has announced an $11 million gift from the to create a new program in kinesiology on its downtown Meridian campus.
The largest gift ever to the university will enable it to begin admitting students in its newest major, kinesiology, with an emphasis in clinical exercise and physiology, by the spring of 2015 and "possibly as early as fall of 2014," said MSU provost and executive vice president Jerry Gilbert. The funds also will help finance building renovations, equipment, furnishings, and technology infrastructure in the facility, which will include a state-of-the-art laboratory. Construction will begin in early 2014, with renovations expected to be completed by the fall of 2015 at the latest.
In 2000, the Riley Foundation awarded $10 million to the university to create the , which opened in 2006. And in 2009, the foundation donated the historic Newberry Building, which houses the business school on the MSU-Meridian campus, to the university and provided $6 million to fund renovations of the building. The foundation’s latest gift will count toward the university’s $600 million capital campaign, which to date has generated $375 million in gifts.
"With the excellent health care opportunities in the city of Meridian, bringing a program such as kinesiology to the area is ideal for the missions of not only Mississippi State but the Meridian campus and the Riley Foundation as well," said MSU president Mark E. Keenum. "We're very grateful to the Riley Foundation for helping us increase educational options for our traditional students and adult learners in east central Mississippi."