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Released May 22, 2003


HATTIESBURG - A four-time state oratory champion from Crystal Springs has been awarded two scholarships to attend The University of Southern Mississippi.

Andrew Montgomery, a senior at Crystal Springs Academy, has been offered a Southern Miss Special Presidential National Merit Scholarship and the Shelby F. Thames Mississippi Oratorical Scholarship. Montgomery has won the Mississippi American Legion Oratory Contest every year since he was a freshman, representing the state at the Legion's national competition. A National Merit Finalist, Montgomery plans to study polymer science at Southern Miss and is interested in cancer research.

"I'm impressed with the work that (Southern Miss President) Dr. Shelby Thames has put in to research," Montgomery said. "Research saves lives."

The Thames Scholarship was founded by Dr. Thames in memory of Sam Green of Crystal Springs, a teacher, fireman and veteran who was a member of American Legion Post 41 in Crystal Springs. Green inspired Montgomery to research the U.S. Constitution in preparation for his oratorical competition, and in April Montgomery represented Mississippi for the fourth year in a row at the National Finals held in Indianapolis. He is the first recipient of the Thames scholarship.

"We're very pleased to offer a scholarship to such an exceptional student as Andrew, and we look forward to having him join the Southern Miss family," said Dr. Thames.

In addition to his involvement in the American Legion Oratory program, Montgomery is engaged in cancer research conducted at the Stehlin Medical Foundation based in Houston. He is also an Eagle Scout, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is actively involved as a volunteer in the Alpha Omega Red Cross Club, which he founded. He is the son of Bill and Ann Montgomery.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM