hold this professorship saluting the legacy of Donald Hall and to have the means through the endowment to further my passion for discovery, research and teaching at Mississippi State University,” said Dawe, a native of Cornwall.

The professorship established by Hall, a 1962 pre-medicine graduate, honors the former MSU professors who impacted him. A Vicksburg native and Air Force veteran, Hall is a board certified doctor of ophthalmology who retired from the Steen-Hall Eye Institute in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he currently resides. In 2012, he was honored as the MSU College of Arts and Sciences Alumnus of the Year, and he currently serves on the college’s executive advisory board.   

Over the years, Hall served as clinical assistant professor and clinical associate professor at Louisiana State University School of Medicine and a clinical associate professor at Tulane University School of Medicine. Earlier, he was a clinical instructor at the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston and at Houston.

In recent years, Mississippi State has placed an emphasis on growing the number of endowed faculty positions through its “Infinite Impact” capital campaign. Gifts can establish endowments within specific colleges or departments that will provide a salary supplement and support the activities of the holder.  

Founded in 1956, the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest of the academic colleges at MSU, with more than 5,000 students and 300 faculty members. The college provides its students with 24 academic major areas that fall within 14 different departments. More on the college is available at www.cas.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.