Hall endows MSU mechanical engineering school

Hall endows MSU mechanical engineering school

Michael W. Hall

Mississippi State’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is becoming a named academic school with a cornerstone endowment gift from alumnus Michael W. Hall and his wife Valarie.

The Michael W. Hall School of Mechanical Engineering’s namesake originally hails from Pontotoc County, Mississippi and now resides in Nashville, Tennessee, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is a 1995 MSU mechanical engineering graduate of the Bagley College of Engineering. He is the former managing principal of Mas Energy LLC, founder and CEO of Shady Grove Road Investments, LLC and a 2022 Distinguished Fellow for the Bagley College.

“Students, faculty and industry partners will benefit significantly from this generous gift from the Halls to our great university,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “Mr. Hall is one of many distinguished and highly successful alumni who have graduated from our mechanical engineering department, and we are grateful he and Valarie understand the many benefits of investing in our students and the future of mechanical engineering at Mississippi State.”

The Hall’s total collective giving at MSU stands at $18.9 million and includes the recent $16.5 million investment announced last year that supports multiple endowments within mechanical engineering to fund advancement in faculty, staff and graduate student support, student-industry partnerships, and student scholarships, among other areas.

At Mas Energy, Hall was responsible for project and business development, plant operations and the company’s international businesses. He has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of energy solution, project and business development, including design engineering, finance, commercial agreements and contract structuring. His ability to interface design and performance parameters with commercial reality and funding requirements has been a critical factor in the results achieved over the course of his career.

Hall was responsible for the successful development, funding, construction and operations of Mas Energy’s early projects, including the award-winning Coca-Cola Trigeneration Project located in Atlanta, Georgia, multiple landfill gas to power projects, and its most recent renewable natural gas projects.

Before joining Mas Energy, Hall served as vice president of business development for Veolia Energy North America, a $500 million energy services company focused on district energy, cogeneration and utilities outsourcing. Hall earlier held various management and development positions within the energy industry at Fortune 500 companies including Johnson Controls, General Electric and Southern Company.

Valarie Hall is a graduate of the University of Central Florida who shares her husband’s love for MSU.

MSU Bagley College of Engineering Dean Jason Keith said endowment gifts supplement appropriated university funds, allowing a department to grow and excel in the major areas of teaching, research and service.

“Mr. Hall has been a strong benefactor of Mississippi State and supports our goals with this school naming. By establishing a series of transformational endowments to support the university, college and department missions, the new Hall School of Mechanical Engineering will elevate our program in recognition and prestige,” said Keith, who also is the college’s Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport Jr. Chair.