Affordable. Accountable. Accessible.
They weren’t just words to former Washington State University President Elson Floyd.
“These were the tenets of his decision making and approach to how he managed the campuses and WSU,” said Jana Kay Lunstad, a program specialist at WSU Tri-Cities.
Lunstad was among a small gathering at the Richland campus Wednesday for the dedication of a building in Floyd’s honor.
The West Building became the Elson S. Floyd Building about a year after the WSU Board of Regents approved the change.
The name reflects Floyd’s impact on the campus and the university as a whole, said Assistant Vice Chancellor Ken Fincher.
There are so many of us who would not have been here if not for Dr. Floyd, and what he did for this campus.
Assistant Vice Chancellor Ken Fincher
“There are so many of us who would not have been here if not for Dr. Floyd, and what he did for this campus,” he said.
Floyd became the university’s president in 2007 and died two years ago from colon cancer complications.
Along with lobbying the Legislature to allow the university to create a medical school, Lunstad said the president elevated the importance of the Richland campus.
“One of the first things he did when he was president, ... he changed the presidential letterhead to include all of the campuses,” she said. “It no longer just said Pullman, it said Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Spokane and the global campus.”
Mark Mansperger, a clinical associate professor of anthropology at WSU Tri-Cities, suggested changing the building’s name to honor the former president’s contributions.
Mansperger began his college career at WSU in 1979, and even in his time away from the university, he continued to pay attention to it. He praised the growth of the university system and the Richland campus during Floyd’s presidency.
He loved to engage the students in attendance here. Elson recognized your dedication for this campus and this community. Your love and spirit was infectious.
Carmento Floyd, wife
In addition to the medical school, which bears Floyd’s name, about 30 construction projects were completed during his eight-year tenure, including the Wine Science Center in Richland.
Chancellor Keith Moo-Young, who was hired by Floyd, said the Tri-City campus can continue to build on Floyd’s legacy.
“Elson’s vision for Washington State University was to build unique opportunities and assets in every community that would waive the flag of Washington State University,” he said.
The event finished with Fincher reading a letter from Floyd’s wife, Carmento, thanking the Tri-City campus for remembering her husband.
“During Elson’s lifetime, he would not have considered this renaming and dedication as a remote possibility,” she wrote. “He loved to engage the students in attendance here. Elson recognized your dedication for this campus and this community. Your love and spirit was infectious.”