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Hassell Franklin supports Mississippi State University furniture research facility with generous gift

A recent $1 million gift from a state furniture executive will help Mississippi State build a new career center for furniture manufacturing and management. The gift from Hassell H. Franklin, founder and president of Franklin Corp. in Houston, will supplement the $3 million in state funding appropriated last year for the building. Franklin Corp. is a national leader in producing reclining chairs and motion furniture. It is one of the nation's largest independently owned furniture manufacturing companies. An MSU alumnus, Franklin serves on the Furniture Research Unit Advisory Board. The Furniture Research Unit in the Forest Products Laboratory was established in 1987 by the Mississippi Legislature and is currently the largest furniture research program in North America. Research conducted by the unit is estimated to save the state's manufacturers more than $3 million annually. The university will propose to the state Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning, that the building be named the Franklin Center for Furniture Manufacturing and Management. The center will house an indisciplinary program to draw on the strengths of the colleges of forest resources, business and industry, and engineering. The planned 30,000 square foot facility will contain research laboratories, classrooms, an auditorium, and office space. Architects are currently designing the building with construction scheduled to begin in spring 2001.

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