Taylor Group gift benefits MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering

Contact: Amy Cagle

Celebrating a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Taylor Solid Mechanics Laboratory at MSU were, from left, Jason Keith, Bagley College of Engineering dean; Matt Hillyer, director of engineering for the Taylor Group who also is an MSU mechanical engineering department advisory board member; Lex Taylor, chairman and CEO of the Taylor Group, Inc.; Pedro Mago, professor and head of mechanical engineering; and MSU President Mark E. Keenum. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.— A significant gift from The Taylor Group of Companies, based in Louisville, will assist with training the next generation of mechanical engineers at Mississippi State University.

The gift makes possible endowment-level support of the Taylor Solid Mechanics Laboratory, a newly renovated state-of-the-art facility in the lower level of Carpenter Hall, formally dedicated in ceremonies Tuesday [Sept. 4].

“I am extremely thankful to the Taylor family and the Taylor Group for their generous support of our mechanical engineering program and in particular toward the renovation of this innovative Taylor Solid Mechanics Laboratory that will have a strong impact in the education of our mechanical engineering students,” said Pedro Mago, head of MSU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and holder of the PACCAR endowed chair. “The Taylor Group is instrumental with providing insight into real-world experience for our students with multiple learning opportunities, including tours of their local manufacturing facilities each semester. In addition, the Taylor Group hires a considerable portion of our outstanding graduates.”

Pictured during a tour of the Taylor Solid Mechanics Laboratory are, from left, Matt Hillyer, director of engineering for the Taylor Group, and Taylor family members Matthew Ktsanes, Teresa Taylor Ktsanes, Margaret Taylor, Lex Taylor, Amanda Taylor, and Robert Taylor, along with MSU President Mark E. Keenum, far right. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Specifically, the Taylor gift provides state-of-the-art equipment and endows additional enhancements to the facility over time. The laboratory supports the required senior-level solid mechanics course as part of the mechanical engineering curriculum and will also support other mechanical engineering program courses. Part of MSU’s James Worth Bagley College of Engineering, the mechanical engineering program is the college’s largest academic program, boasting more than 1,000 students, with more than 250 classified as seniors who will spend significant time in the Taylor Solid Mechanics Laboratory. The lab also will allow mechanical engineering undergraduates to gain hands-on experience with modern material-testing techniques.   

“Our company proudly employs many MSU graduates, and we hope to instill our standards and strong work ethic in students long before they graduate and enter the workforce. At Taylor, we are firm believers in making an investment, such as this much-needed laboratory, and doing our part to better train our American workforce and thus strengthen the economy,” said William A. “Lex” Taylor III, chairman and CEO of the Taylor Group, Inc., and president of Taylor Machine Works, Inc. A 1977 MSU general business administration graduate, Taylor serves as treasurer of the MSU Foundation Board of Directors. He also is active in his home state, and will lead the Mississippi Economic Council during 2019-2020. 

The Taylor Group of Companies and Taylor family enjoy a long history of supporting Mississippi State. Earlier endowment support from them makes possible the W.A. Taylor Jr. Auditorium in the Leo Seal Family Business Complex, part of the College of Business, honoring the company’s late chairman of the board, W. A. “Bill” Taylor Jr., who attended MSU. The company was founded 91 years ago by family patriarch William A. Taylor Sr. as a small machine shop in the Mississippi town of Louisville. Taylor is one of the only privately held manufacturers of industrial lift trucks operating in America today. The Taylor Group of Companies consists of Taylor Machine Works, Inc.; Taylor Leasing and Rental, Inc.; Taylor Logistics, LLC; Taylor Power Systems, Inc.; Taylor Defense Products; and Sudden Service, Inc.

For additional information on supporting the Department of Mechanical Engineering or other areas of the Bagley College at MSU, contact Bennett Evans, the college’s senior director of development, at 662-325-0386 or email bevans@foundation.msstate.edu.

More on the Taylor Group of Companies can be found at www.thetaylorgroupofcompanies.com or www.taylorbigred.com.

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

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 10:37 am