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.

Kathy Brookshire Receives 2018 G.V. Sonny Montgomery Leadership Award

MERIDIAN, (WTOK) – Kathy Brookshire, former Vice President for the MCC Development and former MCC Foundation Executive Director was awarded the prestigious G.V. Sonny Montgomery Outstanding Leadership Award for 2018.

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GVSM Foundation Donates Courtesy Golf Cart To North MS Veterans Memorial Cemetery

The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation today presented a courtesy golf cart to North Miss. Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael. Attending were staff member Marcus Lawson, Montgomery Foundation Board members Bob Bailey and Kyle Steward, Miss. Veterans Affairs Board head Stacey Pickering, and Brian Locke, director of the Sonny Montgomery Center For American Veterans at Mississippi State University The Foundation earlier made a similar donation to the Miss. Veterans Cemetery at Newton.

The gifts are made to carry on the late congressman’s support for the nation’s veterans.

GVSM Foundation National & Mississippi Youth Challenge Programs

At the 2018 National Guard Association Conference in New Orleans this past weekend, GVSMF Executive Director & President Bradley J. Crawford was able to present the GVMF 2018 Contribution to Brig Gen (Ret) Allyson Solomon, Youth Challenge Foundation Executive Director.

Joining us for the presentation were MG Durr Boyles, MS National Guard Adjutant General, Gen Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Brig Gen (Ret) Roy Robinson, National Guard Association of the United States President.

The total contribution was $17,500 with $10,000 going to the Youth Challenge Foundation and the remaining $7,500 coming back to the Mississippi Youth Challenge Program at Camp Shelby.

MSU, Mississippi National Guard announce Bulldog Free Tuition Program for service members

From Mississippi State University:

Maj. Gen. Janson D. “Durr” Boyles, Adjutant General of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum celebrate after signing a memorandum of agreement between MSU and the Mississippi National Guard to establish the Bulldog Free Tuition Program. The new program ensures free tuition for eligible Mississippi National Guard service members enrolled full-time at MSU. (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University and the Mississippi National Guard announced a new program Tuesday [Aug. 7] that will ensure free tuition for Mississippi National Guard service members enrolled full-time at MSU.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum and Maj. Gen. Janson D. “Durr” Boyles, Adjutant General of Mississippi, both signed a memorandum of agreement establishing the Bulldog Free Tuition program during a ceremony at MSU’s G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at Nusz Hall. The Bulldog Free Tuition Program builds on current National Guard education benefits to create a unique opportunity for eligible Mississippi Air and Army National Guard service members.

“Readiness is our force’s top priority and this tuition program will help to attract personnel who will staff our future state and federal missions,” Boyles said. “The students receiving this tuition benefit will contribute tremendously towards our preparedness and be among those ready to answer the call during state emergencies and overseas contingency operations.”

“We have a long, proud history as one of the nation’s most military-friendly college campuses,” Keenum said. “Among our alumni are the late U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis, father of the modern nuclear Navy, and the late U.S. Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, author of the modern G.I. Bill. This innovative tuition program we launch today with the Mississippi National Guard continues MSU’s pro-soldier legacy and directly invests in those brave, bright men and women who serve and protect our great nation.”

Over 12,000 service members are in the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard’s ranks. For the Guard, higher education is a critical component of efforts to improve service members’ ability to solve complex problems at home and abroad. While the National Guard has a beneficial tuition program for eligible service members at all Mississippi colleges and universities, MSU support through the Bulldog Free Tuition program will make MSU the only state university where Mississippi National Guard soldiers can attend college without paying tuition.

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Montgomery Foundation Gift Helps MSU-Meridian Students

From MSU Alumnus Website:

With support from the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation, a new advising center on MSU-Meridian’s College Park Campus provides students the opportunity to find an educational path that’s right for them.

The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Advisement and Career Services Center was dedicated during a formal ceremony in May that included MSU and Montgomery Foundation leaders. The facility, which opened in 2016 in the space that formerly housed the Barnes and Noble bookstore, provides a centralized location to guide students through college at MSU-Meridian and into a career.

Cephus McMillian, a senior interdisciplinary studies major, said MSU-Meridian’s academic advisers helped him navigate the process of finishing a degree after an overseas deployment with the Air National Guard put his degree on hold.

McMillian enrolled at MSU’s Starkville campus in 1999, but at the beginning of his junior year, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks caused his unit to be placed on active duty. After years of deployments and work delayed finishing his education, McMillian returned to MSU-Meridian in 2016 determined to complete his degree.

“Kristi Dearing helped me out a lot,” McMillian said. “I’m looking to find a job locally after I graduate. I learned I can teach if I take a few more classes, which is something I’m looking to do.”

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