History

Hand Chemical Laboratory

Named for Dr. William F. Hand, the Hand Chemical Laboratory was originally constructed in 1961-62 at a total cost of approximately $1.6 million.  It houses both the Department of Chemistry and the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, both of which have maintained a strong tradition dating back to the earliest days of Mississippi A&M College and continuing to the present.  The original renovation project was slated to cost $2 million; however, an additional $14.4 million in state funds were added to the original grant turning the Hand Chemical Laboratory into a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility.

 

Dr. William F. Hand

William Flowers Hand was born and raised in Shubuta, Clarke County, Mississippi.  He entered as a freshman at Mississippi A&M College in 1889 at the age of 15 and received his B.S. degree before his 20th birthday.  He immediately began his professional career at his alma mater as Assistant Chemist.  Continuing his education, he earned Mississippi A&M College's first master's degree awarded in 1895.  He was appointed Professor of Chemistry and State Chemist in 1899.  Professor Hand took a brief two-year leave of absence to attend Columbia University, during which he earned the Ph.D. in chemistry in 1903.  Dr. Hand's career at Mississippi State spanned more than a half century as he served in a variety of capacities including Professor of Chemistry, State Chemist, Dean of Science, and Vice President.  President Hardy once remarked,  "Dr. Hand loved his job more than life itself."