OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) -- Former Governor Haley Barbour took center stage at the University of Mississippi Thursday with officials celebrating the naming of a campus building after him.
It's just steps away from where he once walked to class.
They say Barbour is a visionary and it only makes sense that his name should be on the Center for Manufacturing Excellence building.
"It's very appropriate that the center be named after the governor. It was his vision and his creation in that sense. He is the person responsible for coming up with the idea and moving it forward," CME Director James Vaughn said.
Barbour is credited for moving forward with an aggressive plan to get the attention of automotive manufacturers.
The Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence blends together students from the schools of accountancy, business administration and engineering.
"We get one-on-one contact with so many major corporations and see what it's going to be like one day. I think that's the biggest thing right now," student Jake Moorehead said.
"Toyota allowed this money to be used to create a Center for Manufacturing Excellence for Mississippi to not only serve Toyota but every manufacturer in the state. This is mighty special," Barbour said.
"It's very exciting. I didn't really understand the impact of it. I'm from Virginia. I did not understand the impact of it until this semester and how much has been put into this," student Kathryn Mason said.
The Haley Barbour Center For Manufacturing Excellence program has enrolled more than 100 students. Enrollment is expected to double within two years.