The Colvard Student Union was built in 1964 under the leadership of Dr. Dean W. Colvard, the President of the University. Along with the LSU Union and the J. Wayne Reitz Union at the University of Florida, the Colvard Student Union was a state of the art union in the Southeast. It housed the MSU Bookstore; a game room which featured an 8-lane bowling alley, pinball machines, and billiards tables; an 8-chair barber shop; offices for the Student Association, Union Program Council (formally the Campus Activities Board), Reflector, Reveille, and a few other student groups; the Union Grill; meeting rooms, the Ballroom, and Small Auditorium; and administrative offices for the Union staff.

During the 1990s there were two significant changes in the Colvard Student Union. First, the MSU Bookstore was privatized and its' floor and office space expanded, necessitating the move of major student groups such as the SA, Reflector, Reveille, Council of Black Student Organizations (now Black Student Association), IFC, Panhellenic, and Greek Association (now NPHC) from the Union to other campus locations. Additional office space was created for CAB at that time. Then the Food Court, featuring four independent food vendors, replaced the Union Grill.

In response to steady growth in the student body and the number of student organizations, an architect was hired in the late 1990s to lay the groundwork for a major renovation. After several years of planning, studies of trends in other student unions, and student surveys and focus groups, a major renovation and expansion for the Colvard Student Union was ready to begin. The Mississippi Legislature provided the bulk of the construction funding, and MSU students and alumni have provided additional revenue. The Union closed on July 31, 2006, and construction began the next day. The newly renovated building opened in early 2008.