The Early Years 1878-1940
Mississippi A&M was founded on February 28, 1878 as a land grant institution. General Stephen D. Lee was the first president. The mission was to offer training in agriculture and the mechanical arts.
June 3, 1902: The School of Engineering was created with four divisions: Mechanical, Civil, Electrical and Mining.
Dean Buzz Walker served as Dean from 1902-1925.
1905: Faculty and students completed the first engineering building.
1909: The agricultural engineering department was formally organized under the direction of J.E. Waggoner, department head, and hosed in Montgomery Hall.
1922: Internal modifications were made to the engineering building to ensure the life of the building.
Howard Moody served as Dean from 1925-1930.
1928: Campus streets were paved, women were admitted, military uniform requirements were no more and the ban on social fraternities was lifted.
1930: The four year military requirement was removed. Freshman and sophomore men were still required to have two years of ROTC service.
1930: The name of the institution was changed from Mississippi A&M College to Mississippi State College.
Lucius Patterson served as dean from 1939-1949.
Times of Change 1940-1970
1948: The curriculum of the Agricultural Engineering Department was completely revised to conform to professional requirements, and the administration of the program was switched to the College of Engineering.
1949: Physicist August Raspet along with Dean Flinsch created a flight lab at the Starkville airport, later named as the Raspet Flight Research Lab.
Harold Flinisch served as dean from 1949-1957.
1950: Patterson Engineering Labs were completed.
Harry Simrall served as dean from 1957-1978. The Simrall building that houses the electrical engineering department is named after the accomplished administrator and professor.
1958: MSU student enrollment climbed to 5,042. Engineering had reached 1,699, with some 500 of those students registered in electrical engineering.
1966: A graduate program was initiated where an engineering employee could earn a master’s in residence at the Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Miss
1966: Dewey McCain retires after 42 years of teaching and developing civil engineers. He served as head of the civil engineering department for 36 years and McCain Hall is named after the accomplished professor and administrator.
1967: Biological Engineering was added to the college’s curriculum, making it the first Biological Engineering curriculum in the nation.
Growing Year by Year 1970-2001
MSU saw many changes including the inaugurations of new presidents, MSU athletics improved regional and national rankings and new buildings were constructed. The College of Veterinary Medicine enrolled its first class in 1977. Research started to take off with the addition of the Engineering Research Center now called the High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2), DIAL now called the Institute for Clean Energy Technology (ICET) and others.
1976: MSU MHD Energy Center was formed, which later became known as DIAL in 1989 and then as ICET in 2006.
Willie McDaniel served as dean from 1977 to 1988.
1976: Simrall electrical engineering building was completed along with the nation’s largest independent high voltage laboratory.
1986: Honda R&D Company from Japan built a research and production facility adjacent to the Raspet Flight Research Lab. Working together with MSU aerospace professors and students they designed, constructed and successfully tested a twin jet, corporate-style composite material aircraft.
Robert AltenKirch served as dean from 1988 to 1995.
1990: MSU selected for the 18th National Science Foundation Engineering Center of Excellence (Engineering Research Center) now known as HPC2.
1999: MSU research rankings moved into the top 50.
2000: Dave C Swalm engineering building was completed.
2001: The Center for the Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) was established by the state of Mississippi. The purpose of the center is to provide research, development and innovative ideas and tools for the automotive industry.
New Name, Same Vision 2001-2007
As the new century progresses a new, a new name in engineering as emerged. MSU has gained new recognition, while research rankings continue to soar and Bulldogs continue as tough contenders in the Southeast Regional Conference.
2002: MSU and the HPC2 (Previsously known as the ERC), were identified as the 10th most powerful super computing center in the nation.
2002: Dr. Charles Lee became known as the 17th president of MSU, and the university celebrated its 125th anniversary.
2002: MSU College of Engineering received a $25 million gift—largest in university’s history. As a result of the gift, the college was renamed the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering.
2003: Bagley College of Engineering ranks 32nd among 322 colleges and universities for research expenditures.
2004: Mississippi State proudly finds itself in the top 10--not for a sport, but for the level of research articles published by academic faculty members in the world's leading economic education journal. Listed at No. 10, the university ranks ahead of such larger institutions as Princeton, Duke, Georgia, and Northwestern for inclusion in the Journal of Economic Education. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln is first among the top 30. Vanderbilt, third on the list, is the only other Southeastern Conference school in the upper tier.
2004: A new Starkville manufacturing facility will draw on the expertise of Mississippi State University's Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. Aurora Flight Sciences, of Manassas, Va., will build unmanned aerial vehicles in an operation expected to generate 300 jobs and provide an economic impact of more than $45 million over the next four years. The company expects to roll out the first vehicle next January, built at the Raspet Flight Lab as an interim facility, and to construct a new 65,000-square-foot manufacturing facility near the Golden Triangle Regional Airport that will open in 2006.
2004: A Mississippi State graduate whose engineering and business career spans more than two decades is the first director of the university's Six Sigma Certificate Program, which teaches students how to blend problem-solving and quality-control techniques into the practice of their profession. Larry G. Dalton, a Corinth native now residing in Brandon, recently was named to direct the program for MSU's James Worth Bagley College of Engineering. He is teaching an engineering statistics course and developing curriculum criteria that will guide participating students to Six Sigma "Black Belt" certification.
2004: A $2 million gift to Mississippi State from two longtime supporters is aimed at helping attract an outstanding leader as the next dean of the university's Bagley College of Engineering. The recent donation by Earnest W. Deavenport Jr. and his wife Mary Ann establishes the Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport Jr. Chair within the college. Earnings from the endowment will provide a salary supplement and additional financial support for all future engineering deans.
2004: Mississippi State will receive nearly $800,000 from the National Science Foundation to help protect networked computer systems and other critical national infrastructures against the threat of cyber attacks. The Cyber Trust grant of $793,156 from the NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering will enable the university's nationally recognized Center for Computer Security Research to strengthen and expand its work in the field.
2004: Mississippi State now ranks 24th among the nation's universities in engineering research and development expenditures, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation. MSU climbed from 32nd in engineering research in the previous edition of the NSF publication, "Academic Research and Development Expenditures." The report released July 30 is based on data for fiscal year 2002.
2004: Mississippi State collected a record total of more than $150 million in externally funded contracts and grants for a variety of major research and education programs during the past fiscal year. Representing a significant increase over the previous year's total of $143 million, the FY2004 awards included $80.8 million from federal agencies, $36.9 million from Mississippi state agencies, and another $32.3 million from a diverse combination of private and other governmental sources.
2004: Mississippi State is naming a wing of the Bagley College of Engineering's oldest building, McCain Hall, in honor of retiring dean A. Wayne Bennett and his wife.
The second-floor, north section of the recently refurbished building was named the Wayne and Shirley Bennett Enhancements Wing of McCain Hall following a unanimous vote of the university's Naming of Facilities Committee. Such designations traditionally honor people who have performed extraordinary service for the university.
2004: When Department of Defense officials seek the nation's best minds to solve computer problems related to weapons design--or retrofitting the Pentagon after 9/11--their phone calls often are made to Mississippi State University.
In an effort described by veteran researcher Joe Thompson as "high-end outreach," MSU leads a consortium of 10 universities and two private companies in matching high-performance computing expertise with specific defense research needs. Known as the Center for DoD Program Environment Training, the project began in 2001 with a record $108 million awarded to Mississippi State through a nationally competitive process. The only university-led group receiving such funding, PET, as it's often called, is the largest competitive research grant ever made to a Mississippi institution of higher learning.
2004: Research engineers at Mississippi State are providing unique, high-performance computer codes to help U.S. space officials design safer and more efficient rocket-propelled vehicles of the future. A team from the university's Computational Simulation and Design Center is working closely with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to accurately and effectively simulate combustion problems and high-speed atmospheric flight. Ed Luke, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, leads the team.
Wayne Bennet served as dean from 1996-2004.
2005: Major new support from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation is enhancing nationally recognized programs at Mississippi State University.
The Jackson philanthropy recently committed more than $4.4 million over three years. Of that amount, more than $3.8 million will go to the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering.
2005: Engineering research funding at MSU now is ranked in the top 10 percent among U.S. programs.
2005: Mississippi State is using advanced engineering technologies to help Northrop Grumman Ship Systems streamline the production flow of its hurricane-battered shipyard in Pascagoula. Already providing NGSS with emerging computer simulation and modeling expertise since 2003, university researchers are refocusing their post-Hurricane Katrina effort to help the U.S. shipbuilder redesign and regenerate its facilities and operations.
2005: Mississippi State engineers are helping test computer-generated animation techniques the U.S. Army hopes will simulate real soldiers performing tasks in real time.
The university's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems recently was awarded a $500,000 contract to develop methods for testing and validating digital human models created at the University of Iowa as part of the Virtual Soldier Research program.
A division of the Bagley College of Engineering, CAVS was subcontracted by Iowa to conduct the testing because of CAVS' leading-edge research in human ergonomics, human factors and product design/development.
2005: Mississippi State scientists used their aerial imagery and mapping skills to help rescue hundreds of stranded survivors of Hurricane Katrina and are continuing to provide valuable assistance in the ongoing disaster recovery effort. Thirteen faculty, researchers and graduate students from the university's GeoResources Institute applied their expertise in geographic information and global positioning systems to help U.S. Coast Guard helicopter pilots find and pluck nearly 300 storm victims from danger at scattered locations along the devastated Mississippi Gulf Coast.
2005: Mississippi State is among the top 100 national universities in a new college ranking based on "what colleges are doing for the country." MSU is at No. 95 among 245 major public and private institutions in the Washington Monthly's first college rankings, which appear in the magazine's September issue.
2005: Mississippi State professor Royce O. Bowden Jr. is the new head of the university's department of industrial engineering. A faculty member for the past 13 years and among the Hearin Eminent Scholars designated by the Bagley College of Engineering, Bowden succeeded retiring department head Larry Brown July 1. Brown retired in early June after more than 30 years of service to the university.
2005: Longtime Mississippi State supporter and 1961 civil engineering alumnus James T. White and wife Barbara are committing $1.75 million to the university to establish an endowed chair in the Bagley College of Engineering. The James T. White Chair in Civil Engineering will be an endowed position held by the head of the department to encourage continued excellence in leadership, teaching and service. The Whites reside in Dallas, Texas. Earnings from the endowment will provide a salary supplement for the civil engineering department head as well as support for faculty development, student conferences and other departmental expenses.
2005: A national survey ranks Mississippi State University third in the nation in "best buys" among accredited, online engineering degree programs. In a biennial survey released June 14, GetEducated.com, based in Essex Junction, Vt., ranked MSU behind only North Carolina State University and California State University (Dominguez Hills) for affordability. The survey considered 56 accredited distance-learning master's degree programs in engineering and was based solely on tuition costs.
2005: A Birmingham, Ala.-based economic development journal is listing Mississippi State among the region's top universities for fostering new businesses. Southern Business and Development ranks MSU at third in its recent article titled "Ten University Markets that Really Have Their Act Together." According to the article, the top five include Rutherford County, Tenn., home of Middle Tennessee State University; Auburn-Opelika, Ala., home of Auburn University; Starkville, home of MSU; Richmond, Va., home of Virginia Commonwealth University; and Blacksburg-Roanoke, Va., home of Virginia Tech University.
2005: Mississippi State's Bagley College of Engineering is nationally ranked among U.S. News and World Report's "Best Graduate Schools" for the second straight year, moving up four notches in the process. In the latest ranking released last week, MSU is No. 77 among the top 90 doctoral-granting engineering schools in comparison with a No. 81 ranking last year. The MSU graduate engineering program is tied with Auburn and ranks ahead of such institutions as Louisiana State and Kentucky.
2006: Mississippi State's new "Raptor" supercomputer is the 18th most powerful computer system among American universities.
2006: A new supercomputer at Mississippi State University can perform more than 10 trillion calculations per second at its peak and is expected to rank among the 100 most powerful computers in the world. MSU's High Performance Computing Collaboratory has installed a 2,048 processor computing cluster, named "Raptor," which is more than four times faster than the most powerful system currently housed at the site, an IBM model called "Maverick."
2006: Mississippi State will use a new federal grant of nearly $1 million to develop an alternative energy production system for use in residential, agricultural and small commercial buildings. The U.S. Department of Energy is channeling a grant of $962,000 to the university's Micro Cooling, Heating and Power, and Bio-Fuel Center. The federal agency previously provided $3.8 million for the program, which was established in 2004.
2006: A Texas-based company specializing in software solutions technology is tapping into a talented pool of Mississippi State computer science and engineering graduates in the operation of a new Starkville-based development center.
ClearOrbit established the facility in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park to supplement the Austin firm's research-and-development capacity in the areas of software development and quality assurance.
2006: Gov. Haley Barbour said Thursday [Aug. 31] Mississippi State's innovative leadership in computational technology is helping the state and nation become more competitive in the global economy. "We're in a world economy that is driven by innovation through technology," Barbour told an audience at the official opening of a new $6 million addition to the university's High Performance Computing Collaboratory.
2006: Mississippi State collected a record total of more than $154.7 million in external grants and contracts for a variety of research and education programs during the 2006 fiscal year. The total of $154,744,232 in outside funds supported some 2,267 sponsored projects during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The amount represented a significant increase over the university's previous record of $150,045,912 recorded in FY2004.
2006: Mississippi State's student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers is nationally ranked for overall excellence and has been cited for its service in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The university chapter won the Zone II Vice President's Award, placing it among the ASCE's top five chapters in the nation. The national professional organization also presented three other vice presidential awards and its first-place Robert Ridgway Award to round out the top five chapters.
2006: Mississippi State's civil engineering department is changing its name to reflect the creation of a unique bachelor's degree program that stresses environmental issues in the field. The newly titled department of civil and environmental engineering will combine existing programs in civil, biological and chemical engineering to create Mississippi's first degree program in environmental engineering.
2006: Mississippi State is changing the name of another major research center to more accurately reflect the collaboration of five multidisciplinary units focused on high-performance computing applications. The university's Engineering Research Center, or ERC, now is the High Performance Computing Collaboratory.
2006: A longtime administrator at North Carolina State University will succeed retiring James C. Harden as head of the electrical and computer engineering department at Mississippi State.
2006: Mississippi State's industrial engineering department is being renamed the department of industrial and systems engineering to better reflect modern program trends within the profession.
2006: Mississippi State is changing the name of a major research center to reflect its expanding role as a developer of clean energy systems and catalyst for state economic advancement.
The state College Board earlier this month approved the name change for the university's Diagnostic Instrumentation and Analysis Laboratory--known for years by its acronym DIAL--which now is designated as the Institute for Clean Energy Technology, or ICET ("ice tea").
2007: Mississippi Power announced a $500,000 commitment by the Gulfport-based energy provider to the university's Bagley College of Engineering. Made through the company's Education Foundation, the gift will be used to endow the Mississippi Power Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
2007: CAVS Extension-Canton and Industrial Outreach Service, create the core of the BCoE Engineering Engagement and Outreach Service. Collectively they’ve generated more than an $800-million impact on the state and a creation of 280 jobs by helping prestigious manufacturing companies and their service industries produce world class goods in a more efficient and globally competitive way, as well as bringing state-of-the-art technology to Mississippi industry.
2007: Students, faculty and staff members in Mississippi State's agricultural and biological engineering department are settling into their new campus home.
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.
2007: Citing career accomplishments that reflect its guiding principles, a national engineering honor society recognized Mississippi State President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong with its highest professional award. Tau Beta Pi, the world's largest professional organization in engineering, is naming the university leader as its 2007 Distinguished Alumnus. Given each year since being established in 1997, the honor will be presented at the group's annual meeting Oct. 13 in Dearborn, Mich.
2007: For the third time since 2001, Mississippi State is earning designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, a program designed to support federal goals for a secure cyberspace. The designation by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security recognizes approximately 80 colleges and universities meeting stringent criteria, said Ray Vaughn, MSU William L. Giles Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.
2007: Mississippi State's Challenge X team placed first overall among 17 other universities in the third annual national competition to find innovative ways of redesigning a fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly SUV. The university team of undergraduate and graduate students was awarded the top position overall and in 10 individual categories at the nine-day competition in Milford, Mich. The challenge: to re-engineer a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox crossover sports utility vehicle using advanced propulsion technologies that increase fuel efficiencies and reduce environmental impact while retaining consumer appeal.
Kirk Schulz served as dean from 2005-2007