By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – When Henry Brevard was a student at the University of Mississippi nearly 70 years ago, the academic structure south of the Lyceum was known as the Chemistry and Pharmacy building.
Friday, it took on a name that reflects the dedication that the Tupelo businessman and his family have had for Ole Miss: Old Chemistry, newly renovated as the headquarters building of the School of Engineering, was dedicated as Brevard Hall. The ceremony was a highlight of the observance of the school’s 110th anniversary.
The generous donation the Brevard family made toward the renovation followed an earlier landmark gift. In 1991, they committed to a $1 million scholarship endowment, which has enabled some 500 students to attend Ole Miss. Recently they multiplied that generosity by donating toward the building’s renovation.
“The Brevard family has a longtime love for the university,” Brevard said Friday. Noting that his father-in-law left Ole Miss to enter World War I, he credited the university as a foundation for the success of nine members of their family.
Despite his having matriculated so long ago, the founder of B&B Concrete and his extended family have remained actively involved with the university, including his term as president of the University of Mississippi Foundation and son David’s stint as president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association.
Chancellor Dan Jones lauded the Brevards collectively.
“Thank you for allowing us to link in perpetuity the name of this university with the name of a great family,” he said.
Both Henry and David Brevard remain excited about the university’s advances – and the engineering school’s potential to impact Mississippi and beyond.
“The Engineering School has already had in the past 20 years a tremendous amount of growth, and that’s going to continue in the future,” Henry Brevard said.
David Brevard noted the multidisciplinary atmosphere at Ole Miss.
“In this complex world we live in, we need people with the quantitative skills of the engineering discipline but that also have the people skills,” he said. “We think the engineering school here at Ole Miss does an outstanding job of combining those quantitative, analytical skills in a liberal arts environment to produce a well-rounded individual who will serve our state, our country and our society in positive ways.”