Contact: Allison Matthews
STARKVILLE, Miss.—State and university officials, along with a large group of military service members and friends, gathered Friday at Mississippi State to dedicate a special lobby in honor of the late Congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery.
The newly constructed Nusz Hall houses MSU’s G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, and the lobby now is an appropriate remembrance of the man who built his life around service to his country and to his home state.
“Today we honor one of the most distinguished members of the Mississippi National Guard – a serviceman and a statesman,” said Maj. Gen. Janson D. “Durr” Boyles.
After receiving his degree from MSU, then Mississippi State College, Montgomery served in Europe during World War II and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor, Legion of Merit and Combat Infantry Badge. He went on to serve during the Korean Conflict and served for 35 years in the Mississippi National Guard, retiring with the rank of Major General.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum said Montgomery simply was a leader wherever he went, and he served 10 years in the Mississippi legislature before running for Congress. He was elected to 15 terms as a U.S. Representative and became known as “Mr. Veteran” because of his unwavering support for military service members.
“That’s a servant and a leader – that’s someone who’s committed to helping others,” Keenum said. “He lived a remarkable life and accomplished a great deal that we’re all so very proud of.”
U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly said he has been honored to follow in Montgomery’s footsteps in many ways. Both commanded the same Mississippi National Guard Battalion, and now Kelly is serving Mississippi as First District Congressman.
“What an honorable man he was,” Kelly said. “He spent a lifetime of dedicated service and loved this nation and our soldiers, and he loved Mississippi State University.”
Kelly said the tribute to Montgomery in Nusz Hall is appropriate because “there is not a university in the nation that is more veteran-friendly than Mississippi State University.”
On behalf of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation, Brad Crawford, president and executive director, thanked Tommy Nusz for his generous contribution of the state-of-the-art facility to benefit MSU’s veteran community.
“This will be a fantastic place for veterans and their families for years to come,” Crawford said.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.