BGSU confers an honorary doctorate on Betty Montgomery

Wood County’s first female attorney and former head of state received an honorary doctorate from Bowling Green State University.

At Friday’s meeting, the Board of Trustees recognized the significant contributions of three individuals, including Betty Montgomery, who have raised the university’s academic profile and created public good in their careers and professional endeavors.

The Board awarded Montgomery ’70 and David Fulton honorary doctorates in science and public service, respectively, for their distinguished careers and support of BGSU.

“As a public university for the common good, BGSU is honored to have Ms. Montgomery and Dr. Recognizing Fulton – both incredibly deserving figures,” said BGSU President Rodney Rogers. “As a veteran Ohio civil servant and pioneer for women in public service, Ms. Montgomery has demonstrated her unwavering determination to make her community a better place and exemplified what it means to create public good.

“At BGSU and throughout his career, Dr. Fulton opportunities in ways that others just couldn’t. As the founding chairman of the IT department at the BGSU, Dr. Fulton looks forward to ensuring that the new program remains relevant in the rapidly evolving field and provides a foundation for a meaningful and relevant academic program – a distinction it retains to this day.”

Betty Montgomery ’70

A former Ohio Attorney General and former BGSU Board of Trustees Chairman, Montgomery ’70 has had a distinguished career as a local, state and national public official.

In 1980, Montgomery became the first woman to be elected District Attorney for Wood County. She is also the first and only woman elected Ohio Attorney General from 1995 to 2003. In addition, Montgomery was the first woman elected Auditor of State in Ohio from 2003 to 2007.

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A recipient of numerous awards, Montgomery has received the Ohio Association of County Boards’ Vern Riffe Executive-Legislative Leadership Award, the League of Women Voters’ Democracy in Action Award, the Ohio State Bar Association’s Nettie Cronise Lutes Award, and the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award. She was also inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and served on the BGSU Board of Trustees from 2012-21, including a tenure as chair.

Montgomery earned her bachelor’s degree in English from BGSU in 1970 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1976.

David Fulton

As the founding chairman of BGSU’s computer science department from 1970-1980, Fulton grew Ohio’s first computer science program into a department that today prepares graduates for in-demand careers around the world.

During his time at BGSU, Fulton ensured the computer science program remained relevant, recruited talented faculty, instituted relevant coursework, and championed practical student experience to provide a foundation for a meaningful and relevant academic program.

At BGSU, he founded a computer consulting company, Dacor Inc., which not only provided a full-service software product, but also provided students and faculty with hands-on project experience for their professional development. In the 1980s, Fulton created FoxBASE, a database that was groundbreaking for its speed, which eventually grew into larger software projects and the creation of several companies. He later sold his software to Microsoft in the 1990s and became the company’s vice president of database products, a key leadership role he held until his retirement.

Fulton received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1964 and his master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematical statistics from the University of Connecticut in 1968 and 1970, respectively.

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Bruce Johnson

The Trustees also recognized Bruce Johnson ’82 for his significant work and contributions to the Ohio State government.

A longtime advocate for higher education, Johnson ’82 is currently President and CEO of the Inter-University Council of Ohio, a position he has held since December 2006. Johnson will also deliver the keynote address during the fall 2022 commencement practice session.

A longtime advocate for higher education, Johnson leads the organization, which aims to provide each of its member institutions with opportunities to work together for the benefit of higher education in Ohio. He is responsible for strategy development and implementation for all aspects of the IUC. Founded in 1939 as the voluntary educational association of Ohio public universities, IUC today represents Ohio’s 14 public universities.

Prior to his current position, Johnson was lieutenant governor of Ohio and director of the Ohio Department of Development. During his tenure, Ohio received two awards for leading the nation on new and expanded facilities. Johnson was also a member of the Ohio State Senate, where he served as President pro tempore, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

“As a BGSU alumnus, Bruce Johnson embodied making good for our state through decades of public service,” said President Rogers. “We are especially grateful for his work in support of public higher education — at his alma mater and throughout Ohio. It is an honor to have Bruce back on campus for our commencement ceremonies, and we are deeply grateful for his long-term contributions to BGSU and beyond.”

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Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from BGSU and his Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School. He was admitted to the Ohio State Bar Association in 1985.

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