UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Utica University announced its 2023 Commencement speaker on Monday morning, Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Greg Sankey.

Sankey will be the speaker for the university at the end of the academic school year; he had served as the, then Utica College, Director of Intramural Sports in the mid-1990s.

Sankey is an Auburn, New York native, and had stayed true to his New York roots until leaving to take on high-level commissioner positions in the American Southeast, having earned his Associates degree from Cayuga Community College and his Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland, after that working as the Intramural Director at Utica while earning his Masters from Syracuse University in 1993.  

He then interned at Northwestern State University in Louisiana before being hired as the NCAA compliance director there the next year, moved to the Southland Conference compliance department until his promotion to conference Commissioner in 1996, and then in 2002 was hired as SEC Associate Commissioner by none other than then-commissioner and Utica, New York native, Mike Slive, eventually taking the reins from Slive after his retirement in 2015.

Sankey has been the commissioner of the conference since then, overseeing the additions of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin to the conference, that deal finalizing in 2025, also overseeing 44 overall NCAA National Championships won among member schools.

Utica University’s Commencement ceremony will take place on May 12th at 5pm for undergraduate students and May 13th at 4pm for graduate students, both of those ceremonies taking place at the Adirondack Bank Center.