First UM Female Provost, Carolyn Ellis Staton, Passes Away At Age 71

Photo courtesy of umfoundation.com

Carolyn Ellis Staton, 71, died May 19, 2017, at her home in Oxford, MS. A memorial service will be held Monday, May 22, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at Paris-Yates Chapel on the Campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS (parking will be available in the circle). Visitation will be held Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Waller Funeral Home. In conjunction with her easy-going spirit, the family welcomes casual clothing.

Born in Vicksburg, MS, to the late John and Marguerite Shibley Ellis, Mrs. Staton received her Bachelor’s degree at Tulane University, her Master’s degree at Columbia University and her Juris Doctor at Yale University. At the University of Mississippi, she served as a Law Professor, Interim Dean at the Law School, Associate Provost and retired as Provost in 2009. Staton became the first female to hold the title of Provost at the University of Mississippi. As Provost, she facilitated the creation of the University of Mississippi residential colleges and the Croft Institute. She expanded on the ideas of others in the creation of the Honor’s College.

She was a dedicated and loving wife of 33 years and a loving mother to three boys. She found great joy in her travels overseas and prided herself on enabling her children to travel. She was a veteran of the United States Army Reserve JAG Corps where she achieved the rank of Captain.  She served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service in the 1990s at the Pentagon.   

She is survived by her husband William Staton of Oxford, MS; sons, William “Will” Staton and his fiancé, Katrina of Washington, DC, Thom Staton of Asheville, NC and Michael Staton of Hooksett, NH and brothers, David Ellis of Hilton Head, SC and Robert Ellis of Memphis, TN.

Memorial contributions in Mrs. Staton’s memory may be made to the Carolyn Ellis Staton Scholarship in Law Endowment, University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655 in lieu of flowers.


Courtesy of Meek School Faculty 

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