The College of Business family is saddened by the loss of Hassell Franklin, who passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2023. He was 87. Franklin was a 1959 with a degree in industrial management (then under the College of Business), and was the founder, Chairman and CEO of Franklin Corporation, one of the largest, privately owned furniture manufacturers in the U.S.
Franklin served on numerous boards, including BancorpSouth (now Cadence Bank), North Mississippi Health Services, the CREATE Foundation, the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi, the Community Development Foundation, Itawamba Community College Foundation, Habitat for Humanity. He was former president of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association and past director of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, and Mississippi Economic Council. AT MSU, Franklin was a former member of the MSU Foundation Board, the COB Executive Advisory Board, and former president of the Bulldog Club. The 1995 MSU Alumnus of the Year was elected to the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame in 2003, and inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 2013. He established a $1 million endowment at MSU for the Franklin Furniture Institute, a research and training center benefitting the furniture industry, and in the fall of 2020, he received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from the university in recognition of lifetime achievements and longtime support of MSU.
Details regarding funeral arrangements will be announced when they are made available.