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.

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.

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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Nusz Hall Dedicated To America’s Veterans

From The MSU Newsroom:

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, along with Tommy and Terri Nusz, unveil a commemorative plaque in the new G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at Nusz Hall. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, along with Tommy and Terri Nusz, unveil a commemorative plaque in the new G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at Nusz Hall. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

September 2, 2016
Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans now has a new home at Nusz Hall.

MSU, military and congressional officials dedicated the new 7,500-square-foot building during a Friday [Sept. 2] afternoon ceremony. The ceremony featured remarks from U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, U.S. Representative Trent Kelly, MSU President Mark E. Keenum, alumnus and donor Tommy Nusz and Center for America’s Veterans Director Ken McRae.

Keenum said, “We want (veterans) to have a wonderful place, a center where they can come together and learn from one another, to share with another and to make that transition from military life – not only to civilian life – but also to student life.”

Tommy and Terri Nusz, who both graduated from MSU in 1982, contributed a significant gift that sparked the construction of Nusz Hall, which salutes multiple generations of U.S. military personnel. Nusz said observations from his wife helped spark the idea of building a new space for the Center for America’s Veterans. On Friday, Nusz commended the MSU personnel that worked to make the new veterans center a reality.

“I congratulate these men, along with Terri, on their vision becoming a reality that now sits at the front door of our great institution,” Nusz said. “I also want to thank them for recognizing the fact that while we can do a great job at advancing a lot of things in the areas of academics, research and athletics, all of that means nothing without the shield of those who preserve our freedom.”

Charles M. Nusz, the brother of former MSU football coach Dave Nusz (Tommy’s father) is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. Tommy Nusz is CEO and board chairman of Houston-based Oasis Petroleum, which he co-founded in 2007.

The Center for America’s Veterans at Nusz Hall features student support spaces, a computer lab, study rooms, a meeting area and administrative offices, which will serve the veteran community at MSU. Approximately 450 veterans and service members are students at MSU. Including dependents, the veteran community comprises more than 2,300 students on campus.

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Bordallo receives medal from National Guard Association

From The Guam Daily Post:

577a07d6db33d.imageGuam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo was presented with the Montgomery Medal by Brig. Gen. Roderick R. Leon Guerrero, the adjutant general of the Guam National Guard, and Maj. Manuel Duenas, current president of the National Guard Association of Guam, for the outstanding support she has provided to the Guam Guard for so many years.

The medal was actually awarded last year. However, Bordallo was not available to attend the annual National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) conference last year in Nashville, Tennessee.

NGAUS was formed in 1878 with the goal of working with Congress to better equip the militia. NGAUS’ mission has remained the same 138 years later, but its role has expanded as the Guard has grown from a hometown militia to an operational reserve, serving as a homeland force and in overseas operations.

Bordallo has helped to grow the Guam National Guard by securing funding for its modern, state-of-the-art facilities and helping soldiers and Airmen remain ready to serve the island and the nation.

The Montgomery Medal was first presented in 2004, providing the mechanism to recognize an individual (or organization) who provides outstanding support in pursuit of the NGAUS objectives.

The award bears former Representative Sonny Montgomery’s likeness on a five-sided medal. The shape is intended to symbolize not only his contributions to the Guard, but all U.S. military and veterans.

The medal is constructed in high relief to give the medal a look of great depth and dimension as opposed to a flat strike. The Capitol Dome rises from the top of the medal. “G.V. Sonny Montgomery” is inscribed at the top with “NGAUS” inscribed at the bottom and two stars on two of the sides. The medal is attached to a red and white ribbon.

Only one Montgomery Medal may be given in a single calendar year – Bordallo being one of only a dozen recipients.

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G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery – Aug 5, 1920 – May 12, 2006

sonny-montgomery-funeralRemembering Sonny on the tenth anniversary of his death.

Listen to a May 10 2016 radio broadcast of Richelle Putnam on SuperTalk Mississippi 103.3FM – “Looking Back at Sonny Montgomery with Bob Bailey”:

GVM Foundation Sponsors “The Moving Wall”

“The Moving Wall” is the half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for thirty plus years.  When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication in Washington, he felt the positive power of the “The Wall.”  He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington.

John, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver, and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built The Moving Wall.  It went on display for the first time in Tyler Texas in October 1984.  Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, “The Wall” now has carved into it the names of the 58,272 American military personnel (eight were women) who were direct casualties of the war, including about 1300 who are still considered Missing In Action (MIA) but officially classified as “Died, body not recovered.”  Each of the branches of the Department of Defense made and continues to make the determination of eligibility to have a name inscribed on The Wall.

You can learn more about this amazing tribute to fallen Vietnam Veterans here:

Montgomery Congressional Collection Announced At MSU

From MSState.EDU:

Contact: Meg Henderson


The late congressman and MSU alumnus G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery recently was honored with the opening of the Montgomery Congressional Research Collection at Mitchell Memorial Library. Taking part in the ceremony were (l-r) Robert J. “Bob” Bailey, president emeritus of the Meridian-based Montgomery Foundation; Kyle Steward, MSU executive director of external affairs and former senior Montgomery staff member; U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper; and Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Congressional Collection now is open to the public at Mississippi State.

On the Aug. 5 occasion—what would have been the former U.S. representative’s 95th birthday—the university formally dedicated the collection in its Congressional and Political Research Center at Mitchell Memorial Library.

University officials said the collection includes more than 1,200 cubic feet of correspondence, memos, speeches, floor statements, photographs and memorabilia about the longtime public servant and MSU alumnus who died in 2006 at age 85.

The files cover the Meridian native from his time at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, through his student leadership at then-Mississippi State College to his World War II military service in Europe, where was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor. The collection also highlights his public service career that began with a decade in the Mississippi Legislature, followed by 30 years in Congress that concluded with retirement in 1997.

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, Montgomery’s 3rd District successor, joined with members of the Meridian-based Montgomery Foundation to help announce the collection’s formal opening.

Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president, said “from his years as a Mississippi State student throughout his lifetime, Sonny Montgomery was considered a leader who worked tirelessly on behalf of those he served.”

Noting how the congressman’s “leadership and people skills served him well throughout his career,” Gilbert also praised Montgomery for being “a devoted and loyal friend of Mississippi State and one who frequented the campus throughout his life and whose legacy can been seen throughout the campus.”

During his time in Washington, D.C., Montgomery gained an international reputation for his tireless work on behalf of American military veterans. In addition to visiting Vietnam repeatedly throughout the war and assisting in the return of prisoners of war, he most notably led in securing an extension of the G. I. Bill—an effort that his colleagues renamed the “Montgomery G. I. Bill” in tribute.

Additionally, the collection illustrates the close friendship between Montgomery and former President George H.W. Bush. The two met on their first day in Congress in 1967 and remained friends for the remainder of the congressman’s life.

In his remarks, Harper praised Montgomery for serving the district and nation “with integrity, compassion and hard work.

“His efforts on behalf of our country’s veterans and the people of Mississippi are still realized today, and we are eternally grateful,” Harper said.

“Sonny loved Mississippi State University, and I know that he would be proud of the new G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Collection,” he continued. “I hope that this collection will be a reminder of Sonny’s esteemed public service for generations to come.”

The Congressional and Political Research Center is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, visit

For more on the Mississippi State University Libraries, see

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at

G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Foundation donates $50,000 to MAEC

From The Meridian Star:

This conceptual drawing depicts what the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will look like once completed.

This conceptual drawing depicts what the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will look like once completed.

Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015 4:07 am

    The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation will donate $50,000 to the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, the organization’s executive director and president, Brad Crawford, announced.

“This world-class facility is just what former Congressman Sonny Montgomery had in mind when he established the foundation with one of his primary objectives to …’encourage leadership and support educational activities …’” Crawford states in a press release.

Construction of the MAEC is expected to begin this fall.

“The MAEC will educate and inspire children of all ages in the fields of literature, performing and visual arts, design, music and the culinary arts while simultaneously entertaining in-state and out of state visitors,” the press release states.

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