Sen. Cochran, Rep. McCoy, other officials to re-open historic MSU building

Contact: Maridith Geuder

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) joins state and university officials Saturday [Oct. 12] at Mississippi State to officially re-open a historic academic structure.

A public ribbon-cutting ceremony for McCain Hall, a 1905 Mississippi Landmark building, will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the new west-side entrance plaza. The three-story, red brick College of Engineering facility has received a $6.25 million renovation to equip it with the latest in instructional and administrative technologies.

Joining Cochran for the Homecoming weekend event will be state Rep. William J. "Billy" McCoy of Rienzi, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; Bryce Griffis of Starkville, president of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning; MSU Interim President J. Charles Lee, and Dean of Engineering A. Wayne Bennett.

"This renovation is a milestone for the College of Engineering because it significantly improves our ability to teach and serve our students," said Bennett.

Bennett said the renovations include wireless Internet access in classrooms that also will be used by other MSU academic departments. Additionally, the college's offices of diversity, outreach and the enhancements to the undergraduate engineering experience will be brought together in one location. The building also will include a new branch of the university's Career Center, which will provide engineering students access to career planning and cooperative education opportunities.

"We'll be able to provide one-stop access for academic and support services that enhance the entire academic experience for Mississippi State engineering students," Bennett said.

McCain also will house the industrial engineering department and the dean's office.

First established as a separate school in 1902, the engineering college today includes the aerospace, agricultural and biological, chemical, civil, electrical and computer, industrial, mechanical engineering, and computer science departments. Currently, the National Science Foundation ranks the college 34th in engineering research expenditures.

In addition to reopening McCain Hall, the ceremony will celebrate the 90th birthday of Dean of Engineering Emeritus Harry C.F. Simrall of Starkville. A 1934 electrical engineering and 1935 mechanical engineering graduate of then Mississippi A&M College, he retired in 1978 after a 44-year career with the institution.

Simrall's long years of dedication and leadership previously have been recognized by MSU with two major honors: the naming of a new electrical and computer engineering building after him in 1977 and his selection in 1999 for one of the school's first honorary doctorates.

McCain Hall is named for Simrall colleague Dewey M. McCain, who led the civil engineering department from 1930 until his death in 1966.

Kickoff for MSU's 2002 Homecoming football game against Troy State University will be 1:30 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field.

For more information, telephone the College of Engineering at (662) 325-2270.

Tue, 10/08/2002 - 05:00