Alumni and Friends

The MSU Department of Landscape Architecture is very proud to have alumni working across the country. We encourage all alumni to use this page to keep up with the activities of the department and to participate in the education of future generations of Bulldog Landscape Architects.

Outstanding Alumni

Katie (Bullman) Belleno and Mark Bullman may live miles apart but the siblings connect often through the common ground of landscape architecture. The Starkville natives and MSU alumni both have had an interest in the field from an early age. In their backyard, Katie and Mark’s parents—LaDonna and Mark Sr.—built a greenhouse to nurture their children’s interest in plants. Aside from the pair’s daily competitions to name the most plants correctly, days growing up in the Bullman household were spent propagating vegetation as a family, growing not only an array of plants but also a love of horticulture. Read more about the siblings in our article: It's a Sibling Thing.

Mike Bogan is a 1987 Landscape Architecture graduate and CEO of LandCare USA in San Diego, California. Bogan began his career in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. area with Davis Landscape Contractors. In 1989, he joined The Brickman Group, a commercial landscape business, as a project director, and moved on to subsequent roles including branch manager, regional vice president, and divisional vice president across the U. S. while he grew his career as an inspirational, value centric leader. He forged expansion into new markets, built strong teams, grew revenue, and led mergers and acquisitions as Brickman became an industry leader. Bogan returned to Maryland and joined Brickman’s leadership team as executive vice president in 2006, where he served until 2012. Bogan formed a consultancy in 2013 and joined LandCare USA in 2014, as CEO, where he helmed a turnaround and re-branding of the commercial landscape services business.

Thomas Eaves graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1973 after a four year stint in the United States Air Force. He grew up on a farm in Louisville, Mississippi where he loved scouting and became an Eagle Scout. He was married with a child when he began his academic career at MSU. Discover how Eaves traveled the country designing the most unlikely of spaces—cemeteries—and how that work helped inform a long career as a principal in a landscape architecture firm that serves the Hattiesburg area. Eaves was named the 2011 Alumni Benefactor of the Year by the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Martha Hill graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1983. The Clinton, Mississippi native, Hill has been an educator for more than 30 years, as faculty and department chair of landscape management technology at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi. Prior to that, she was a landscape architect in Mississippi, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Jordan Hillman graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 2009. She began working at a garden center in high school where two coworkers—landscape architects and MSU alums—mentored Hillman toward the profession. She is the community development director of Brandon, Mississippi. Find out how encouragement from professors coupled with her involvement in ASLA student chapter as an undergrad helped shape Hillman’s career in the public sector.

Alan Hoops graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1985. He started out as an architecture major at the University of Cincinnati and transferred to MSU to pursue engineering. While neither of those majors proved a fit, he learned about landscape architecture, with elements that combined the two and felt right at home. Learn how a chance meeting in college with a world-renowned landscape architect changed Hoops’ outlook on the field. Also discover how a leap of faith turned into one of the best decisions of his career.

William E. (Bill) Lutrick, graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in Fall 1968, becoming the first student to be awarded the BLA degree. Originally, Lutrick wanted to be an architect, however, during the 1960s, no colleges in Mississippi offered an architectural degree. He started at MSU as a liberal arts major, but once he heard about the new landscape architecture department, he switched majors and has spent nearly 50 years in a career he loves. Discover how Lutrick’s career as a landscape architect spanned various industries beginning with the Girl Scouts of America and ending with aviation design. Also learn about Lutrick’s second act helping to preserve historical landscapes across the country.

Tariq, Yazan, and Amer Mahadin, three brothers from Amman, Jordan, have a deeply rooted passion for outdoor design. In 1987, their father, Professor Kamel O. Mahadin, a fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects, founded Jordan’s leading landscape architectural firm, MK Associates. While the two younger brothers have found their way back to the family business, Tariq is blazing another trail in the Lone Star State. Read more about the brothers in our articles: It's A Sibling Thing.

Aaron Ruffin graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 2005. He continued on at MSU earning a Master of Public Policy and Administration in 2007. Ruffin works as a network real estate manager for Mobilitie, a telecommunications infrastructure company. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Diversity Summit, which brings a dozen landscape architects from around the U.S. together to discuss ways the ASLA can expand the profession as more ethnically and culturally diverse. Learn more about Ruffin’s mission as a champion of diversity and how he seeks to leverage the broad nature of the profession to diversify his own skills.

Glenn LaRue Smith is a natural born artist. His medium, however, extends beyond a traditional canvas, encompassing whole landscapes in cities across America. The 1974 landscape architecture alumnus has enjoyed an expansive career in both private and public practice. He’s also a well-respected academic and Harvard Fellow. Now as a principal of Washington, D. C.-based PUSH studio, Smith shapes urban landscapes in the Capital City and beyond, all while helping mentor the next generation of African American landscape architects. Read how Smith is Sculpting Communities.

Claude Thompson earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a horticulture concentration in 1967. He was the first student to begin the landscape program, which became accredited a semester after he graduated. (While fellow classmate, Bill Lutrick, is considered the first official graduate of the accredited program, both Thompson and Lutrick had an identical course load despite their different degrees). Learn about how Thompson’s journey to the new degree program back in 1967 shaped a long, illustrious career in the public, private, and academic sectors. Also find out how a stint as an editorial cartoonist for the Reflector got Thompson more than he bargained for.

WAS Design has been in business since 2005. Chad Watkins, Jared Acy, and Troy Strunk, landscape architecture alumni who attended MSU from 1996-2001, are the three principals of WAS Design. The firm’s corporate headquarters are situated in Foley, Alabama with satellite offices in Mobile, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi. WAS Design offers three primary services: traditional landscape architectural design, community and land planning consultation and design, and marketing services including three-dimensional perspectives and site plans. They have a broad client base which includes industrial, governmental, institutional, and hospitality sectors. They also work with private developers and public planners on residential and community design. Read more about their story: Providing a Sense of Place.

Make a Donation

There are numerous ways to give to the Department of Landscape Architecture:

  1. Outright gifts - generate the most immediate return for your contributions.
  2. Planned gifts - allow you to achieve personal benefits while simultaneously providing invaluable support to the university.
  3. Naming Opportunities - a variety of options exist for donors who wish to pursue naming opportunities.
  4. Make a gift - Click here to start making your own personalized gift immediately with a secure online transaction using your credit card.

Please contact Will Staggers at 662-325-2837 or by e-mail at to discuss the best way to contribute.