Valarie Montgomery may have retired from overseeing MSU’s financial operations every day, but through an estate plan with her spouse Mark Montgomery, her legacy will be felt forever.
Through a charitable bequest, the Montgomerys will create an accounting scholarship to benefit the next generation of financial managers, especially those who might return to school while working. The plan is a fitting testament to Val’s professional journey.
Val first realized her love for accounting under the instruction of Mr. Parzych, her teacher at Quincy High School. But at graduation, she opted to fast track her entry into the workplace by earning a certificate in general business, rather than pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
It was enough for her to gain experience at several financial institutions and business offices before landing her first position at MSU as a clerical technical level six employee in 1989.
But she didn’t forget about her love of accounting. While continuing to work full-time, she took advantage of MSU’s tuition assistance program and a flexible work schedule to obtain both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the Eli Broad College of Business. Taking just two classes at a time, one at night and one during the day, it took her 13 years to complete both degrees. A scholarship also played a key role along the way.
As her education and skills grew, Val also rose through the employee ranks of her department. She retired last spring from the Office of Treasury and Financial Management as the manager of MSU’s Treasury Services, an administrative professional supervisory level 15 position.
The Valarie Beckwith Montgomery and Robert “Mark” Montgomery Endowed Scholarship for Accounting will give preference to students who graduated from Quincy High School and are returning to school after having been in the workforce for a time.
“We want a lot of good things to happen in the world,” says Mark. “And MSU is pretty good at making good things happen.”
“We wanted to pay back MSU for helping me obtain my degrees and for giving me a place to have a fulfilling career,” says Val.