Martha D. Saunders, Ph.D.
The University of Southern Mississippi
At Southern Miss, we have always believed in ourselves and the promise of the future says President Martha
D. Saunders, the ninth president of The
University of Southern Mississippi.
“Southern Miss is a place that has always
and will continue to meet, head on, the intel-
lectual and human issues of the day,” she says.
“I believe the forces of innovation that make
Southern Miss, Southern Miss, are much the
same as those that make Mississippi, Mississippi,
and the Gulf South, the Gulf South.
Interim Director of Athletics/
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation
Major General (Retired) Jeff Hammond is a father first, once a soldier and
always a grateful and proud University of
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagle. After a
distinguished career in the Armed Forces,
Hammond returned to his alma mater
to serve as Senior Associate Director of
Athletics for Advancement in October of
2010. Following the retirement of Richard
Giannini as Director of Athletics in January
of 2012, he was called up for his next
assignment, serving as the Interim Director
of Athletics at the University.
different occasions, three of which involved
combat operations and one involving
enforcement of the Dayton Peace Accord.
His staff experience range from the Army
Director of Operations, Readiness and
Mobilization, located in the Pentagon to
include duty with the Pentagon Joint Staff,
and the Allied Command Europe Rapid
Reaction Corps, Germany.
Jeff earned a BS and MeD in Special
Education while attending The University of
Southern Mississippi along with a Masters
Degree in National Security and Strategic
Studies which he received during his years
on active duty. Throughout his career,
he attended numerous military schools,
ultimately graduating from The Army War
College in 1998.
His decorations include two awards
of the Distinguished Service Medal, three
awards of the Bronze Star Medal and two
awards of the Combat Action Badge.
Jeff has been married to Diane, herself a
graduate of Southern Miss with a degree in
Criminal Justice, for 29 years and they have
two children, Michael and Meagan.