Blue Hose Happenings: PC’s First Lady Stays Active Serving the Community
Phyllis Staton, the wife of PC President Bob Staton, was the most surprised person in the room when she received the 2018 Honorary Alumna Award during PC’s Alumni Awards ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 27. The event took place in Edmunds Hall on the PC campus.
PC holds the ceremony once a year to celebrate the achievements and contributions of alumni and other PC faithful.
The award Staton received recognizes a person who didn’t attend PC, but who has always regarded PC as his or her alma mater. By doing so, the person brings honor to the College.
“I have never been more surprised,” Staton said after receiving the award. “I thought, ‘There’s no way this is happening. I don’t deserve this honor.’ I can hardly talk about it. I get so overwhelmed with emotion.”
Just like Staton regards PC as her alma mater, she regards Clinton as her home.
“Since we came to PC in summer of 2015, I felt like I was home,” she said. “I feel it everywhere I go, on the campus and in the community.”
She takes advantage of every opportunity she has to get involved in the community. She is a member of several civic organizations and is president of the Rotary Club of Clinton.
“Rotary’s motto ‘Service Above Self,’ parallels PC’s motto, ‘While we live, we serve,’” she said. “I often see PC students volunteering throughout the community. Not only is it our motto, but they walk the walk, and I’m proud of them.”
Staton is in training to become an elder in the First Presbyterian Church, and she serves on the College Ministries Committee.
She’s also a part of the several organizations in Clinton and Laurens County. She’s a board member with Laurens County Cancer Association, Clinton YMCA and United Way of Laurens County.
Originally from Columbia, Staton is a retired healthcare professional from Palmetto Health. She served as the manager of the Breast Centers while she was there. In 1991, while at Palmetto Health she co-founded the Walk for Life, a signature fundraising event at the hospital which heightens awareness for breast cancer. The event is still held every October.
“I lived in the same town and worked at the same place most of my life and never imagined that at this point in my life I would have the opportunity to come to PC and play even a small role in the lives of the students and this community,” she said. “Now there’s nowhere I’d rather be or nothing else I’d rather be doing than being here with Bob doing this!”
Staton says attending the awards ceremony was meaningful to her not only because of her award, but because of the stories of the many alumni who filled Edmunds Hall during the morning ceremony.
“PC, I think, prepares and develops students to be the best that they can be, and our annual alumni ceremony is evidence of that,” she said. “When you see how successful they’ve been, and what a positive difference they’ve made in the world, it’s powerful.”
Staton embraces all that is PC. With her personable nature, she remains connected with students and members of the campus, as well as the community.
“I love interacting with the students,” she said. “Being with them is fun and uplifting. To watch them as they grow and mature is amazing.”
Dr. Don Raber, PC’s provost, says Staton's “energy and enthusiasm for PC are only matched by her commitment to and support of our students.”
“With her infectious smile and sharp wit, she is a vibrant presence on campus, and both she and Bob have made a tremendous difference over the last three years with their love for the institution and their dedication to seeing PC succeed," Raber said.
The Statons support and attend countless campus and athletic events. They also host guests and alumni in the President's House, as well as students.
"We feel like it belongs to them and to the school, and we love to see them enjoy it,” she said. “It’s just all those little unique moments whether you’re in the community or you’re on campus; they (students) seem so glad to see you. It warms your heart and makes you feel good. I like that they think we’re approachable. They are the reason we are here.”
About PC: Presbyterian College is between Columbia and Greenville, in the college town of Clinton, S.C. At PC, we’re noted as much for our challenging academics as we are for our one-of-a-kind mascot: the Blue Hose. Our students are one-of-a-kind too: They bring their own interests and abilities to campus and pursue them with gusto. Students customize their education by choosing from 50-plus majors and pre-professional programs. They’re taught and mentored by a faculty whose #1 priority is their students’ success. Students research, intern, and study abroad. And they get involved on campus, a place defined by honor and ethics. PC prepares students to be fulfilled personally and professionally so they can contribute to today’s global society.