Naming Opportunities

Naming Opportunities

Numerous possibilities exist at Mississippi State University for donors interested in having their name associated with the institution. The vice president for the Division of Development and Alumni, the executive director for development or one of the college development officers can assist with the thought process and a formal gift agreement.

The financial requirements for naming opportunities differ university-wide. The following offers an overview of select opportunities.


New and renovated facilities are imperative for the growth and success of the university. donors may help Mississippi State create an educational environment of excellence through facilities.

The MSU policy for naming buildings is as follows:

  • A new building with 100 percent private funding requires at least 50 percent of the construction cost.
  • A new building with a private funding component requires at least 50 percent of the private fundraising goal.
  • An existing building may be named at the discretion of university leadership in accordance with costs associated with renovation. 

In all cases, a gift of at least $1 million is required to name a building at Mississippi State University. 

Other Physical Facilities/Outdoor Structures

Gifts may enable donors to name spaces within buildings, such as lecture halls, laboratories, conference rooms, speciality classrooms and regular classrooms.

Minimum amounts are necessary to name facilities. They include:

  • Laboratory — $500,000
  • Electronic Classroom — $200,000
  • Distance Learning Classroom — $75,000
  • Other Classroom — $50,000
  • Conference Room — $50,000
  • Auditorium (with 150 or more seats) — $100,000
  • Auditorium (with fewer than 150 seats) — $50,000
  • Benches, fountains, outdoor plantings, memorial trees, other outdoor structures or areas — The cost of the project plus $5,000 to the Campus Beautification Endowment is required. 
  • Note: If a structure is a student memorial or a student project, strictly the project cost is needed. 

Academic and Major University Units

Contributions to name an academic or other major university unit must be able to transform the unit involved, enabling that unit to reach a level of excellence that cannot be achieved with state or university funds alone. The gift should be in the form of an endowment, with income from the endowment used to provide a margin of excellence for the unit. The gift should not replace state funds previously made available to that unit.

Minimum endowment levels for colleges, departments, centers and institutes. They include:  

  • College or Division — $10,000,000
  • School or Department — $5,000,000
  • University-wide Center or Institute — $2,500,000
  • College-based or Unit-based Center or Institute — $1,000,000

Endowed Faculty Positions

Naming opportunities for chairs or professorships are available throughout campus. Endowed chair designation is linked to a select faculty position filled by an outstanding scholar and teacher, as judged by rigorous, nationally accepted standards. Named professorships typically are held by faculty members whose accomplishments indicate potential for national and international leadership and distinction in their field, and whose current efforts are focused on honing teaching skills and/or establishing a superior record of research or other scholarly activity.

Minimum levels for endowed faculty positions are:

  • Dean's Chair — $2,000,000
  • Chair — $1,500,000
  • Professorship — $500,000
  • Endowed Faculty Fellowship — $100,000

Some colleges, schools or departments may require higher amounts.

Lectureships and Lecture Series

Mississippi State encourages naming opportunities for distinguished lectureships, the presidential lecture series and visiting lecture series.

A distinguished lectureship is a select position to be filled by a top scholar who becomes a part of the Mississippi State University community for a specified period, but who typically does not accept a permanent position on the faculty. A presidential lecture series will bring to Mississippi State a variety of outstanding individuals with broad experience and expertise for presentations that will have university-wide and interdisciplinary appeal, while a visiting lecture series brings a variety of individuals with experience and expertise relevant to the special interests of a particular college or school.

Minimum endowment levels for lectureships and lecture series are:

  • Distinguished Lectureship — $1,000,000
  • Presidential Lecture Series — $1,000,000
  • Visiting Lecture Series — $250,000

Fellowships and Scholarships

Endowed fellowships and scholarships enable MSU to attract and retain the best and brightest students form throughout Mississippi, the region and the nation. Fellowships offer educational assistance primarily for graduate students, and provide full or partial support that enables students to complete their educational experience at Mississippi State.Scholarships primarily offer educational assistance for talented undergraduate students.

The Foundation offers two types of scholarships, those which may be funded and awarded annually, and those which are awarded based on earnings from an established endowment.

The established minimum endowment levels for fellowships and scholarships are: 

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowships — $300,000
  • Graduate Fellowships — $250,000
  • Presidential Endowed Scholarships — $300,000
  • Endowed Scholarships — $25,000
  • Annual Scholarships (non-endowed) — $1,000

Presidential Endowed Scholarships

Donors seeking to strengthen undergraduate scholarships may establish endowments through the Presidential Endowed Scholars Program. In addition to providing competitive, multi-year scholarships to talented incoming students, this program also affords mentoring opportunities for donors and students.

The Presidential Endowed Scholarships challenge outstanding students to excel academically and distinguish themselves through their studies and campus leadership roles. Recipients of these prestigious scholarships are among the elite students in the nation, who come to Mississippi State for the opportunity to further their educational goals as they aspire to make their benefactors proud.

Endowments for Presidential Endowed Scholarships can be established with gifts of $250,000 or more.

Other Naming Opportunities

Endowed funds of excellence and awards allow the university to recognize outstanding teaching, service, research, and staff performance. Naming awards is an outstanding way to commemorate the work ethic, success or lifetime achievements of an outstanding individual.

An endowed fund for excellence may be established in support of a college, school, department, academic discipline, or other university program of interest to the donor. Typically, earnings enhance the selected program by supporting research, faculty development and travel, or for other education enrichment activities. Endowed funds for teaching, service, research, and staff awards recognize outstanding performance in the classroom, in service to the university, and in research by faculty, other professionals or support staff members in the specified college, school or division.

Minimum levels for funds for excellence awards and other types of endowments have been established. These include: 

  • Endowed Fund for Excellence — $25,000
  • Teaching, Service, Research and Staff Awards — $25,000
  • Other Endowments — $25,000