An outpouring for WSU President Elson Floyd

THE PASSING OF Washington State's dynamic president, Elson Floyd, generated an outpouring of tributes Saturday after the university announced he had lost his battle with colon cancer. Here's a small sampling -- from the well known to the anonymous -- that helps paint the picture of his lasting impact on people, a university, a state and his chosen profession.

Dr. Floyd has been both a role model and a mentor in my six years at Washington State. The decisions of a president, or those of a dean, are not always popular ones. His deft ability to make the tough calls while continuing to inspire the many constituencies he served, and maintain a dialogue with those who disagreed, has always been an inspiration for me. He never missed an opportunity to thank the WSU community for “all that you do” ...
-- Lawrence Pintak, Murrow College Dean

We lost a GREAT one today. He changed our alma mater into something we all knew it could be. His leadership is second to none. I take solace knowing that he is in a much better place and without pain but my selfishness wants to see my friend one more time.
-- Justin Felker, former WSU fundraiser

I hope we name the Med school after him. What an unbelievable leader he is and really defined setting of the bar as to how our future presidents should be measured.
-- KennyB, Cougfan message board poster

This was a man wholly devoted to serving his state and expanding opportunities for all of Washington's students. He turned Washington State into Cougar State, dramatically expanding the scope of the university on both sides of the mountains. He loved inspiring students and challenging them. Thanks to Elson, there are Cougars all around the world engaged in innovative and influential work.
--Governor Jay Inslee

The fact that Dr. Floyd took his work at Washington State to the brink of death is exactly the type of leader we had ... What an awesome and inspirational ambassador and legacy he left behind for not only the University, but for Cougs and life in general, we have all lost ... R.I.P. Dr. Elson Floyd. We love you brother.
-- Joshua Davis (Jayrah33), on Cougfan messaage board

A tall, broad-shouldered man with a deep voice, President Floyd commanded attention. He often touched on the theme of needing to broaden access to higher education, and worked to make WSU accessible to more students, especially those who would be the first in their families to go to college.
-- The Seattle Times

This one really hits me hard. Every time I met him he was such a great upbeat guy and never acted too large or too busy for the little guy. I'm devestated by this news. Thanks for everything you did for WSU EFlo, your legacy will live on long from now.
-- bstaehr111, Cougfan message board poster

Elson S. Floyd, whose love for education took him from writing math problems in the sand as a boy when his family could not afford paper to the leader of major university systems, died today ... His work at WSU culminated earlier this year in the state Legislature’s decision to allow WSU to start its own medical school after a hard-fought and public battle – first with the University of Washington and then with some lawmakers.
-- The Spokesman-Review

The man was a gift from God to us at WSU, he was always out shaking hands students, alums, anyone. He would walk up from the field and shake hands with everyone on the aisles, congenial doesn't cover him. everything he touched @ Wazzu is better. God Bless Elson Floyd.
-- airbornecoug, Cougfan message board poster

Higher education has lost a giant, and the world has lost one of its kindest human beings ...His tenure was unprecedented and his legacy will serve the people of Washington, the nation and the world for generations to come.
-- Ryan Durkan, WSU Board of Regents

WSU President Elson Floyd was one of the most accessible University Presidents you will ever meet.
-- Chris Daniels, KING5-TV

As anyone who has ever had the privilege of meeting him knows well, Elson was truly one of a kind. He led WSU with incredible energy, passion, and a deep and personal commitment to our students and communities. Elson made a great university even greater, and though he will be missed terribly, his vision for the continued growth of a world class research university will live on.
-- U.S. Senator (and WSU alum) Patty Murray

Transformative doesn't begin to describe the depth and breadth of what he accomplished for Washington State ... Far sighted, tireless, charismatic and brimming with confidence, he brought a winning combination to WSU at a perilous time. The result was a university that didn't just survive in the challenging times but thrived ...
--WSU Foundation Trustee and CF.C co-founder Greg Witter

I hope that we can honor Dr. Elson Floyd and all that he built at WSU, by being the best we can be everyday.
-- WSU football coach Mike Leach

Elson Floyd believed in me and gave me his scholarship so that I could attend WSU. I owe him my future and where I am now. Forever grateful.
-- Melinda Lee, recent WSU graduate

WSU has created a memorial web page here in which tributes and condolences may be left. In addition, in lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to honor President Floyd be made to the Elson S. Floyd Founders Fund for the WSU College of Medicine.

ELSON FLOYD: 1956 to 2015
Survived by wife Carmento and their two adult children, Jessica and Kenneth; three granddaughters; his mother Dorothy; and three brothers.


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