Staton’s broader service to independent higher education in South Carolina is highlighted by his involvement with SCICU. He was elected to the SCICU Board of Trustees in 1993 during his tenure as chairman, president, and CEO of Colonial Life Insurance. After serving two three-year terms on the SCICU board, Staton was named an SCICU Life Trustee. Upon being named Presbyterian College president in 2015, Staton’s SCICU board involvement shifted to the SCICU Council of College Presidents.
“We are extremely grateful for Bob’s many years of support and leadership on the SCICU board, and we deeply appreciate his service to Presbyterian College,” said Jeff Perez, SCICU president and CEO. “We wish Bob the very best in retirement, but there’s no doubt that he will still support PC and independent higher education in South Carolina for many years to come.”
Under Staton’s leadership, PC added new undergraduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, including data analytics, computational biology, communication, special education, and public policy. In 2019, the college established a School of Health Professions, bringing on board graduate programs in physician assistant studies and occupational therapy.
Presbyterian held a farewell reception on Nov. 13 honoring Staton and First Lady Phyllis Staton. During the reception, PC Board of Trustees Chair E. G. Lassiter announced the honoring of Staton with the naming of Staton Hall, the central building of the recently-constructed campus residential complex.
“It is not hard to look around campus and see all that has been accomplished over the past five years under Bob’s leadership,” said Lassiter. “There are new and renovated spaces for our students to live and learn, a larger and more diverse student body, more academic and athletic offerings, and an engaged board, just to name a few.”
Staton is a 1968 economics graduate of Presbyterian College and a 1971 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to his leadership roles at PC, he was a partner in Quinn, Brown, Staton, and Boyle, chair of Carolina National Bank, and chair, president, and CEO of Colonial Life Insurance.
Staton’s extensive community involvement and dedication to the state of South Carolina was recognized when he was awarded of the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Jim Hodges.