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MSU awards Montgomery honorary academic title

By By Kelly Quackenbush/The Meridian Star
April 12, 2001
STARKVILLE Longtime congressman G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery will soon add another title to his name.
His alma mater, Mississippi State University, is recognizing Montgomery's lifetime contributions with an honorary doctor of laws degree, which will be awarded during May 12 commencement ceremonies.
Montgomery graduated from MSU in 1943 and was recognized as the national alumni of the year in 1978. He was elected both president of the student body and "Mr. Mississippi State" while attending MSU. After graduating as a business major, he served as president of the MSU Alumni Association and his contributions with the help of others endowed the Montgomery Scholars Fund.
He served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years until his retirement in 1996 and now works as an Alexandria, Va. consultant. He also served on the Veterans Affairs Committee for 28 years and was a 12-term member of the Armed Services Committee.
He devoted much of his legislative effort to strengthening the Army Reserves and the National Guard. Montgomery played an essential role in establishing the GI education bill that is named after him. The bill has provided educational support to more than two million participants.
The Meridian native also played a key role supporting veteran's affairs. He helped to relocate the regional administrative office for the Veterans Health Administration to Jackson.
Montgomery returned to Meridian after serving in World War II and opened an insurance business. He was elected to the Mississippi Senate in 1956 starting his public service career.
Hunter Henry, former Dow Chemical Co. executive and a Canton native, will also receive an honorary degree, doctor of science, at the commencement ceremony.
Kelly Quackenbush is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at kquackenbush@themeridianstar.com.