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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GVSMF Board Member Sid Salter Recognized in 2017 Mississippi Top 50

Mississippi Top 50 is an annual list of the people who are judged to be the most influential leaders in the state. This bipartisan selection of leaders comes from the ranks of elected and appointed officials, economic development professionals, business, media and government affairs. The awards are sponsored by Y’all Politics and Supertalk Mississippi and awardees are nominated through an open process.

The GVSM Foundation congratulates our own Board Member, Sid Salter upon being awarded this distinction.

You can read about his selection for the Mississippi Top 50 list by clicking on the link below:

http://mstop50.com/winners/business-media-and-culture-2017/10

 

 

James awarded Montgomery Leadership Award in Guard

From The Neshoba Democrat:

Sergeant First Class Kyle James was this year’s recipient of the G. V. Sonny Montgomery Leadership Award for the Army National Guard. From left are State Command Sergeant Major John Raines, Major General Jansen Boyles, Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard and James.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:00 PM: Sergeant First Class Kyle James of Philadelphia was this year’s recipient of the G. V. Sonny Montgomery Leadership Award for the Army National Guard.

Each year the National Guard Association of Mississippi presents the award to  one soldier and one airman of the Mississippi National Guard that displays outstanding patriotism and leadership qualities in their unit or in their community.

The two winners were selected from a pool of nominees by their respective units.  SFC James received the award during the annual National Guard Association of Mississippi business meeting at the Hilton Hotel Conference Center in Jackson earlier this year.

His letter of recommendation for the award said:

SFC James has displayed outstanding leadership qualities in both the military and the community.

“He is not only an exceptional Non-Commissioned Officer for the Mississippi Army National Guard, he uses his personal time to be heavily involved in the community, in which he resides, and is making a difference in the lives of those around him.”

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New G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Advisement and Career Services Center dedicated at MSU-Meridian

From MSU:

Terry Dale Cruse, C.D. Smith, Dr. Judy Bonner and Brad Crawford celebrate the dedication of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Advising and Career Services Center on MSU-Meridian’s College Park Campus.

MERIDIAN, Miss.—A new advisement and career services center at the Mississippi State University-Meridian campus now honors the late U.S. Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, a Meridian native and MSU alumnus.

Officials dedicated the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Advisement and Career Services Center during a formal ceremony Friday [May 19] at MSU-Meridian’s College Park Campus. The facility, which opened in 2016 in the space that formerly housed the Barnes and Noble bookstore, provides students a centralized location to guide them through college at MSU-Meridian and into a career.

“This gift significantly impacts the success of our Partnership Pathways initiative with local community colleges while also promoting retention of current students,” MSU-Meridian Administrative Director and Head of Campus Terry Dale Cruse said. “The Sonny Montgomery Advisement and Career Services Center serves as a hub for recruiting students to the Meridian Campus, encouraging them to reach graduation, and connecting them to meaningful jobs after degree completion.”

The center is supported by MSU and the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation, which was established more than a decade ago to support and encourage Montgomery’s greatest interests.

“The Montgomery Foundation is excited to be able to partner with MSU-Meridian,” Montgomery Foundation Board President and Executive Director Brad Crawford said. “Congressman Montgomery believed education is important, and this center represents his commitment to education, MSU and MSU-Meridian. This partnership is a natural fit.”

The center serves as a “front door” for the College Park campus. Academic advisers can assist students interested in MSU-Meridian’s Partnership Pathways agreements with local community colleges, designed to help students complete a four-year degree program after transitioning from a two-year college. Career Center personnel can help students find employment and internship opportunities, prepare resumes and improve job interview skills.

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GVSM Foundation Donates to Downtown Optimist Club of Meridian

DTOC Member Brittney Kennedy and President Dan Derrington accept a $1000 gift given annually by the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation to the Downtown Optimist Club of Meridian.

The Downtown Optimist Club supports youth programs in the Meridian and Lauderdale communities and has done so since 1941. Sonny Montgomery was a long time member of this local organization and his influence is still felt and remembered by club members.

The DTOC motto is “Friend of Youth”.