Rosenbaum Building formally dedicated on MSU-Meridian campus

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Recently renovated with the help of an $11 million grant from the Riley Foundation, the former Kress Building on the Mississippi State University-Meridian Riley Campus is now the I.A. “Alfred” Rosenbaum Building.

Showcased during a naming ceremony on Monday [Oct. 17], the Rosenbaum Building, named after the late Meridian businessman and Riley Foundation co-founder, houses MSU-Meridian’s state-of-the-art kinesiology program and boasts Mississippi’s first digital cadaver lab. The facility also contains a new Bulldog Shop, which sells MSU apparel, cheese, ice cream and sandwiches.

“Today’s very special event is the latest example of Mississippi State University’s long-term commitments in Meridian and around the East Mississippi region,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said. “Much of our work here is made possible by the generous support of The Riley Foundation, and that is especially true of this very significant project — one that is vitally important to this community and to our university.”

The Riley Foundation announced the multi-million dollar grant for the kinesiology program in Meridian in 2013, which included renovations to the historic landmark in the heart of the Queen City’s downtown. Since the late 1990s, the Foundation’s support of MSU-Meridian has grown to almost $40 million.

MSU-Meridian Administrative Director and Head of Campus Terry Dale Cruse said he is thankful for the investments The Riley Foundation, Phil Hardin Foundation and Mississippi Power have made in MSU-Meridian students and downtown Meridian. The new building also enhances the connection between MSU-Meridian and the downtown area.

“This building uniquely provides space for the community to interact with the university,” Cruse said. “Our store has been well received by local business people who stop in for lunch or community members stocking up on cheese and ice cream. Additionally, the Phil Hardin downtown library brings excellent resources of a leading research university to the heart of Meridian.”

For many years, The Riley Foundation has been a major Mississippi State supporter. The MSU-Riley Center opened its doors in 2006, providing a performing arts center, a conference center and several exhibit halls. Also, the MSU-Meridian Riley Campus downtown, which houses the business school, is located in the historic Deen Building donated in 2009 by the Foundation. In 2014, The Riley Foundation pledged support for a scholarship program that helps students pursue a four-year degree at MSU-Meridian.

Rosenbaum managed the investment portfolio of the Riley Foundation for several years, overseeing the Foundation’s funds during a period in which more than $40 million in projects benefitted Lauderdale County. He served as mayor of Meridian from 1977-1985.  A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Rosenbaum served his country in the military for 23 years.  He and his wife, Lucile, supported many causes to benefit the Meridian community, including the restoration of the Dentzel Carousel in Highland Park.

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