SEC leader to address MSU fall graduates

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conference commissioner, will deliver the commencement address at Mississippi State University’s fall 2016 graduation.

The Dec. 9 ceremony begins at 7 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum.

More than 1,370 MSU students are candidates for degrees. Graduates from the summer term also are eligible to participate in the program.

“It’s been my great privilege to get to know Commissioner Sankey both in his official capacity as the outstanding leader of the Southeastern Conference and also in the more personal role of an involved, engaged parent of a truly outstanding MSU alumna,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum, who also serves as president of the SEC. “Our students will greatly benefit from sharing Greg Sankey’s highly motivational vision for how young people can succeed in the classroom, in athletic competition, and in life.”

Sankey became the conference’s eighth leader last year after spending 13 years in various positions at the Birmingham, Alabama-based organization. An Auburn, New York, native, he previously was executive associate commissioner and chief operating officer.

His athletic administrative career also includes nearly seven years as Southland Conference commissioner. Prior to that, he was director of compliance and academic services at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

After joining the SEC, Sankey went on to play a key role in former commissioner Mike Slive’s initiatives to reshape governance, enforcement and compliance programs in the 21-sport intercollegiate governing body formed in 1933. Mississippi State was among the founding members of what now is a 14-university league.

He also played a central role in crafting the new autonomy governance structure of the NCAA, including service as chair of the Division I Committee on Infractions and member of the Gender-Equity Task Force.

Sankey earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from, respectively, the State University of New York College at Cortland and Syracuse University. He and wife Cathy are the parents of two daughters, Hannah Michelle and Moriah Elizabeth.

Sankey’s daughter, Hannah, is a 2015 magna cum laude MSU graduate in professional meteorology now working as an on-camera meteorologist at WANE-TV, the CBS affiliate in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

For more information on fall 2016 commencement, visit MSU’s Office of the Registrar at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at