In the 1950s, a bench that circled an oak tree called the Bull Ring was in front of the Colvard Student Union. However, after the bench was broken, it was removed from its prominent location on campus. This summer, the Bull Ring was brought back to Mississippi State University so current and future students could “shoot the bull” in front of the union once again.
The completion of the Bull Ring not only brings back this iconic campus landmark, but also marks the reinstatement of the class gift program, which has been overlooked for several years. The original Bull Ring was a class gift from the class of 1933, and the senior class of 2012 chose to bring it back as their class gift.
Many students have also shown a great interest in the class-gift program since it has been restored to MSU as the Bull Ring allows them to leave a mark on their university for future students to see.
Roger Flier, senior political science major, said it was a great idea that the class of 2012 decided to bring back the Bull Ring.
“It is good to see old traditions brought back to life,” Flier said. “It will provide a nice area for students and friends to meet up and hang out on campus.”
According to Bill Broyles, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, funding for this project came from the Alumni Association, the class of 2012, the class of 2013, the Student Association and the MSU Foundation.
“The Bull Ring project is a great example of what we can do when we all work together,” Broyles said. “We are all indebted to these loyal Bulldogs for their generosity.”
Roger Baker, campus master planner, said MSU’s history and traditions are the cornerstone of the campus master plan, and his role in the Bull Ring’s restoration was to assist in bringing back this tradition.
“As the campus master planner my role in the project was more of helping provide the visioning of the project and how to restore a monument that has been on campus since 1933,” Baker said. “Restoring the original Bull Ring was the tricky part because of the historical significance of the original ring versus new construction and the ability of the structure to stand the test of time.”
Broyles said current students have been making use of the Bull Ring.
“The thing that has really surprised me is the amount of current students I see enjoying the Bull Ring now. It is amazing how a stone bench can connect so many people from different generations. There really is a special bond among us,” Broyles said.