Read Montague receives the Walter Gilbert Award

Read Montague, Ph.D.

Read Montague, Ph.D.

Former Auburn University track and field standout Read Montague was presented the 2011 Walter Gilbert Award at halftime of the Tigers' football game against Ole Miss at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, on October 30.

"The accomplishments of previous winners are very impressive, so it was a bit difficult to realize how exactly I fit into that group," said Montague, director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. "I was surprised and feel honored."

Montague, a three-time letterman from 1981-83 and two-time team captain, won the decathlon in the 1981 SEC Championship with a score of 7160. He helped Auburn to an 11-4 dual meet record in 1981 as the Tigers placed second at the SEC Indoor Championship and fourth in the SEC Outdoor Championship.

"I'm still proud of winning the SEC decathlon, but some of my best memories of Auburn are my relationships with the fellow athletes and students," Montague said. "College years are the first time one is really independent and so the early relationships can last a lifetime.

"The track team was a very talented lot when I was there. They were a driven group of people and a number went on to excel in track beyond college and in the Olympics. They were a fun bunch of guys."

After graduating from Auburn with a degree in mathematics, Montague earned a doctorate in biophysics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition to his role with the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, he now directs the Institute’s Computational Psychiatry Unit and the Roanoke Brain Study, a project aimed at understanding decision-making through the lifespan and its relationship to brain development, function, and disease. Montague is also a professor of physics in Virginia Tech's College of Science.

"Dr. Read Montague has distinguished himself as a leading brain researcher during his outstanding career as a scientist in the years since he competed at Auburn University," said Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs. "A former SEC champion in track and field, Dr. Montague has made monumental contributions to his field. He has also taught, inspired, and encouraged countless students as a professor of physics. He is a worthy recipient of this distinguished award, and it is an honor to be able to present Dr. Montague as the 2011 Walter Gilbert Award winner."

Montague is the 31st recipient of the Walter Gilbert Award, which is given annually to former Auburn athletes who have distinguished themselves through achievements after graduation from Auburn. The award is given in memory of the Tigers' three-time All-America center Walter Gilbert, who later became vice president of Texaco's European Oil Operations.