Duvall Decker

Duvall Decker

Jackson, MS


The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center, Tougaloo College

As the first academic building built on campus since 1959, this project had many requirements to fill numerous academic needs. The diverse program of the new building includes multi-disciplinary meeting and teaching spaces, a conference suite, and a 150-seat lecture hall. The building also accommodates Tougaloo’s impressive art collection with archival, curatorial, storage, and display spaces. This new building is sited on the historic campus green. As such, it had the added responsibility to fulfill Tougaloo’s mission “where history meets the future”: the resulting building both fits in and stand out. Of the many requirements was the educational mission to honor the civil rights teachers and veterans, and continuing the College’s tradition of cultivating civil rights activists and leaders. The interior design is an integral part of the project, including all loose and system furnishings, art storage shelving, and accessories for the building.

The building is heavily used for academic and special programs and has become one of the most popular meeting places on campus. As evidence of the project’s success, the College’s president recently remarked that besides being a great academic asset on campus, the building also embodies the Tougaloo mission by “respecting its history and looking to the future with hope,” as it helps teach new students about civil rights, freedom, equity and the importance of being a servant leader.

2013 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Citation
2011 AIA Mississippi Honor Award
2011 Brick Industry Southeast Design With Brick President’s Award

The New York Times, 2017
Design Bureau, ARCHITECTURE: People, Places, and Ideas Driving Contemporary Design, 2012
Jackson Free Press

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Status: Built
Location: Jackson, MS
Firm Role: Architect