Fort Payne native Terry Casey grew up on stories about JSU. As a teenager, his aunt took him to football games and tours around campus. “When I was making my college decision,” he said, “JSU just seemed like home to me.”
Casey has spent his nearly 25-year career making students feel at home on the Friendliest Campus in the South.
Dean of Students Terry Casey passes out t-shirts during the first week of classes, letting students know they matter.
Terry Casey as a JSU freshman, as pictured in the 1989 “Mimosa” yearbook.
As an undergraduate, Casey served as an orientation leader and coordinator and was a member of Delta Chi fraternity. By his senior year, he knew he wanted to dedicate his career to higher education.
Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in finance from JSU in 1993, he was encouraged by Dr. Alice Cusimano – then associate vice president of student affairs – to remain at JSU to pursue a master’s in counselor education with a concentration in student personnel. He served as a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Activities while earning his master’s degree.
After graduate school, Casey helped recruit students to the JSU family as an admissions counselor. He returned to the Office of Student Activities in 1996 to become director of student life. In 2016, he was promoted to dean of students. A year later, he was honored by the Alumni Association at Homecoming as the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Member of the Year.
“The Dean of Students Office is not a typical Dean of Students Office,” Casey said. “We are here for the students, and we love to hear their feedback about what we are doing on campus. I encourage students to get to know our staff and become involved in campus life at JSU. The friendships that students make through student organizations are a lot of times their friends for life.”
Terry Casey is JSU’s new interim Vice President of Student Affairs.
Casey’s team is responsible for presenting Gamecock Orientation (GO!), managing Freshman Forum and the First and Second-Year Experience, directing the Miss JSU Pageant and overseeing Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Student Government Association and student organizations.
“The most important thing I can do for our students is to be their advocate,” Casey said. “As the cost of attendance continues to rise, I need to help our student leaders learn organization culture and structure. This helps them advocate for students in a safe and professional environment.”
As part of a university reorganization last week, Casey was named acting vice president of student affairs. In addition to continuing to serve as dean of students, he now also has direct supervisory responsibility for Title IX, Community Standards and Student Ethics, Counseling Services, Testing, and Residence Life.
Having such a rich history with JSU has helped Casey better relate with current students because he understands what they’re going through.
“We have a good percentage of first-generation college students – like me – and that helps me see things from their perspective,” he said. “Most of our students are connected to Northeast Alabama, which is where I have lived my whole life. That experience also helps me push students out of their comfort zone and get connected with other students who have different background than they may have.”
When he’s not guiding the lives of JSU students, Casey can be found living his best life outdoors, either kayaking or relaxing by the nearest body of water he can find. He’s also a huge baseball fan, keeping a trained eye on one JSU baseball player in particular – his son, Colin, a right-handed junior pitcher for the Gamecocks.
Terry Casey with son, Colin, in 2005 while being honored for his service to the university during halftime at a Gamecock football game.
Terry Casey’s son, Colin, is now a pitcher on the Gamecock baseball team.
“Having a student at JSU has opened my eyes to a lot of challenges that students face that I was unaware of prior to his attendance,” he said. “I am in a position to share those challenges with other administrators to assist our students so they have a better experience at JSU.”
First introduced to campus more than 30 years ago as a sports fan, Casey continues to cheer on the Gamecocks as a proud alumnus, top student administrator, and baseball dad.
Terry Casey, already serving JSU students as a Peer Counselor in 1993.
Terry Casey is the mastermind behind Gamecock Orientation (GO!), modernizing the new student event into the engaging production it is today. In fact, the program was featured in “USA Today” in 2015.
Learn more about Terry's JSU Story