Born in Ohio, Martha Saunders, at the age of 10, moved to Alabama with her family. She finished high school at Opelika, Alabama, attended DePauw University where she received her B.A. That degree was followed by an M.A. from Auburn University and later a Ph.D. from Georgia State. She joined the faculty of the English Department at West Georgia in 1965 as an instructor, retiring 30 years later, during which time she was promoted to assistant, associate, and then full professor.
In 1980 Dr. Saunders became the Director of Freshman English, a position she held until she retired. In that role, she was instrumental in forming the Writing Lab to provide assistance to composition students, and she also provided guidance for the student instructors who worked in the lab. In addition to her departmental duties, Dr. Saunders served on various faculty committees, served 2 terms as Executive Secretary of the Faculty Senate, edited the West Georgia Review for five years, and served terms as president of the local Phi Kappa Phi and as president of the Georgia-South Carolina College English Association.
In addition to her West Georgia duties, Dr. Saunders has been active in the community. She was an active Girl Scout leader for 18 years and served various positions on the board of the Pine Valley Girl Scout Council. She was president of the local League of Women Voters from 1988- 1990, and then became a member of the board of the League of Women Voters of Georgia, serving as president from 1995 – 1997. Currently she is an active member of the Carrollton Civic Woman’s Club and of Lit-Mt, having served as president of both organizations. Her major focus at present is the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, a program she helped bring to Carroll County. Dr. Saunders also is a member of UWG’s Association of Retired Faculty/Staff and is instrumental in helping plan the organization’s annual reunion.