G.V. Sonny Montgomery Foundation establishes scholarship for MSU-Meridian’s physician assistant program

From Mississippi State University – Meridian:

Brad Crawford, president, and executive director of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation and Adriana Fuentealba of Gulf Breeze, Florida, the first recipient of the Montgomery Physician Assistant Scholarship at Mississippi State University-Meridian.

MERIDIAN, Miss.—A 23-year-old Mississippi State Physician Assistant Studies student from Florida is the first recipient of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Physician Assistant Scholarship at MSU-Meridian.

Adriana Fuentealba of Gulf Breeze, Florida, previously a surgical technician in medical research at the Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, Texas, began the MSU-Meridian program this year.

“The G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Foundation is proud to support the Physician Assistant Studies program at Mississippi State by providing $12,500 to Adriana over the two and a half years of the program,” said Brad Crawford, president, and executive director.

Although Fuentealba is the first scholarship recipient, Crawford noted the foundation plans to “expand the scholarship to three students over the next three years. We see this investment as a win-win for MSU, the Meridian campus and veterans—all done in the spirit of Sonny Montgomery,” he added.

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G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery Honored With NGEF Christmas Ornament

Each year the National Guard Educational Foundation produces a unique National Guard Christmas Ornament. Rarely, If ever, does the ornament depict an individual, but this year they have chosen to honor Sonny on the 100th year anniversary of his birth.

2020 NGEF Commemorative Ornament

2020 NGEF Commemorative Ornament, 8th Edition 

This oil-on-canvas painting adorns the Montgomery Room inside the National Guard Memorial, named for Gillespie V. “Sonny” Montgomery (August 5, 1920 – May 12, 2006). A Mississippi Guardsman and veteran of World War II and Korea, Sonny Montgomery retired as a Major General in 1980.

He served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years (D-MS), during which he sponsored the Montgomery G.I. Bill. This educational benefit remains a widely used resource for Guardsmen and their families.

Throughout his career, Sonny was a staunch supporter of the National Guard Association of the United States and advocated for the Guard on Capitol Hill.

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Placing Flowers At Grave Site Of Former Congressman Sonny Montgomery For 100th Birthday

Board Members of the GVMF visited the grave site of former Congressman Sonny Montgomery in Magnolia Cemetery on August 5th, 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.

L to R: Brad Crawford, David Kennard, Wanda Hardy(Florist), Pam Stevenson, Bo Maske, Ronnie Walton, Bob Bailey


A Centennial Celebration of Congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Virtual Exhibit

“A Centennial Celebration of Congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery” is a virtual exhibit commemorating the 100th birthday of Congressman Sonny Montgomery, a WWII and Korean War veteran, an alumnus of MSU, and a beloved former congressman from Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district.

The exhibit is a collaborative effort between the Congressional and Political Research Center, the Digital Preservation and Access Unit, and the MaxxSouth Digital Media Center, all of MSU Libraries.

Click here to explore introductory information, individual themed “exhibit cases,” and more via the links on the MSU University Libraries site!


100 years after his birth, Sonny Montgomery’s good deeds continue

From The Meridian Star (07/31/2020):

Patriot. Statesman. Soldier. Public servant.

Those are just four terms often used to describe the late Gillespie V. “Sonny” Montgomery, a Meridian native, World War II veteran and prominent U.S. Congressman.

Born Aug. 5, 1920, Montgomery, who died in 2006, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this upcoming Wednesday.

A hundred years after his birth, and 14 years after his death, Montgomery’s legacy continues to make an impact across Mississippi and the nation.

“I remember Sonny mostly by his personality,” said Brad Crawford, executive director and president of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation in Meridian. “His love for people – all people. Sonny was well-loved here in Meridian, but also on Capitol Hill, and everywhere he went. He had this extraordinary interest in his fellow man … and this ability to bring people together.”

After graduating from Mississippi State University, Montgomery joined the U.S. Army, serving in the European Theater during World War II. He remained on active duty during the Korean Conflict and later had a long career in the Mississippi National Guard, retiring after 35 years as a major general.

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Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans dedicates new lounge at MSU-Meridian

The Montgomery Center for America's Veterans staff led by Director Brian Locke (front row 3rd from right) and MSU-Meridian head of campus Terry Dale Cruse (back row far left) along with MSU-Meridian staff celebrate the opening of a new veteran lounge at MSU-Meridian's College Park Campus. (Photo by Lisa Sollie)

The Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans staff led by Director Brian Locke (front row 3rd from right) and MSU-Meridian head of campus Terry Dale Cruse (back row far left) along with MSU-Meridian staff celebrate the opening of a new veteran lounge at MSU-Meridian’s College Park Campus. (Photo by Lisa Sollie)

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Long recognized as one of the nation’s most veteran-friendly universities, Mississippi State is expanding support for military-connected students at MSU-Meridian’s College Park Campus.

The university’s G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans celebrated a ribbon cutting Tuesday [April 16] for a new veteran’s lounge, a space dedicated for student military members and their families. The lounge is equipped with comfortable seating, computer work station with free printing, as well as a microwave and coffeemaker.

Led by retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brian Locke, the Montgomery Center provides comprehensive support annually for more than 2,800 military-connected students in Starkville and nearly 100 students at the Meridian campuses.

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MSU Again Named One Of Nation’s Top Military-Friendly Online Colleges

From MSState.Edu:

Sign and flags at Nusz Hall – G.V. Sonny Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans.
(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is once again being recognized for its military-friendliness and accessible, quality distance education programs.

MSU is being honored by SR Education Group as one of the nation’s top military-friendly online colleges, coming in at No. 16 in the organization’s “Yellow Ribbon” rankings. MSU also is listed No. 9 for the most affordable military-friendly online bachelor’s degree. The rankings were calculated using data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill Comparison Tool, which evaluates military culture, online support, flexibility and financial assistance.

“For many of our current service members, distance education is by far their best option to earn a degree,” said Brian Locke, director of MSU’s G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans. “Many of them need the flexibility that distance education provides, which we can give them while maintaining the highest quality and academic excellence for their desired course of study. I feel strongly that it is our obligation to do everything we can to assist these students with earning their degree from Mississippi State.”

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Wreath Laying Ceremony Honors Vietnam Veterans


MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY, Miss. (WCBI)- They were barely out of their teens when they shipped out to serve their country.

Friday, Vietnam War veterans were honored with a national day of remembrance. But Thursday, veterans, and staff at Mississippi State’s Center for America’s Veterans held their own service. The wreath ceremony honors everyone who served in the Vietnam war.

The Veteran’s Center is named for MSU alum and former Mississippi Congressman G. V. Sonny Montgomery, who was known on Capitol Hill as “Mr. Veteran.”

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Former President George H.W. Bush remembered in Meridian for friendship with Congressman G. V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery

From The Meridian Star:

Former President George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday, is being remembered in Meridian for his close friendship with former Congressman G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery.

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Montgomery Foundation Makes Big Donation To MSU

(L-R) Ronnie Walton, Kyle Steward, and Pam Stevenson, along with Brad Crawford, foundation president and executive director, presenting a ceremonial check to Brian Locke, director of the MSU center during the university’s Nov. 17 home football game. (Source: Beth Wynn/MSU)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU) – Montgomery Foundation furthers outstanding support for MSU military students

The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation 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 congressman.

One portion 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.

A Meridian native, 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, Montgomery 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.

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.

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.