Raye Montague to Give Special Lecture at UACCM

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton is proud to host a special guest lecture on Thursday, April 13 by Raye Montague, RPE, who is credited with the rough draft of the first U.S. Naval ship design using a computer. Montague will speak at 6:30 p.m., with doors opening 30 minutes prior, in the UACCM Fine Arts Auditorium. Her lecture will focus on both her struggles and triumphs as a true “hidden figure” of Arkansas.

Raye J. Montague, RPE
Official U.S. Navy Photo

Montague revolutionized naval ship design with her achievement, later earning the U.S. Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1972 — the Navy’s third-highest civilian award. The same year, Montague was nominated by the Secretary of the Navy for the Federal Woman of the Year Award.

Montague’s career spanned the development of computer technology, from the UNIVAC I, the world’s first commercial available computer, to what is now considered the modern computer age. She rose from working as a digital computer systems operator at the David Taylor Model Basin (now the David Taylor Naval Ships Research & Development Center) in Carderock, Maryland, to becoming the Program Manager of Ships for the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command — the civilian equivalent rank of captain. In this role, Montague was the first female responsible for five Field Activities, comprising a staff of 250 people and overseeing the procurement and purchase of CAD/CAM equipment for 111,000 people. She was also the first female professional engineer to receive the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Achievement Award in 1978 and the National Computer Graphics Association Award for the Advancement of Computer Graphics in 1988.

Montague accepting achievement award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (1978)

After year of projects and receiving a host of other honors from military branches, industries, and academic institutions, Montague’s last project was the Seawolf-class submarine (SSN-21). In 2006, after fifty years spent in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, she returned to Arkansas, where she remains active with LifeQuest of Arkansas, The Links Inc., the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Arkansas Association of University Women, and the American Contract Bridge League. In 2013, she was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. She now lives in Little Rock. This year, she was featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America” as a “hidden figure” of the U.S. Navy.

This event is free and open to the public, though seating is limited. For more information, contact Special Events Coordinator Kristi Strain at (501) 977-2081, or at strain@uaccm.edu. If you have an accommodation need for this event, please contact UACCM’s Counseling Services at (501) 977-2095.


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