building dedication Tag

RICHLAND, Wash. – Today, on a fitting sunny morning, Washington State University Tri-Cities dedicated its West Building to an individual known to have a matching luminous disposition whose leadership radiated across the state and nation: late WSU President Elson S. Floyd.

Elson Floyd - WSU Tri-Cities

Late WSU President Elson S. Floyd talks with students at WSU Tri-Cities.

WSU Tri-Cities leadership, faculty, staff and community members gathered to say a few words about Floyd as a curtain was lowered to unveil the new building designation as the “Elson S. Floyd building.”

Floyd passed away in June 2015, but many individuals at the ceremony stated that his legacy will live on for years to come through the tremendous initiatives and values that he instilled across the WSU system.

“Elson Floyd established a great legacy for WSU,” Chancellor Keith Moo-Young said at the ceremony. “Elson was a great friend and mentor.”

Floyd, who was also affectionately referred to as E-Flo to the campus community, was known across the state and nation for his passion for increasing access and affordability for higher education and wholly embodying the Cougar spirit. He successfully established the WSU medical school, which now bears his name, research grants tripled, WSU accomplished a $1 billion fundraising campaign and the university completed a variety of major construction projects including WSU Tri-Cities’ Wine Science Center. He also strongly advocated funding support for higher education institutions and at one-time contributed a portion of his salary toward scholarships during a time of recession.

Elson S Floyd building dedication - May 2017

The official sign is unveiled for the Elson S. Floyd building dedication.

“It has been almost two years since his passing, but the fact that we’re doing this makes a tremendous impact,” Moo-Young said. “We’re always going to be able to shed light on the great things that Floyd has done for this university and for higher education.”

Jana Kay, a coordinator for academic affairs who worked with Floyd throughout the years when he would come to WSU Tri-Cities, grew to know Floyd as a friend. She said the three tenants that he regarded as essential for the WSU system, which included accountability, affordability and access, weren’t just words to Floyd.

“He believed that all students should be able to go to college and afford it, and he truly expected the campuses to serve their communities,” she said. “When he came to the Tri-Cities, he always made time to meet with students and you could see that is where he got his energy … I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to President Floyd than having his name at the main entrance to campus.”

The idea for renaming the West Building as the Elson S. Floyd building came from Mark Mansperger, clinical associate professor of anthropology, who recommended it to campus leadership after Floyd’s passing.

Elson S Floyd building

Elson S. Floyd building at WSU Tri-Cities

“One of the things that I remember most about President Floyd was the professionalism that he always showed,” he said. “I’m really glad to see this name change in his honor.”

Although Floyd’s family could not be in attendance at the ceremony, Floyd’s wife, Carmento, wrote a letter to the WSU and overall Tri-Cities community to be shared.

“While I am unable to be with you this morning, please know that the Floyd family and I are grateful that you have chosen to honor and memorialize Elson in this extremely special manner,” she said. “He saw greatness here at Washington State University Tri-Cities and he wanted the entire WSU family, this community, the state and the world to realize the impact you are having in the world and the lives you are changing daily through your work.”

“He was proud of Chancellor Moo-Young and the leadership he, his faculty and staff were providing,” she said. “This endeavor to rename and dedicate the West Building to the Elson S. Floyd Building is the highest honor you can bestow in memory of Elson. It fills my heart with pride and enormous gratitude. I know that his spirit and huge smile are with you today, as is mine.”

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will dedicate its West Building in honor of late WSU President Elson S. Floyd during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, outside the front entrance to the building.

The structure, to be known as the “Elson S. Floyd Building,” also will display a sign in Floyd’s honor.

As part of the ceremony, WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Keith Moo-Young will remark on Floyd’s many accomplishments at WSU and the influence that he bestowed on WSU systemwide.

“President Elson Floyd led many tremendous initiatives for Washington State University and his legacy will live on for years to come through the light he shown on students, WSU employees and community members around the nation,” Moo-Young said. “He lived the Cougar spirit and was beloved by many. We are thrilled to honor him and his family by dedicating one of our buildings in his honor.”

West Building

WSU Tri-Cities’ currently named West Building will be dedicated on May 3 as the Elson S. Floyd Building in honor of the late WSU president.

The idea for the renaming of the building was presented by Mark Mansperger, clinical associate professor of anthropology, as a means to honor Floyd’s legacy at WSU, and specifically his contributions to WSU Tri-Cities.

Karina Barajas, WSU Tri-Cities principal assistant who also worked directly with Floyd for a time in Pullman, said Floyd’s leadership was evident across the WSU system.

“He was everything I pictured a great leader to be – a man of stature, he would walk into a room and you could easily see and feel the love he had for WSU and for all of us Cougs as students and as employees,” she said. “I am grateful I had the opportunity to serve under his leadership.”

Following the dedication ceremony, light refreshments will be available for those attending. Both the ceremony and reception are open to the public.

 

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