Godspeed, Carolyn Ellis Staton

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carolyn Ellis Staton will long be remembered in Oxford, and at Ole Miss.

She was a warm neighbor, eating at local restaurants like The Beacon with her husband, Bill Staton, and speaking to friends with the extension of a friendly hand and smile.

And, she was a leader in the classroom as a professor of Ole Miss law, using her intelligence, wit and warmth to bring powerful lessons to light.

Email newsletter signup

But Carolyn Ellis Staton also had friends in high places, most notably Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. She and Hillary were roommates in law school and they remained close over the years, including years the Clintons were in the White House.

Carolyn Ellis Staton never flaunted this relationship, however. She considered the Clintons close friends, not devices for her own use.

And that’s why when Carolyn Ellis Staton passed away, remembered in a memorial service on the Ole Miss campus, Hillary Clinton made the trip to Oxford and delivered a 17-minute eulogy in her honor.

Clinton’s words said just what members of the Oxford and Ole Miss community have been thinking.

“It is hard always to lose a beloved wife and mother, a sister and aunt, a cousin. It’s also hard to lose a friend,” Clinton said. (“Carolyn) will be so missed. Her investment in all of us will live on. Thank you, Carolyn, for being who you were and who you remain to all of us. Godspeed, my friend.”