MSU’s Fred Carl Jr. Small Town Center gains architect

Professional headshot of Fran PharisMississippi State’s Fred Carl Jr. Carl Small Town Center is welcoming Fran Pharis to its team.

Pharis officially began her new role as the research center’s architect in March.

A 2008 Mississippi State University School of Architecture alumna and licensed architect in Mississippi, she has worked at several private architecture firms, for a company specializing in water purification systems and with a government contractor. Pharis recently assisted in teaching a landscape architecture design studio at Mississippi State.

While a student in the MSU School of Architecture, Pharis worked at the Small Town Center and even volunteered with them after graduating.

“My time as a student worker at the Small Town Center impacted how I thought about communities and their need for good, thoughtful design,” she said. “Design should be accessible to everyone and every community regardless of socioeconomic status, history and life circumstances.”

And, Pharis is excited to be back working at the center, helping to further its mission.

“I wholeheartedly believe in the Small Town Center’s mission to bring good design to small communities in an effort to solve their specific problems through education and implementation. All small towns – and the citizens within – have potential to thrive, and I look forward to igniting the necessary passion within citizens and leaders and working toward that goal of creating thriving communities in my role as architect for the Small Town Center.”

Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the center’s namesake, is a Greenwood resident who founded and served as the first president and CEO of nationally recognized Viking Range Corp. A one-time architecture major at MSU, he endowed the university’s statewide community design outreach program in 2004.

A research center housed in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the center provides planning and design services, seeking to provide solutions to problems faced by communities across the nation. Read more about MSU’s Carl Small Town Center at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @smalltowncenter.

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