|Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 18th district
|Succeeded by||John F. Kennedy|
|Born||Cecil Pope Staton, Jr.
January 26, 1958
Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.
Cecil Pope Staton, Jr. (born January 26, 1958) is the Chancellor at East Carolina University. Previously, Dr. Staton served as Interim President of Valdosta State University (2015-2016) and as Vice Chancellor for Extended Education with the University System of Georgia (2014-2016). He served five terms as an elected official in the U.S. state of Georgia. He was a member of the Republican Party and served in the Georgia Senate representing the 18th district, which includes portions of Bibb, Houston, Monroe, Jones, and Crawford counties. In the newly drawn maps approved by the United States Justice Department on December 23, 2011, the 18th District added Peach and Upson counties, but no longer included Jones County. The new map was in use for the 2012 and 2014 elections.
Early Life and Education
Born in Greenville, South Carolina to Cecil Pope Staton, Sr. (1935–1999) and Shirley Hughes Staton, Staton graduated from Carolina High School in 1976, where he served as President of the student body. He graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina in 1980, winning the Baggott Award as the outstanding religion major of the graduating class. He earned Master of Divinity with Languages (1982) and Master of Theology (1985) degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina focusing on Hebrew, the Old Testament, and ancient near eastern studies. He earned a DPhil from University of Oxford (Regent's Park College, Oxford) in 1988, focusing on Hebrew, the Old Testament, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
During his tenure as Senator, Staton also served as a businessman having founded two publishing companies and a broadcasting company based in Macon and Warner Robins, Georgia. The broadcasting company owned and operated 14 radio stations, an online community newspaper in Warner Robins, Georgia, and a television station in Warner Robins, serving the Robins region. One of his companies, Stroud & Hall Publishers, received national acclaim for publishing two New York Times bestsellers by former Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller as well as books by 2011 presidential candidates Rick Perry and Herman Cain.
Staton was first elected in 2004, facing both primary and general election opposition. He was re-elected without opposition in 2006, 2008, and 2010. In 2012, Staton defeated a primary opponent and with no general election opponent was elected to a fifth term. He served as vice-chair of the Republican Caucus before being elected Majority Whip in November, 2010, and as such served on the Committee on Assignments, which appoints committee chairs and members. in his final term, Staton also served on the Rules, Appropriations, Finance, Higher Education, Banking, and Reapportionment committees. He also served as chair of the subcommittee of Appropriations on Higher Education, responsible for the states nearly 2 billion dollar annual investment in higher education, and as vice-chair of the subcommittee on Community Health. For five years he served as chair of the Senate Science and Technology Committee. He is a recognized leader on higher education and health-care issues including trauma care, and has sponsored many elections bills including Georgia's requirement for a photo identification for elections.
Senator Staton was recognized throughout his legislative career for his work in the areas of health care and higher education. In 2007, Senator Staton was awarded the "Star of Life" award by the Georgia Association of Emergency Medical Services. In 2010, Staton was named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Rural Health Care Association as well as Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Technology Association. In 2011, the Senator was named legislator of the year by the Georgia Hospital Association. And in 2012, Georgia Bio recognized Staton as their legislator of the year at awards ceremonies held in Atlanta on January 26. In 2014, Staton received the Miller-Deal Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Georgia Independent College Association. He was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree by Mercer University in 2014.
During the 2014 session, Senator Staton announced that he would not seek re-election. In May, 2014, it was announced that Staton would join the University System of Georgia as Vice-Chancellor for Extended Education. The University System of Georgia comprises 28 colleges and universities including the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. Dr. Staton served as the Chief International Officer for the system and was responsible for the system-wide priorities of international education, continuing and professional education, entrepreneurial education, and military affairs. He worked with the USG Foundation on related fundraising activities and with Georgia’s economic development initiatives in order to match the resources of USG institutions with Georgia’s evolving workforce needs.
Dr. Staton served as professor at Brewton-Parker College in Georgia from 1989 through 1991. He served Mercer University for more than eleven years (1991-2003), as Associate Provost, Associate Professor, and Publisher of the Mercer University Press.
Staton is the author of several books and articles. He is married to the former Catherine Lynn Davidson of Woodruff, South Carolina. They have two children: Cecil P. Staton, III (Trey) born in 1991 and William Davidson Staton born in 1995. They reside in Greenville, North Carolina.
- "Senate District 18". Senate.ga.gov. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "Greenville County SC Genealogy Trails – Cecil P. Staton Sr. Obituary". genealogytrails.com. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- "Contacting Senator Staton". Cecilstaton.com. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "A New Voice in Defense of the Republic". The Warner Robins Patriot. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- Miller, Zell (2002-11-05). "Stroud and Hall". Stroudhall.com. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "Cecil Staton Named Vice Chancellor for Extended Education". usg.edu. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
- "Cecil Staton Named Interim President of Valdosta State University". usg.edu. Retrieved 2015-04-08.