- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Reaction to the death Saturday of Washington State University President Elson Floyd:

“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….Many of the strides we’ve made these past years in everything from higher education funding to student aid to innovative new research programs have Elson’s handprints all over them. He was an incredible leader and his legacy will be one of excellence and dedication. Elson will always be remembered as one of the greatest Washingtonians.”

-Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

“I join so many in Washington state and across the country in mourning the truly heartbreaking loss of Dr. Elson Floyd. 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. He was a giant in his field and someone whose thoughts on higher education and research were greatly valued by me and so many others. 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.”

-Sen. Patty Murray.

“All Washingtonians should say a prayer of thanks and gratitude for the leadership of Elson Floyd. His skill and perseverance led change at WSU that will last forever. Whether leading the way on new science investments like the biofuels, or fighting to improve access to medical education, President Elson was focused, driven and successful. We will miss him. Our hearts and prayers go out to his friends, families and the WSU community.”

-Sen. Maria Cantwell.

“Our state has lost a true visionary, and our community has lost a wonderful human being. President Floyd was a visionary who saw not only the tremendous potential of Washington State University, but the incredible gifts within each individual. His power of intellect and expression, and his passion for students, will remain an inspiration to all of us.”

-Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh.

“President Floyd had a profound impact on one of our state’s premiere educational institutions and was a strong leader in expanding access to higher education in Washington state. President Floyd was an effective advocate who built enduring relationships in Olympia, and his vision will make a difference for countless students who pass through WSU’s campus. It was an honor to know and work with him, and he will be dearly missed.”

- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

“Elson Floyd was a dear friend whose great work at Western Michigan University propelled him into the ranks of top college presidents in the United States, following in the footsteps of Diether Haenicke and blazing the trail for John Dunn. I learned lifelong leadership lessons from Elson. He helped the community in the areas of economic development and was wonderful at Washington State University.”

-Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

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