Back in 1978, Larry Albert was the first student from the School of Architecture at Mississippi State to earn a degree. Today, he is a principal architect at three different architectural firms.
When Albert, a Hattiesburg native, was in high school, his teacher noticed how skilled he was.
“I took a plan drawing class in high school, and I finished the entire yearly course in six weeks,” Albert said. “The teacher said I was so lightning fast; he proclaimed I was a gifted architect. That was 1970, almost 50 years ago.”
Albert decided he would attend Mississippi State because it was the first professional school of architecture in the state.
While attending MSU, he looked up to several people: Mike Fazio, Albert’s thesis advisor, and Jim Barker, former Clemson University president, as well as Dean William G. McMinn and D.K. Ruth.
After graduating from the university, Albert got busy. He has spent his career taking part in major building projects around Hattiesburg, as well as winning awards for design.
“I have been the architect on every major building project in Hattiesburg,” Albert said, “including the Hattiesburg Public Safety Building that is now under construction.”
Currently, Albert is working in Hattiesburg as a principal architect.
“I get the work, and I lead the design and watch the construction, like a hawk.”
A Q&A with Larry Albert
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I am 66, and hopefully I will still be practicing what I love! Architecture is my hobby.”
- What was/is your favorite tradition at MSU?
“When I was there, our class was always causing mischief. Dean McMinn got a lot of calls to tell us to bring back the geodesic dome.”
- What was your favorite thing about your program at MSU?
“The world-class architects McMinn brought to our school. Stanley Tigerman and I had dinner together in 2015 because he remembered me from his visit in 1974 to lead a charrette against other nationally known architectural designers.”
- What year did you graduate from MSU?
“1978. I was the first MSU S|ARC student to get a degree.”
- What is the best thing about your job?
“Designing great spaces and making friends with my clients.”
- What advice would you give a current Architecture student?
“Work hard and study hard. This is NOT a 40-hour profession. I worked 60 to 75 hours a week my first 10 years getting my firm started. My daughter said I only spent four to 10 hours truly not thinking about architecture.”
By Lauren Skelton | November 2020