Templeton Athletic Academic Center atrium gets facelift

MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum, from left, Director of Athletics Emeritus Larry Templeton, MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen stand in the new atrium of the Templeton Athletic Academic Center.

Staff Writer

Student-athletes of Mississippi State will not only benefit from the academic resources of the Templeton Athletic Academic Center in the future, but they will also gain knowledge of the sports history of the Bulldogs.

A renovation of the center's atrium has just been completed with an updated modern design and new graphics.

"This is one of the great showpieces of our athletic department," MSU Athletic Director John Cohen told the Starkville Rotary Club on Monday. "Every student-athlete when they are on a recruiting visit by NCAA rules has to enter this building and meet with somebody from academics. It's very important when they enter this area that it tells the story of our Mississippi State athletics."

The atrium presents a historical look of Bulldog athletics and the success achieved, including the 2017-18 year. The walls document team success and mannequins with Adidas uniforms highlight some of the most famous student-athletes. As more and more athletes leave MSU for the professional ranks, the Templeton Athletic Center atrium recognizes their feats with STATE to Sundays (National Football League), STATE to the Show (Major League Baseball), State to the League (National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association) and STATE to the Tour (Professional Golf Association and Ladies Professional Golf Association).

Also a part of the renovated atrium is a 10-foot wide halo and backlit "Starkvegas" sign that anchors the space and greets visitors.

Cohen said the building is usually open between 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily and should be available for viewing on football weekends. Fans can tour the new atrium on Saturday during MSU Fan Day between 3-5 p.m.

"If you get the opportunity at some point, go in and take a look," Cohen said. "It's really spectacular."

The Templeton Athletic Academic Center was named for former MSU Athletic Director Larry Templeton and was dedicated on Nov. 1, 2008.

Cohen said Templeton means a great deal to him and the Bulldogs.

"(Templeton) has been a tremendous help to me in the not quite two years of being athletic director," Cohen said.