Alumni Spotlight
Zachary Henry

Zachary Henry standing with his arms crossed and smiling at the camera in front of a white wall wearing all black clothing.
Zachary Henry, a 2018 MSU architecture alumnus.

Zachary Henry knew from the moment he stepped on Mississippi State’s campus that this was where he was supposed to be.  

Henry applied to 17 architecture programs but ultimately decided to attend Mississippi State’s School of Architecture. He said that he knew MSU would help further his career. 

“I knew that the university was there to support me and encourage me to excel,” said Henry, a Knoxville, Tennessee, native.  

Initially, Henry was not interested in pursuing a career in architecture. His passion was art and had been since he was a child.  

“I wanted to find a profession that let me continue my artistic endeavors but also gave me the ability to change and shape the world for the better,” Henry said, “That is why I chose architecture.” 

Henry was inspired by two people while at MSU. One was Glenn Murcutt, a famous Australian architect who Henry was able to interview and study after receiving the Jones Traveling Research Fellowship while a student. The other was Emily McGlohn, who was Henry’s mentor, professor and research advisor. 

Since graduating from Mississippi State, Henry has stayed busy. 

“The first project I worked on after school was the extensive renovation of Operation Shoestring,” Henry said, “a non-profit after-school program that provides educational, artistic, and social development activities for children in the surrounding West Jackson community." 

"I am currently serving as Project Manager for a rehabilitation project in Downtown Greenville that, once complete, hopes to revitalize an urban fabric that has been absent for decades in one of Mississippi’s most important cities,” Henry said. 

Currently based in Jackson, Henry is working as an architectural associate and public relations coordinator at Duvall Decker Architects.  

In the past few years, he served as the state’s associate director and the chair of the Emerging Professionals Committee for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Recently, he was chosen to serve as one of the at-large directors for AIA’s National Associates Committee (NAC). 

Henry also recently received the AIA Emerging Professional Award, demonstrating substantial impacts through his time and effort. 

“I am honored and humbled to receive the award. It is rewarding to know that my colleagues recognize the work I do to create programming and opportunities for the Students and Emerging Professionals in Mississippi.” 

Q & A with Zachary Henry 

  • What year did you graduate from MSU?  

I graduated in 2018. 

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

After receiving my architecture license, I hope to open my own design studio focused on creating custom residential houses and interior spaces that each client is proud to call their home. In addition to my professional career, I look forward to settling down with my partner and begin raising our family! 

  • What was/is your favorite tradition at MSU?  

Obviously the cowbells; I still proudly ring my cowbell! 

  • What was your favorite thing about your program at MSU?  

Definitely the friendships I made during the program. Unlike any other major, you are with your classmates from your 8 a.m. lecture class to your 3 a.m. coffee run before a big review. You get to spend so much time together, which in the end, creates friendships that you will have for rest of your life!  

  • What is the best thing about your job? 

The best thing about my job is getting to work in a collaborative and open studio with like-minded designers who all approach architecture with the same mindset. 

  • What advice would you give a current architecture student? 

The advice that I have always given to students is: Let college shape you. You become who you are in college. Take chances, open your mind to new ideas, and let the best person come out. 

By Lauren Skelton | November 2021