The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Class gifts, bullring set to return


By Rachel Mustain

Staff Writer


This year, Mississippi State University Student Association will recommence the class gift project by restoring the bullring to campus. The bullring is a concrete ring encircling a large oak tree that was once used as a seating area and gathering space outside the YMCA building. It was gifted to MSU by the senior class of 1933 and stood on campus until the construction of Colvard Student Union required its removal. 

Rhett Hobart, SA president, said the SA constitution requires each graduating class to donate a class gift, but this policy has not been followed for several years. The constitution states planning for the class gift begins freshman year and is organized over four years by the elected class council. 

“Somewhere in the last 15 years we lost the class gift,” he said. “We are at a disadvantage this year for our graduating class because we have no history of fundraising in our four years here.” 

Hobart said when he realized SA was not adhering to this part of the constitution he reinstated the project for the 2012 senior class but looked for an alternative gift due to the lack of funds.

“Instead of first looking to bring new things to campus, we think we should restore what others before us gave that have been removed from campus or are broken and restorable,” he said.

Jimmy Abraham, director of the Alumni Association, said the bullring was an integral part of the MSU landscape for the many years it was here. It stood at the heart of campus across from the YMCA, which was a hang out area for students, and next to Miss. Highway 12, which ran through campus at the time. He said alumni who were here during the time of the bullring remember it as a central aspect of student life. 

“It was the true gathering place on campus. It is where everybody met and caught up on things. I think it would send a great message to our alums who were in school here that a part of what they were all about is now coming back to campus,” he said.

Roy Ruby, interim president in 2008, attended MSU when the bullring was here and said the name comes from how it was used. 

“College students would sit out there and they would ‘shoot the bull,’ meaning they would have great conversations. Every now and then when a young lady would go by they would have various comments to make and wolf calls and things like that,” he said. 

Hobart said the bullring is currently in storage at the Cooley Building and is in acceptable condition but needs restoration. The plan is for the original structure to be placed in a marble casing with a brick base in between the concrete legs to provide support. There are a few options for its placement which need to be approved by the campus master planning committee. A decision should be made next week. 

The intent is to place the bullring as close to its original location as possible. One possible location is the grassy area to the west of the front of the Union around a new tree. Another possibility is to place the bullring around a tree outside the east entrance to the Union.

The SA constitution states the class gift should be completed by April of the class’s graduating year, but Hobart said the restoration of the bullring may not be complete by that time. The progress will depend on the fundraising done by the senior class council officers and collaboration with university officials. 

Hobart said he plans for class councils to continue restoring class gifts until a class has four years to follow the procedure in the constitution for a new gift. Possible gifts for restoration include a second column at the entrance to campus from University Drive opposite to the column donated by the class of 1922. Another option is the restoration of the sitting area called Orientation Park with a fountain and bricks engraved with the names of past orientation leaders. This gift was donated by the classes of 1988 to 1992.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Class gifts, bullring set to return