Mississippi State University-Meridian began operations as a degree-granting institution during the fall semester of 1972 under the direction of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. From the beginning, the Meridian community supported its new educational institution. The people of Meridian raised all of the funds for the MSU-Meridian building, which then was located on the campus of Meridian Junior College (now Meridian Community College).
Mississippi State-Meridian began as a unit of MSU's Division of Continuing Education and maintained that status until August of 1987, when it was subsumed under the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in Starkville. Locally, MSU-Meridian is directed by the Dean and Executive Director of MSU-Meridian, and administrative responsibility for each academic division is delegated to an Associate Dean. The divisions are analogous to academic colleges on the MSU-Starkville campus. Program coordination is maintained by the Associate Deans and the appropriate academic departments at MSU-Starkville.
In a building originally constructed to house the initial 350-450 students, additional offerings and growth in enrollment to approximately 900 resulted in a series of stop-gap measures to accommodate the expansion. These included making internal renovations, utilizing off-campus classrooms, renting motel/convention facilities, obtaining classroom space in a local shopping center, and converting a trailer into offices. In spite of the obstacles, MSU-Meridian had managed to provide a quality university education for over 10,000 area students with limited facilities and funding.
Recognizing the value of the MSU-Meridian to this region, the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors spearheaded funding for a new building project in 1990. The state followed with an appropriation and a private fund-raising campaign netted the remainder of the construction costs.
On August 29, 1993, the new Mississippi State University-Meridian facility was dedicated on a picturesque 26-acre campus across the street from its original location adjacent to Highway 19 North and College Drive in Meridian.
Last Updated: 6/16/11