Annuit Coeptis…

May Heaven Favor Our Undertakings


Annuit Coeptis appears on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States above the pyramid. It alludes “to the many signal interpositions of providence to the American cause”— Journals of the Continental Congress, June 20, 1782.


Certainly, the works of The Montgomery Institute appear to have been so favored.  When The Riley Foundation established The Montgomery Institute in 2000, we had high hopes but no record.  Now, the Institute named for the late G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery has a record. Its innovative work has even been recognized twice by the 13-state Southern Growth Policies Board, receiving its ‘Innovator Award’ in 2003 and 2010. “It is the only entity in the South to win this award twice,” said Dr. Mack Portera, a member of The Riley Foundation Board and Chancellor of the University of Alabama System. “That’s no small achievement in my opinion.”


We believe doing things “Sonny’s way,” adhering to his leadership legacy, made our successes possible:

  • •Firm faith

  • •Positive patriotism

  • •Goodwill relationships

  • •Staying the course


The Montgomery Institute is a charitable non-profit organization [Section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS code].  That means we depend upon tax-exempt contributions, philanthropic grants, and government contracts to accomplish our work.


“For every $1 dollar invested in this Institute, it generates $12.40 of additional leverage for this community and this region,” noted Portera, who helped craft the Institute’s program of work.  The Riley Foundation, The Phil Hardin Foundation, and local investors established an endowment that provides about $45,000 a year in support for the Institute. From this base, the Institute has helped communities, schools, community colleges, and universities attract grants and government contracts totaling $24.1 million.


With heaven’s favor and continued financial support, the Institute is poised to do more…and continue to do it Sonny’s way.