Contact: Addie Mayfield
STARKVILLE, Miss.—The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation has recently committed $100,000 in support of multiple areas within the Mississippi State University Center for America’s Veterans, which is also named for the late U.S. Congressman.
One portion of the commitment secures adaptable support through an excellence fund for the many initiatives and programs that take place within the center, while a second portion benefits the building fund for Nusz Hall, the center’s home. The final portion of the gift will enhance the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Scholarship, established by the foundation in 2015 to assist current and former members of the U.S. military and their immediate family members who are Mississippi residents enrolled at MSU.
“The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation is extremely proud to make this gift to Mississippi State University’s Center for America’s Veterans and carry forward Sonny’s personal legacy of unparalleled support for our nation’s veterans,” said Brad Crawford, foundation president and executive director.
A Meridian native, G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery was a 1943 general business graduate of then-Mississippi State College, where he was a member of the ROTC. He devoted three decades of his life to military service, which included active duty in the European theatre of World War II and the Korean War, before retiring from the Mississippi Army National Guard with the rank of major general. In 2005, he was awarded the highest civilian honor presented by the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Montgomery began his political career in 1956 with election to the Mississippi State Senate. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966, where he held office through the terms of seven presidents. During his time in Congress, he drafted numerous pieces of legislation supporting veterans, including the Montgomery G.I. Bill, which has sent millions of veterans through higher education nationwide.
Prior to Montgomery's death in 2006 at the age of 85, the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation was established to honor his work and perpetuate his important legacy. Today, the foundation continues to carry his mission forward by encouraging leadership and providing support for educational activities relating to citizenship, military service and veterans’ affairs.
Since 2001, the Montgomery Foundation has contributed over $760,000 to the university. In addition to its most recent commitment, the foundation annually supports various areas across Mississippi State’s Starkville and Meridian campuses including scholarships, the Montgomery Leadership Award, Stennis-Montgomery Association, Army and Air Force ROTC programs, and the Montgomery Advisement and Career Center, among others.
“The generosity of the Montgomery Foundation honors all that the late Congressman Montgomery stood for, and is essential in our efforts to improve our support for MSU’s student veteran community now and in the future,” said Brian Locke (Lt. Col., Ret.), director of the Montgomery Center. “We are proud to carry on the name and mission of such an influential leader.”
Further recognizing Montgomery’s impactful legacy, the Bulldog football team donned special “Statesman” uniforms for the annual Veterans Recognition Game on Nov. 17 at Scott Field. Inspired by the paint scheme of the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III plane named “The Spirit of Sonny Montgomery,” the uniforms also featured images of various medals earned by Montgomery throughout his military career.
“Chairman Montgomery dedicated the better part of his life to veterans’ causes and his love for MSU is unrivaled, so to recognize him with these special Statesman uniforms during the Veterans Recognition Game is a fitting tribute to a true Mississippi patriot,” Crawford said.
The Montgomery Center at MSU is recognized as a national leader in providing comprehensive support through a university-based veteran resource center. Serving over 2,800 military-connected students at MSU, the assistance and outreach provided by the center have helped MSU earn recognition as a top university for veterans, including designations with the 2018 Military Friendly Schools Gold Medal and as a “Military Spouse Friendly” institution for veteran-oriented campus culture.
For more on supporting the Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at MSU, contact Casey McGee, assistant director of development for the Division of Student Affairs, at 662-325-9129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information on the university’s veteran resource program may be found at www.veterans.msstate.edu.
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