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SEC commissioner, Auburn native Sankey chosen as Utica University’s commencement speaker

Utica University selected Auburn native Greg Sankey, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, to speak at its 2023 commencement next May. (Submitted photo/Utica University)

“We are privileged to welcome Greg Sankey back to Utica,” Laura Casamento, president of Utica University, said in a press release. “The story of his incredible achievements and the position of prominence he has earned is widely and rightfully known. Less known but equally impressive are the remarkable details of his journey from a first-generation college student to one of the most powerful figures in sports. His story is a powerful inspiration for our graduates as they set out on their own professional journeys.”

Following his time at Utica University, Sankey later oversaw athletic compliance at Northwestern State University and for the Southland Conference before becoming commissioner of the Southland Conference in 1996.

Sankey is the eighth commissioner of the SEC, a 14-member Division I athletic conference and a leader on the national landscape for intercollegiate athletics. He joined the conference as an associate commissioner in 2002, became executive associate commissioner and COO in 2012, and became commissioner in 2015.


Under his leadership, member institutions have won 37 national championships including five of the past seven national titles in the college football playoff.

Sankey is an outspoken advocate for student-athletes, creating a framework to provide young people in the conference with challenging leadership opportunities and expanded resources to succeed. His leadership has grown and strengthened the conference’s exposure, reputation, and financial profile. Sankey helped expand the conference’s membership from 12 to the current 14 with the addition of Texas A&M University and the University of Missouri in 2012. University of Texas and Oklahoma University will join the conference in 2025.

In 2021, he was named co-chair of the NCAA Division I Transformation Committee, a group appointed to lead efforts to reimagine the future of college sports.

Sankey and his wife, Cathy, currently reside in Birmingham, Alabama, Utica University said.


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