Kenneth Montgomery ’25, a major contributor to Dartmouth and the co-creator of the Montgomery Endowment, died of natural causes at the age of 93 in his home in Northbrook, Ill. Sunday.
Montgomery, who practiced law in Chicago, helped establish various College funds and scholarships. Along with his wife Harle, Montgomery created the Montgomery Endowment, which pays for distinguished visitors to stay at the College for extended periods.
“It’s hard to talk only about Ken Montgomery without talking about his wife,” Dean of the Faculty Jim Wright said. “They were truly a team. They worked to make Dartmouth a better and stronger place.”
“Mr. Montgomery was devoted to Dartmouth,” Special Assistant to the President Lucretia Martin said. “He was a member of the President’s Advisory Committee, an ad hock informal group that President [James] Freedman formed during the first two years.”
The Montgomery Scholarship Program has been a great resource for students seeking financial aid, she said. Each year 10 to 12 students benefit from the program.
“Mr. Montgomery was very interested in creating the opportunity for allowing students to come to Dartmouth who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come,” she said.
The Montgomery Endowment began in 1978 when the College purchased a house on Rope Ferry Road. This became the Montgomery House.
In a memoir about the Endowment, former College President John Kemeny said the Montgomery family wanted to create something “truly special in nature.”
In the memoir Kemeny said he suggested the family could assist the College in housing distinguished visitors for periods longer than previously possible.
This idea appealed to the Montgomery family, Kemeny’s memoir states. Their gift funded the Montgomery House, which would provide a place where visitors could meet with students and faculty.
Montgomery and his wife initiated the program by giving the College $2 million, according to Kemeny’s memoir.
Montgomery was born in Apalachicola, Fla. on April 15, 1903. He attended Culver Academy, Notre Dame Academy, Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.
He was awarded honorary degrees from Columbia College, Harvard Law School, Miles College and Dartmouth, according to a press release.
He was an active litigator with the firm of Wilson & McIlvaine until the 1980s.
Montgomery is survived by his wife, Harle G. Montgomery; a daughter, Henrietta Montgomery Heydon; a son, Kenneth L. Montgomery; a stepson, Marvin Harris; and a stepdaughter, Tyrell Dammann Edwards, as well as a granddaughter, Marie Gavit and a great grandson, Jacob Garth Gavit. grandson.
Burial services will be held Jan. 18 in Jacksonville, Fla.