Hillary Clinton in Oxford today for Carolyn Ellis Staton funeral

Published 10:49 am Monday, May 22, 2017

Former first lady and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Oxford today for the funeral of Carolyn Ellis Staton, who passed away late last week.

Ellis Staton, a longtime Oxford resident, has been close friends with President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton since college.

Ms. Clinton is in Oxford today for Ms. Ellis Staton’s memorial service, scheduled for 11 a.m. on the Ole Miss campus at the Paris Yates Chapel. She spoke at today’s memorial service in honor of Ms. Ellis Staton.

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“She will be missed,” Clinton said, according to reports.

Carolyn Ellis Staton, 71, died May 19, 2017, at her home in Oxford.


While attending Yale Law School Ellis Staton roomed with Hillary Clinton, and the two remained lifelong friends. Ellis Staton also met Bill Clinton at Yale.

Staton once slept in the Lincoln bedroom at the White House, according to Mississippi Today.

“She popped up as someone who always had access to either Clinton,” said Burns Strider, a political consultant who has worked for years with Hillary Clinton, told Mississippi Today.

“She was always cleared no matter the location or event. They developed a friendship that was deep and permanent.”

Born in Vicksburg to the late John and Marguerite Shibley Ellis, Mrs. Staton received her Bachelor’s degree from 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 of the Law School, Associate Provost and retired as Provost in 2009. 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.