Western Michigan University will rename its Engineering College "Elson S. Floyd Hall" in honor the former university president who died in June.

Photo: Western Michigan University. Used by permission.

During Floyd's tenure (1998-2003) he was instrumental in the development of the Business Technology and Research park.

"President Floyd's service relative to our College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and our Business Technology and Research Park was exceptional," said Board Chair James Hettinger in introducing the naming recommendation. "These are really landmarks among his contributions to this university."

Floyd's first six months at WMU were focused on determining a site that could both consolidate all of WMU's engineering programs in one place and serve as a site that could attract a development of private firms interested in becoming partners with a research university. In January 1999, he announced that a 265-acre parcel of University-owned land known as the Lee Baker Farm would become the home to what became a $99 million engineering complex and the surrounding BTR Park.

By the time Floyd left WMU, five private companies had located in the surrounding BTR Park, signaling the outcome he predicted. Today, the park is full and plans are underway for expansion. Reflecting on his WMU tenure as he left WMU, Floyd pointed to the engineering facility and the surrounding park as accomplishments in which he took particular pride.

"I'm proud to have enjoyed the confidence of the community and the faculty and staff here, but also for the opportunity to establish some best practices in higher education," Floyd said in 2003.  "The College of Engineering and the Business Technology and Research Park are good examples of that...I think we have set a new standard in higher education and I am very proud of that."

Floyd died of colon cancer on June 20, 2015. The name change is pending approval of Floyd's widow, Carmento Floyd.

Source: WMU release