President Bonner holding up J sign.

From the President

May 2, 2024

Celebrating South Graduates - It will be extra special to walk into the Mitchell Center, see the smiling faces of all who have supported our students and then shake the hands of our graduates as they walk proudly across the stage. When push comes to shove, nobody knows how to rally like a Jaguar.

April 23, 2024

Brand Refresh Initiative - Last summer, the Office of Marketing and Communications embarked on a Brand Refresh Initiative aimed at reimagining how the University’s story is communicated. Our updated messaging approach, spanning everything from brochures to building banners to website content, promises to breathe new life into our communications and propel us forward.

March 21, 2024

Response to DEI Legislation - At South, we welcome all and will continue to do the meaningful work of ensuring members of our community find purpose and place here. We will remain committed to academic freedom.

March 1, 2024

Voting, Statewide Visits and Very Busy March - As I navigated campus in recent days, I noticed as many heads in books as I did buds ready to bloom. Signs of the season include midterms and the promise of a beautiful springtime in Mobile.

February 5, 2024

Lawkis named VP for Governmental Relations - Nick Lawkis, who has served as executive director for governmental relations since 2019, has been promoted to vice president for governmental relations. 

January 8, 2024

Week of Welcome, Pediatric Emergency Center Dedication and South Magazine - As we begin 2024, I would like to wish our entire Jaguar community a Happy New Year. I also offer a warm and enthusiastic Welcome Back to our students arriving to campus after holiday break.

December 8, 2023

Breaking Ground on a New Whiddon College of Medicine Building - The new space will allow us to continue to expand our medical student class size, to 100 students and above, to help address a national shortage in healthcare providers.

October 20, 2023

Providence and Support for South - I had the privilege of joining other University and USA Health leaders in thanking and learning more about our nearly 1,800 new employees. Their commitment to compassionate care, and the positive outlook they shared for our future, is truly humbling.

September 8, 2023

Growth in Enrollment and Retention - This morning we were pleased to deliver to the USA Board of Trustees an enrollment report that shows growth for the first time in seven years and a freshman class that jumped 19 percent over last fall.</div

August 25, 2023

A Strong Start - With our first week of class coming to a close, I didn’t want to miss a chance to tell you how incredibly proud I have been with the start of our academic year.

August 21, 2023

Welcoming New Students – We are grateful each of you is here, and moreover, we are honored you chose South Alabama as your place to get a great college education.

July 27, 2023

New Students, New Heroes and New Acquisition Walking into the Student Center Ballroom in front of a packed house of incoming students and their parents makes me look forward to the start of classes.

May 11, 2023

3 Promotions Follow a Retirement — After 25 years of dedicated service to the University of South Alabama, Vice President for Finance and Administration Polly Stokley has announced her retirement effective June 1.

May 3, 2023

60th Anniversary Kicks Off — As we wrap up the spring semester, we begin what will become a yearlong celebration marking an important milestone: the University of South Alabama’s 60th Anniversary.

March 30, 2023

Reaffirmation of Accreditation While the outcome will not be final until a vote of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, we wanted to provide you an update regarding the onsite SACSCOC visit.

March 9, 2023

Research Administrator Recognized — I am pleased to announce that Danielle L. Miller, IACUC/IBC Administrator in Research Compliance and Assurance, has been selected as USA Employee of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2023.

March 1, 2023

Town Halls, Carnival and New Mother/Baby Unit — From fall to spring of this year, our first-year student retention rate topped 90 percent, highlighting both student resilience and the purposeful work of our faculty and staff to get them to the graduation finish line. 

December 9, 2022

Recruiting, Fundraising and Cheering — As the semester winds down and we approach the end of 2022, my heart is full of sincere gratitude – and profound humility – for your giving me such a generous welcome.

December 5, 2022

Remembering Former President Waldrop — It is with genuine sorrow that I share the sad news of the passing of Dr. Tony Waldrop, the third president of the University of South Alabama.

November 1, 2022

South’s Initial First Lady Passes — It is with a heavy heart that I pass along news that the University of South Alabama’s very first First Lady, Mrs. June Ledyard Whiddon, passed away over the weekend.

October 27, 2022

Retention, Recruitment and New Film Release — The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced today that the University of South Alabama is a finalist for the 2022 Degree Completion Award, a recognition of all the work our University has done to support retention.

October 10, 2022

Campus Welcomes Alumni Back Home — Today marks the start of an exciting week at South as we celebrate Homecoming and Alumni Reunion Weekend.

September 28, 2022

Pride Blossoms during Inauguration Week — Last week we sent a clear message to our University community and beyond: The University of South Alabama is charting a course to becoming the Flagship of the Gulf Coast, and each of you are integral to our success.

September 27, 2022

New Marketing, Communications VP Arrives — Please join us to welcome our new Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Mr. Jim Berscheidt. 

September 22, 2022

2 South Veterans Named VPs — This morning I informed our Board of Trustees of two position updates: Dr. Joél Billingsley has been named Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, and Ms. Polly Stokley has been named Vice President for Finance and Administration.

August 31, 2022

United Way Drive Begins — This week we kick off our annual USA Employee/Retiree Campaign for the United Way.

August 16, 2022

Move-In Day Brings Excitement — We wanted to take just a minute before another day passes to offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has done so much to help us kick off our fall semester in such fine fashion.

August 11, 2022

Events Welcome Students Back — I will be forever grateful to members of our University community who welcomed Janée and me with open arms to the Jaguar Family. 

August 9, 2022

South Picks Marketing, Communications Chief — I’m pleased to announce the hiring of Jim Berscheidt as our next vice president for marketing and communications.

July 12, 2022

South Reaffirms Welcoming Values — I am more grateful than ever for our community here at South Alabama and what we can accomplish together with value and respect for each and every Jaguar.

June 24, 2022

Faculty, Staff Receive Pay Increases — I am pleased to notify you that most members of the University General Division Faculty and Staff will see a pay adjustment effective next month.

June 15, 2022

New Students on Campus for Orientation — Campus is alive with the activity of several hundred new students participating in Southbound orientation on Tuesday and Thursday.

May 19, 2022

Dr. Kent Named Provost, Executive VP — No one has impressed me more than Dr. Andi Kent. So, on behalf of the University, I am grateful she has accepted my offer to serve as provost and executive vice president.

April 15, 2022

3 Provost Finalists Plan Campus Visits — The University’s search for its next provost continues to move forward with the selection of three finalists, who will visit campus at the end of the month.

March 15, 2022

South Investigates Erroneous Alert — I am writing to provide you with information about the mistaken activation of the main campus emergency alert speaker system that occurred yesterday morning.

March 11, 2022

Medical College Building Gets $60 Million Appropriation — We’re pleased to report that the expansion and renovation of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine building is one large step closer to reality thanks to a $60 million appropriation from U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. 

February 25, 2022

President Bonner Continues Listening Tour — I want to hear more about your challenges and concerns, as well as talk about opportunities where we can grow – with additional students, investments and research. 

February 21, 2022

Searches Seek to Fill Top Positions — When I took the job of president, I noted that the University’s success was built on the many who came before us. Our ability to evolve and thrive now is not the responsibility of a few, but will be the result of the work so many of you do to advance the University.

February 2, 2022

Dr. Kent Adds New Interim Role — I am pleased to let you know that Dr. Andrea Kent has agreed to take on the responsibilities of interim executive vice president in addition to continuing in her role as interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

January 13, 2022

2-Time Interim President Will Retire — After 14 years with the University of South Alabama, Executive Vice President Dr. John Smith will retire Feb. 1.

January 10, 2022

New President Looks Forward to Service — As I begin my presidency at the University of South Alabama, I arrive with both a sense of pride and humility.