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Historic MSU building gets new name, look
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Homecoming activities at Mississippi State University Oct. 23 included a dedication ceremony for a recently renovated campus landmark, which now has both a new look and a new name.
The event celebrated the addition of the name of retired MSU administrator Vance H. Watson to the campus' home of agricultural programs since 1929.
During the past two years, the Lloyd-Ricks-Watson building has undergone its first major renovation since an east wing was added in 1939. The building now bears the names of the three men who served as director of the Experiment Station and Extension Service: Edward R. Lloyd, Jr., James R. Ricks and Watson.
In 2008, the Mississippi legislature approved the renaming of the structure to honor Watson’s service to the state. During his 42-year tenure at MSU, the Missouri native also served as interim president, vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He retired from MSU in 2008.
In his remarks to the crowd of almost 200, Watson noted that the importance of the university’s agricultural programs is underscored by the fact that three of the land-grant institution’s presidents, including current president Mark Keenum, began their careers in the building.
“The names listed on the building are merely representative of all the people who have made possible the success of the university’s agricultural research and educational outreach to the people of Mississippi,” Watson said. “This building is a tribute to the cooperate efforts of federal, state and university personnel working together for the benefit of our citizens.”
The 67,000 square foot Lloyd-Ricks-Watson building is home to the School of Human Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Faculty and staff will soon begin moving into the building, and classes are expected to begin in the facility’s state-of-the-art classrooms during the spring 2011 semester.
“The building is a historic landmark, so we have not made any major changes to its footprint,” said Greg Bohach, vice president of MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. “We were, however, allowed to use double-paned glass in the building’s 400 windows in order to reduce energy costs.”