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WHOI Waypoints: Grateful WHOI Pays Tribute to Topsy Montgomery

Gratia R. “Topsy” Montgomery was presented the sixth Cecil H. Green Award at the January Board of Trustees meeting. Director Bob Gagosian said Topsy’s support for coastal research activities “has inspired the Institution to think more broadly and daringly about its future. She has been a catalyst for innovation and change.”

Affiliated with the Institution for more than three decades, Honorary Trustee Montgomery has supported a number of education programs, helping dozens of summer student fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows launch their oceanographic careers. Her commitment to coastal research, both shore-based and seagoing, has made it possible for the Institution to begin construction of a new coastal research vessel and to expand its coastal research activities.

The Rinehart Coastal Research Center was endowed in 1996 by a $5-million gift from Topsy, and a second $5-million gift last year allowed the Institution to proceed with construction plans for R/V Montgomery, an innovative coastal SWATH (Small Water-Plane Area Twin Hull) research vessel, whose delivery is expected in summer 2002.

“Topsy represents the essence of the Institution,” the Director said. “She has an energetic spirit, fierce dedication, and deep commitment to making this planet a better place.”

The Green Award was established in 1991 in honor of its first recipient, Sir Cecil H. Green, to honor individuals who make outstanding contributions to oceanographic research at WHOI. It has also been awarded to Scientist Emeritus Stanley Watson, former Chairmen of the Board Charles Adams and Guy Nichols, and Honorary Trustee Walter Smith.

Originally published: March 1, 2001