By AnneMarie Hunter

Andraya Cole (’19 DVM) with Matilda Montgomery and former college dean, Bryan Slinker at the 2018 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine scholarship reception.

Washington State University alumnus Dr. E. Doyle Montgomery (’55 DVM) and his wife, Matilda, traveled the world together for many years on mission trips. Across continents, they witnessed the contribution veterinary professionals made to animals and people in the communities they served.

“We traveled to India and South America and saw the veterinary caduceus at clinics in little villages and towns,” Matilda said. “We watched veterinarians around the world take care of animals and educate their owners.”

Matilda also observed this invaluable gift when she worked with Doyle and Dr. Frank Lindeke in their own practice.

“I saw so many miracles – animals I thought weren’t going to make it but did,” she said. “The love between an owner and a pet can give the pet an extra will to live. Animals often pulled through because of that love and the veterinarian’s care.

“When you think about the ripple effect, the veterinary profession expands out and impacts the health of humans and animals. We’re all interconnected, and the health of animals affects our lives every day.”

To honor this vital role of veterinary care across the full spectrum of life, the couple launched their support of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine more than two decades ago. In 1999, they established the Dr. E. Doyle and Mrs. Matilda Montgomery Scholarship.

“Doyle wanted to pay it forward because WSU provided him his life’s career.”

— Matilda Montgomery

The couple’s generosity is rooted in real-life experience, including Doyle’s own childhood.

Doyle grew up in a farm in Indiana, and one of his relatives was a veterinarian whom he admired when he was young. After high school, Doyle served in the Army Air Corps and then received a scholarship through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to attend WSU.

“Doyle wanted to pay it forward because WSU provided him his life’s career,’ Matilda said. “He was always grateful and wanted to help others reach their goals.”

From their first year of giving, the Montgomerys traveled to Pullman annually to meet the students awarded their scholarship. Though Doyle passed in 2015, Matilda still travels to Pullman each year and celebrates the award with recipients.

To fund this scholarship, the Montgomerys chose stock. As a charitable gift, stock offers significant benefits. Donors are exempt from capital gains tax upon transfer of this charitable gift, while recipients gain from its long-term compounding returns. In addition, donors are also eligible to deduct the value of the donated stock from income taxes – up to the overall amount allowed by the IRS.

Matilda also appreciates the streamlined aspects of giving stock.

“I like the simplicity of donating stock,” she said. “I can call the broker or WSU and get advice, and it’s a smooth way of giving.”

In addition to their current gift, the Montgomerys have also made plans for an additional bequest to support the scholarship.

For the Montgomerys, the most gratifying element of giving was always the possibilities it opened for the future.

“Veterinary medicine is a wonderful profession,” she said. “Through good times and bad times, we need to support students, so they can achieve a quality education and ensure our animals will receive the best care.”

A personal note from Matilda: Doyle and I were so blessed to know, work, and be supported by WSU staff. They were there for us through the ups and downs of our lives and we referred to them as our WSU family.