Martha Saunders' last day as USM president is Saturday - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Martha Saunders' last day as USM president is Saturday

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

After serving as USM president since 2007, Dr. Martha Saunders officially stepped down from that post Friday. She remembers vividly the day she received notification of her appointment to that position.  "Oh my goodness, I thought it must be too good to be true.  All the emotions of coming home conjured up," said Saunders.  That was her immediate, heartfelt reaction when she found out she'd been selected. 

The Hattiesburg native recalls those days fondly.  "Everyday was like a reunion.  I would run into people I was related to or grew with or even went to college with," said Saunders.  Five years later, she's now saying goodbye to her home. 

"I'll be going back and teaching communication courses, and also doing some work with the development of the Evelyn Gandy Center for Women and Leadership," said Saunders.  Her decision to resign was cited for personal reasons.  Saunders says she has no regrets about any decisions she made during her tenure as president. 

"There are certainly ways that anybody could have done things a little differently, but I don't have any regrets, " said Saunders.  Despite leaving, Saunders says the future of Southern Miss is as bright as ever.

"We are a national university, and a major research university so I expect us to build on that wonderful legacy," said Saunders.  Though she's stepping down as president of Southern Miss, she isn't leaving the Golden Eagle family.  She'll be joining the coast campus in July.    

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