Campus, community celebrate courtyard opening in downtown Meridian
Celebrating a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Riley Campus Courtyard in downtown Meridian Aug. 4 are (l-r) MSU Vice President for Campus Services Amy Tuck; President of The Riley Foundation Marty Davidson; Meridian Mayor Percy Bland; MSU President Mark E. Keenum; MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner; MSU Vice President for Development and Alumni John Rush; and MSU-Meridian Administrative Director and Head of Campus Terry Dale Cruse. PHOTO: Russ Houston | Public Affairs
An entire city block restoration that has transformed part of downtown Meridian into a Mississippi State University campus was completed last Friday [Aug. 4] with the opening of the Riley Campus Courtyard.
“It is truly wonderful to celebrate this special addition to our Riley Campus and the ongoing revitalization of downtown Meridian,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said.
“We’re expanding educational opportunities, enhancing and growing the workforce, and working to create new economic development opportunities in the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County, and throughout the East Mississippi region,” Keenum added.
Located on the corner of 23rd Avenue and 5th Street, the new courtyard is the final piece of a renovation project that began 17 years ago with an initial contribution from The Riley Foundation. That contribution marked the beginning of a downtown revitalization now known as MSU-Meridian’s Riley Campus, which includes the MSU Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts, the Robert B. Deen Jr. Building and the I.A. “Alfred” Rosenbaum Building, as well as the new courtyard.
Keenum thanked key supporters including The Riley Foundation, Phil Hardin Foundation, and corporate partners like Mississippi Power.
MSU-Meridian Administrative Director and Head of Campus Terry Dale Cruse said he expects the courtyard will become a social and learning venue for students on the Riley Campus, as well as offer additional opportunities for community engagement.
Those interested in reserving the courtyard for special events may contact the MSU Riley Center at 601-696-2203.
MSU-Meridian serves primarily east central Mississippi and west Alabama. Learn more at meridian.msstate.edu.
Lisa Sollie | Public Affairs