Washington State University Honors Its Late President

Elson-Floyd-thumbWashington State University in Pullman has announced that it will name its new cultural center after its late president, Elson S. Floyd.  J. Manuel Acevedo, director of the WSU Office of Multicultural Student Services, stated that “President Floyd wanted a state-of-the-art building different from others that clearly communicates that WSU embraces diversity in a serious way.”

Dr. Floyd became the 10th president of Washington State University in May 2007. Previously, he was the president of the four-campus University of Missouri System and was president of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Earlier, he served as executive vice president of Eastern Washington University. Dr. Floyd died in June 2015 from colon cancer.

President Floyd was a native of Henderson, N.C. He held a bachelor’s degree in political science and speech, a master’s degree in adult education, and a doctorate in higher and adult education, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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  1. John Lupinacci, PhD says:

    It’s truly an honor to both President Floyd’s legacy and the generations of diverse people who have historically been excluded from spaces that represent and celebrate their existence, resilience, and non-Western knowledge in Washington. As a proud member of the WSU family, this building shows leadership’s commitment to educating all students and welcoming diverse cultures to our campus. My sincere gratitude goes out to the Floyd family, the leadership that brought this project to fruition on campus, and to all the students and faculty who helped contribute to the design and function of the new building.

  2. renee holt says:

    I think this building is a legacy of the late President who showed his commitment to the diversity represented, especially that of the Indigenous people. As I think about the university from a Nez Perce student perspective, I especially appreciate the eco-design, equally important the input our late President sought from the Indigenous community. Many thanks to his legacy and tireless efforts in creating more diversity education awareness. I look forward to the Grand Opening! Qeci’yew’yew


    It is an honor to have this building named after such a great man. Through many of the meetings I have attended to represent the Indigenous community (Native Americans), it is awesome to see the finished product. The representation of the “long house” is very fitting and is a great way to show diversity to the original occupiers of this land, which is the Nez Perce people. I appreciate all the hard work and dedication that many people did throughout this process. Qeci’yewyew (thank you-in Nez Perce)
    -Rachel Ellenwood

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