MSU breaks ground for new veterans’ center, residence halls

(photo by Russ Houston / © Mississippi State University)

(photo by Russ Houston / © Mississippi State University)

Office of Public Affairs

News Bureau (662) 325-3442
May 08, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss.–Mississippi State officials and university friends gathered Friday morning [May 8] to formally break ground for two new residence halls and a premier veterans’ facility slated for completion next year.

“These facilities will be major assets for our students by offering additional residential spaces to accommodate a growing demand for on-campus housing,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “The new veterans’ facility, which will house our nationally recognized G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, will continue to carry out the university’s commitment to serving those who have served our country.”

Architectural firm The McCarty Company of Tupelo is working closely with contractor W.G. Yates and Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia to complete the buildings by July 1, 2016, according to Tim Muzzi, MSU interim director for planning, design and construction administration.

The new buildings are made possible, in part, through the generosity of Tommy and Terri Nusz, alumni of MSU’s Class of 1982, who donated a $12.3 million gift as part of Infinite Impact, MSU’s ongoing capital campaign.

Terri Nusz earned a bachelor’s degree in interior design and began her own design company after graduation. Tommy Nusz completed a petroleum engineering degree, and he is CEO and chairman of the board of NYSE-listed Oasis Petroleum Inc., the Texas-based independent exploration and production company he co-founded in 2007. He will give the commencement address at Humphrey Coliseum for MSU’s spring graduation ceremonies Friday and Saturday [May 8 and 9].

The Nusz family’s gift designates $2 million as a cornerstone contribution to build the university’s Center for America’s Veterans. The center is a national leader in providing campus-based veteran resources in support of some 2,100 currently enrolled student veterans, service members, dependents and survivors.

“We’ve had a history in our family of military service,” said Tommy Nusz. “As we looked at the needs across campus, we felt like it was a great opportunity to give back not only to Mississippi State, but to all those who have served,” he said.

The facility for the Center for America’s Veterans will include 7,500 square-feet and feature administrative offices, a meeting area and student-support spaces.

The new residence halls will total 245,000 square-feet and each have 376 beds, for a total of 752 beds. Double-occupancy rooms with private bathrooms will be available, as will suites with four single bedrooms, two baths and shared living spaces.

The total construction cost for all three buildings is $53.4 million.

“These facilities will help provide a variety of options and a great learning community for upper-class students,” said Bill Broyles, interim vice president for student affairs. “We like to see students not only excel in their academic pursuits, but also complement their studies with meaningful co-curricular activities, and these residence halls are conveniently located next to our world-class recreational facilities.”

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Montgomery Foundation Supports New MSU Veterans Facility

vet-on-campusOffice of Public Affairs
News Bureau (662) 325-3442
Contact: Amy Cagle

August 12, 2014

STARKVILLE, Miss. –The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation has made a $100,000 challenge commitment to the late U.S. Congressman’s alma mater for a new campus veterans center to be erected with private gifts on the Mississippi State campus.

“This is a most generous donation and a wonderful tribute to the late Sonny Montgomery who will always be remembered as a champion for assisting our servicemen and women,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “Currently the veterans center is housed in an older building that cannot adequately serve this growing portion of MSU’s enrollment. A new home will enhance the educational and transitional environment for student veterans.”

The MSU master plan proposes the state-of-the-art facility to be built on the northern central portion of the Starkville campus. Thus far, $2.2 million is in hand from private contributions toward the construction, and an additional $1.5 million is still needed in gifts. Once completed, the building will house a large classroom/multipurpose room, a computer lab, study rooms and office spaces.

Brad Crawford, president of the Montgomery Foundation, said, “We are extremely proud to be among the contributors for this facility that will be a larger base of operations for veteran activity at
Mississippi State University.”

By stepping forward, the Montgomery Foundation seeks to encourage other private gifts to make the facility a reality, Crawford said.

At MSU, The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans is a national leader in providing campus-based veteran resources in support of 2,000 currently enrolled student veterans, service members, dependents and survivors. The university’s 136 year-old land-grant institution been recognized for its veteran-friendly campus, most recently as a top 30 institution by U.S. News & World Report.

“This generous gift from the Montgomery Foundation celebrates the late Congressman Montgomery’s legacy of service to veterans,” said Ken McRae, director of the MSU center. “The gift will assist us in improving our support to MSU’s student veteran community now and in the future.”

A Meridian, Mississippi, native, Montgomery was a 1943 general business graduate of then Mississippi State College who served as Student Association president and was a member of the ROTC. Montgomery devoted three decades of his life to military service that included active duty in World War II and the Korean War. He retired from the Mississippi Army National Guard with the rank of major general after 35 years of service. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States, in 2005.

Montgomery began his political career in 1956 with election to the Mississippi State Senate and would serve a decade in that role. In 1966, Montgomery was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and held office through the terms of seven presidents before retiring in 1996. He won national acclaim for his leadership in passing legislation for what become known as the Montgomery G.I. Bill and was known on Capitol Hill as “Mr. Veteran.”

The Montgomery Foundation was established prior to Montgomery’s death in 2006 at the age of 85. It currently supports scholarships for veterans at Mississippi State and has contributed to projects that further the Montgomery name and legacy at MSU and in his home state of Mississippi.

Gifts for the new veterans center are part of Mississippi State’s ongoing Infinite Impact campaign, and alumni and friends may contact Wes Gordon, director of development for the Division of Student Affairs, at 662-325-9129 or email him at to contribute.

More on the university’s veterans center may be found at To learn more about the Montgomery Foundation, visit



G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery Pictorial Biography Book

photo 1The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation and the Mississippi State University Libraries co-published this unique biography and has placed a copy of the book in the library of every high school, college and university in the State of Mississippi. A copy is also presented to recipients of foundation recognition awards and scholarships for military or civilian leadership or academic achievement. The book is also utilized by the Montgomery Leadership Program in its leadership training curriculum.