(MERIDIAN) – The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation presented Mississippi State University-Meridian with a $10,000 donation on Friday, May 18 at 4 pm in Kahlmus Auditorium. The donation is part of a $50,000 commitment on behalf of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation to advance academic programs at MSU-Meridian.
According to Bo Maske, executive director and president of the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation, “Sonny left us an enduring legacy built on service, leadership, and support for education. With this gift to his alma mater, we continue to honor that legacy by helping advance higher education in Meridian, Lauderdale County, and throughout east Mississippi.”
“Anyone familiar with higher education in Mississippi is aware of the tremendous impact and influence of Sonny Montgomery,” said Dr. Steve Brown, dean and associate vice president of MSU-Meridian. “The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation is carrying this commitment forward for future generations of students, and MSU-Meridian is honored and humbled to be part of this incredible commitment.”
The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation also unveiled a bronze bust of the late congressman that will grace the lobby of the College Park campus.
The bust, created by Dr. Kim Sessums, a physician in Brookhaven and a renowned artist and sculptor, stands approximately 24 inches high. In addition to the original Sonny Montgomery bust which resides at Mitchell Memorial Library at MSU-Starkville, Sessums has, to his commission credits, bronze busts of Billy Graham, Eudora Welty, and the artist, Andrew Wyeth. All four of these individuals were recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The bust is positioned on a 44-inch tall pedestal made of walnut constructed by Albert Weems, an accomplished wood craftsman and Meridian native as well as a long-time friend of the congressman.
“MSU-Meridian held a special place in Sonny’s heart, and he maintained an unofficial office on campus after returning home from Washington, D.C.,” noted Bob Bailey, G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation board member. “It is very fitting that we honor that memory with the donation of this bust.”
Last Updated: 6/4/12