Mississippi State University – Presidential Update 2018

Mississippi State University – Presidential Update 2018

August 23, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


(lively music) – Hello, I’m Leah Gibson of the Mississippi State University Office of Public Affairs. Welcome to a time of reflection on our university’s successes over the last year with
MSU president, Mark Keenum. Welcome Dr. Keenum. – Thank you, Leah, and thank you for being
here this afternoon. And you know, as I think
about the end of 2018 and as we’re approaching
our holiday season. And also, the end of my 10th year here at Mississippi State University. I think about all that we have to be thankful for as a university especially over the past year. And we can, owe a lot to the successes that we’re enjoying here at Mississippi State University to our outstanding world class faculty, our staff and our wonderful students. And the many, many friends
that our university has. You know, we have a lot of excitement in the air right now on campus. And we hope to begin 2019 with a great New Year’s Day victory
in the Outback Bowl. After Coach Joe Moorhead
in his first season has led our bulldogs to a very successful, regular season record, with a, I would say a very decisive victory in the Egg Bowl. Which we’re very proud of. Both of our men’s and our women’s basketball programs are
again enjoying great success. You know, as we all know, our women’s basketball team has competed in back to back national NCAA championships, Final Fours. And we’re real excited to
get them back on track. We’re also very pleased to be moving into a brand new Dudy Noble Field. Which as many of us refer to it as the Carnegie Hall of baseball. And under Coach Chris Lemonis, we’re expecting great things for our baseball program this coming year. We also are excited about the success of our men’s tennis team. Which captured their very first Southeastern Conference
tournament crown since 1996. And advanced to the NCAA quarter finals for the first time since 1998. We got a lot to be proud of
in our athletics program. – That’s right. Dr. Keenum, this past year has seen phenomenal growth on our campus in terms of new facilities. Tell us about that. – Leah, you’re exactly right. Going back to 2009 it’s hard to believe that when you look at our campus and see all the growth and expansion that we’ve had here on our campus. That we have expended more
than a billion dollars in new capital improvements
here at Mississippi State. And right now, looking forward we’ve got several hundred, million
dollars of projects on the table that we’re
looking forward to, move forward on right now. So, there’s a a great deal of momentum on our campus, just in the physical
aspects of this campus. We reopened the historic YMCA building after more than 10
million dollar renovation. We also launched a new state of the art, beautiful Collegeview public, private partnership for housing and retail space. I am so excited about
this new development. Especially for our students. Also, in 2018 we moved into a brand new Meat Science and Muscle Biology Lab. And construction continues on both the new Animal and Dairy Science Building and the new Poultry Science Building. And just this past week, we held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 34 million
dollar state of the art, Richard A. Rula Engineering
and Science Complex. This is going to be a wonderful addition, especially for our Bagley
College of Engineering. And we’re also excited
about another development that’s been in the works for some time, it’s the partnership
school here on our campus. That will improve teacher
education while increasing educational opportunities
for students here in Oktibbeha County and Starkville for sixth and seventh graders. And it is going to be a
game changer for education here in Mississippi. We have a lot going on, Leah. (chuckles) – And we’re all looking forward to that. So, while the scope and
pace of the improvement of our facilities are indeed impressive. We’re also growing our
human capital as well. – Well, yeah, that’s true, Leah. You know, this past academic year we crossed a new milestone
for our university. In that, for the first time
in our university’s history enrolled more than 22,000 students, and that’s been a goal for
our university for many years. In fact, the enrollment this
fall was 22,201 students. And I’m proud of the
growth that we’re seeing. Mississippi State continues to be on track to continue to grow our enrollment, that’s something I’m very excited about. We want to grow as a university. We continue to attract great students from here in the state and abroad. And that’s the sign of a healthy school, and great momentum for our university. Also, on the giving side we continue to make great strides from our wonderful alumni
base and our friends. For the fifth year now in a row, we’ve had gifts of more
than 100 million dollars. And again, that shows that our alumni, that our friends, recognize what this university means to them individually, but also what it means to our state, to our nation and to the world at large. Leah, I was also extremely pleased that in the most recent National Science Foundations rankings, Mississippi State remains by far, Mississippi’s leading research university. Generating more than 240 million dollars in research and development expenditures. That accounts for more than 50% of all research and development expenditures in the state of Mississippi. And also, Mississippi State remains the top 10 National Agricultural
Research university. It ranks among the top 100 universities in the nation in areas
such as social sciences, engineering, computer
sciences, geosciences, chemistry and life sciences. I’m also proud that while we also recruit and retain students from the United States
and around the world, Mississippi State remains the college of choice for Mississippians. We remain the undisputed,
number one choice for Mississippi’s high school graduates and community college
students who transfer to institutions of higher learning. And our success is demonstrated
not only in quantity, but also in quality as well. Almost a third of all of our incoming freshmen students here at Mississippi State this year had a ACT score of 28 or higher. The number of freshmen
with a ACT of 28 or above has climbed nearly 40 % in
just the past five years. – Very impressive. So, Dr, Keenum, MSU passed an important historical academic milestone this year. One that will greatly benefit our students in years to come. Can you share that news with us? – Well Leah, I’m glad you
asked that question too. You know, I’m very proud of the success that we’re seeing among our students and the fact that They continue to be
recognized both nationally and internationally with very high honors. We’ve seen students
recognized recently with in their fields of automotive
science, rocket science geoscience, weather forecasting. You know, just examples where I’m so proud that our students and what they’re doing is being recognized again at national and international levels. And our faculty are also continuing to be recognized
for their brilliance and what they’re doing
in the research lab, and also in the classroom bringing the state of the art knowledge to our students to help
equip them and prepare them for the 21st century. After almost 40 years of effort by my predecessors and faculty and staff, we finally achieved a goal that we set out to achieve, and that was to bring a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to
Mississippi State University. This is the oldest, it’s the most prestigious honors society in the nation. And I’m so excited that our students, right here at Mississippi State who are receiving these these national and international honors will now be eligible to be members of Phi Beta Kappa, which
is a lifetime honor. And also want to say thank
you to Dr. Robert West, Distinguished professor here at Mississippi State in
our English Department. He led our Phi Beta Kappa faculty and our efforts to achieve this great goal for our university and I just want to say
thank you to Dr. West, to all of our Phi Beta Kappa faculty and their great efforts to bring this wonderful honor society
to Mississippi State. – Now, at this special time of year it’s become customary for the university community to receive a special holiday message from you. – Well Leah, thank you. I wanna say thank you for allowing me to be able to talk about
and tell so much of the good news about our university and and share it with our bulldog family. We have so much to be thankful for as a university, many of the developments that we discussed are indicators of a university that’s on the move, in the right, positive direction. And we have so much to be thankful for as university for all the great success that we’re having here, we owe a great debt of gratitude to our world class faculty and what they’re contributing. To our wonderful student body and how wonderfully they’re performing and all the great things that they’re doing on our campus. To our wonderful staff, who help run this campus and make all the great things happen here. I’m so thankful for them and what they do. And for the generosity and the support and the encouragement of our wonderful, alumni base: our bulldog family. You know, we have 143,000
plus living alumni today and they’re helping this great university become greater every single day. So, as we’re here at the beginning of a wonderful holiday season, I just wanna say a personal word of thank you to all of you. And what you do to help make this university so special. And on behalf of my family, my wife Rhonda and our four children, Katie, Rett, Mary Phillips and Torie, I wanna say Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful and happy and joyous New Year. May God bless you. Hail State and go dogs. (lively music)