Don Hall

Don Hall

Donald L. Hall

By Emily Gouin

While looking back at his time at Mississippi State University, Donald Hall reminisces particularly on the lifelong friendships he made and the education he received that enabled him to excel academically after his undergraduate career.

“I will never forget the close and lifelong friendships forged at MSU,” Hall said.

Hall graduated from MSU in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in science. He completed his degree in three years, and he went on to earn a medical degree in 1965 from University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson, Mississippi.

Following his years in medical school, Hall joined the U.S. Air Force as a captain. After receiving an honorable discharge, he completed his residency in ophthalmology at both Tulane University and UMMC. He was a fellow in retinal diseases at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California. In 1973, he started Steen-Hall Eye Institute, a private practice in Shreveport, Louisiana. He worked there for over 30 years until he retired in 2008.

Hall has served as associate secretary of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and has also served on the editorial board of the journal Ophthalmology. He received the honor award from the AAO, and has also published extensively and lectured internationally.

Despite his successful career, Hall says the greatest success in his life is his family. This includes his three children, one stepdaughter and five grandchildren.

Some of Hall’s family members also attended MSU. His father, J.E. Hall, received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, and his brother, Dick Hall, received a Bachelor of Science degree in business. His great niece, Shelby Hall, is currently enrolled.

Genetics taught by Dr. Bruce Glick was Hall’s favorite course at MSU. Glick was one of Hall’s favorite professors, along with biology professors Dr. Ellis and Dr. Ferguson, and organic chemistry professor Dr. Lyle Behr. Hall said that Dr. Ellis was his greatest mentor during college. “These men brought life to their subjects,” said Hall.

MSU sports play a large part of Hall’s life. He says his favorite traditions include fall football games, winter basketball, and spring baseball. “I began attending MSU sporting events at five years of age, but I have enjoyed many games through the decades since,” Hall said. "My fondest memories began with football player Shorty McWilliams and some great memories since are of teams led by Jackie Parker, John Bond and Dak Prescott.”

Throughout his years at MSU, Hall was involved in many organizations such as Sigma Chi fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and president of his class. He said that he learned time management quickly in order to balance a heavy academic load and a healthy social life.

“If you don’t know which road to select, take any,” Hall advises students. “Or forge through an uncharted course and leave a path for others to follow.”

Some of Hall’s favorite past times include following MSU sports, reading, painting and writing. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing tennis and “learning to smell the roses during retirement."

Pictured above is Hall (left) with Dean Rick Travis (middle) and Dr. Angus Dawe (right), the College's first endowed professor through the Donald L. Hall Distinguished Professorship

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