Elson Floyd, President of Washington State, 1956-2015

June 22, 2015

Elson S. Floyd, president of Washington State University since 2007, died Saturday from complications from colon cancer. Floyd won widespread praise for his work at Washington State University, where he oversaw enrollment growth, a near doubling of the minority student population, the addition of many new programs and a successful $1 billion fund-raising campaign. Floyd, dubbed "E FLO" by many students, was known for his close connection to students, and the university's Facebook page is full of statements from students and alumni about how accessible and friendly he was. Floyd was born to a working class family, to parents who never graduated from high school, and he regularly spoke of the importance of public higher education in providing a path to success for the disadvantaged. Before moving to Washington State, Floyd was president of Western Michigan University and the University of Missouri System.

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