CLEVELAND, Miss. — Members of the Delta State University community gathered Tuesday, May 23 in the Leroy E. Morganti Atrium of Kent Wyatt Hall to say farewell to Dr. E. E. “Butch” Caston, who is retiring after serving as DSU’s interim president. DSU’s incoming president, Dr. Daniel J. Ennis, will begin his duties June 1.
Dr. Michelle Roberts, Vice President for University Relations and Chief of Staff said, “We appreciate Dr. Caston coming out of retirement for the fourth time to help his alma mater. He has served Delta State so well this past year, and we hope he is actually able to enjoy retirement after this stint.”
Caston, a graduate of Delta State in 1966, has come out of retirement multiple times to serve interim roles for DSU. He first made his professional mark at the university by serving as dean of the College of Education from 1989-2002.
“The one thing that I found coming to Delta State initially as a student, was that it’s a close and accepting environment,” said Caston. “Many years later, returning as an employee, I found that quality still existed, and it still does today.”
He returned to the university in 2013 at the request of President William N. LaForge to serve as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. His return in 2015 followed the retirement of Dr. Wayne Blansett, who served the university for 40 years. He was called upon once again in 2022 to take on the role of interim president.
Athletic Director Mike Kinnison said, “I have great admiration and respect for Dr. Caston. He’s really been a model of service to the university. He has never said no when asked to serve in any capacity, and I just think that is such a great example to so many of us to follow and it demonstrates his love for this university.”
Cleveland mayor Billy Nowell said, “Really proud to be here for Butch today. He’s been a great, great leader for many years around here and we wish him well in his retirement. We look forward to Delta State moving forward after his great leadership.”
Caston said, “I want to thank everybody for their support, it’s pretty heartwarming to see this turnout from the community.”
Caston and his wife, Marlene, plan to travel. He said, “We have five kids, all with families – international and national – so we will be in and out. They live in South Africa, Idaho, the Gulf Coast, Atlanta, and we have 15 grandkids, so we will stay busy. I don’t have any horses, but I’ve got one dog, and the dog travels. We have a plan and are excited to get back to it. But this has been a really heartwarming experience, coming back, and the outpouring from the community and the campus has made my challenges a lot easier. The support is unwavering. We’re on a good track.”