Mississippi State hosts Dec. 10 commencement ceremonies

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is announcing plans for fall commencement exercises to be held on the university’s Starkville and Meridian campuses.

The Starkville campus will host two ceremonies—9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.—on Dec. 10 in Humphrey Coliseum. MSU-Meridian will celebrate commencement at 11 a.m. Dec. 9 at the MSU Riley Center.

Those who wish to watch these events remotely can do so via the MSU TV Center’s livestream at https://livestream.com/mstv/live and the MSU Facebook page at www.facebook.com/msstate.

MSU is requiring all unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth. Fully vaccinated individuals are highly encouraged, but not required, to wear facial coverings. Sanitizing stations will be available, and social distancing is encouraged.

University leaders planning for the ceremonies said many elements of past graduations will be the same this fall; however, ongoing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic are requiring several adjustments to the conventional program. An entrance processional for graduates will not be included, but all graduates will walk across the stage as they are announced and congratulated. Graduates will leave in successive order after being recognized instead of returning to their seats. Likewise, guests should quietly leave after their graduate is recognized.

All graduates, guests and employees are expected to conduct self-screening prior to leaving home. Per MSU guidelines, this includes an “at-home” temperature check and review of potential COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pains, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell. Anyone with any of these symptoms or a fever of greater than 100.4 degrees should stay home.

Attendance on Dec. 10 in Starkville will be limited to eight guests per graduate, and the Athletic Ticket Office will provide electronic ticketing for contactless entry.

Tickets are free and can be claimed by visiting www.registrar.msstate.edu/students/graduation for instructions. Contact the Athletic Ticket Office at 662-325-2600 with any questions.

Each ceremony at Humphrey Coliseum will honor 600 to 700 graduates and have a guest capacity of approximately 6,000 in the facility which, under normal conditions, seats more than 10,000. Constant custodial sanitation will take place before, during and after all ceremonies with intense focus on cleaning restrooms, entryways and other high-touch areas.

Starkville campus ceremony details include:

DEC. 10

—9:30 a.m. (Doors open at 8 a.m.): College of Architecture, Art and Design; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education; and Academic Affairs

—3:30 p.m. (Doors open at 2 p.m.): Bagley College of Engineering; College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; College of Business; College of Forest Resources; and College of Veterinary Medicine.

Meridian campus commencement at the MSU Riley Center will be held Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. MSU-Meridian fall graduates are assigned six tickets for guest seating in the theater per COVID-19 restrictions. Doors open at 10 a.m., and only guests with tickets will be allowed to sit in the theater. MSU-Meridian information can be found at meridian.msstate.edu/events/2021/11/04/msu-meridian-celebrates-fall-2021-commencement.

Studio portrait of MSU President Mark E. Keenum
MSU President Mark E. Keenum (Photo by Russ Houston)

MSU President Mark E. Keenum will serve as commencement speaker. During his tenure, the Corinth native has guided the university to unprecedented heights with an unwavering focus on preparing students for success in a rapidly changing world and emphasizing the timeless values of integrity, hard work and respect. His interest in international food security has strengthened the university’s contributions to global economic sustainability, and he has led MSU to record growth in enrollment, capital improvements and fundraising.

“Graduation is such a truly meaningful time for our students and university. I am looking forward to celebrating the many accomplishments of our outstanding graduates with their families and friends,” Keenum said.

A former Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Keenum holds three degrees in agricultural economics from Mississippi State.

Studio portrait of MSU alumnus Hines Brannan
Hines Brannan (OPA photo)

Hines Brannan, a 1970 industrial engineering graduate of MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree during Starkville’s afternoon ceremony. Brannan, who also earned a Master of Business Administration from the College of Business in 1971, is being recognized for outstanding dedication in leading MSU strategic planning efforts and promoting the advancement of higher education.

Brannan grew up in the small Mississippi farming community of Woodville. Upon graduation from MSU, he joined the startup consulting practice of Arthur Andersen, then the largest of the “Big Eight” accounting firms. During his 32 years with Andersen Consulting and then Accenture, Brannan served in various roles, including managing partner of the Charlotte and Atlanta offices, member of Andersen Consulting’s board of directors, managing partner of business process competency and managing partner of financial services. Brannan retired from Accenture in late 2002 after serving for five years as client partner on BellSouth, Accenture’s largest outsourcing engagement.

Brannan currently is a partner in a private equity firm and serves on several private company boards. He also is active in angel investing, as well as advising and consulting with startup companies.

For the past three years, Brannan has served as chairman of the board for the MSU Foundation. He also has worked with university leadership on strategic planning, marketing and branding/image initiatives.

Brannan and wife Linda split time between Highlands, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Complete graduation details will be posted online at www.registrar.msstate.edu/students/graduation, as well as emailed directly to graduates, among other communications.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.