Washington State University
Washington State University has had ten presidents in its history, with President Elson S. Floyd today leading the highly regarded land-grant research university. He took the helm in May 2007, coming to WSU from the presidency of the University of Missouri.
President Floyd replaced V. Lane Rawlins, a former WSU economics professor and administrator, who led the University from 2000 to 2007. Rawlins returned to WSU following nine years as president of the University of Memphis.
The University's first two presidents each had brief tenures during the early years when the institution was called the Washington Agricultural College and School of Science. George W. Lilley was appointed president on May 1, 1891, a few days after Pullman was chosen as the site of the new college, and served until the end of 1892. On December 13, 1892, the Board of Regents replaced Lilley with John W. Heston, then principal of Seattle High School. Heston served through June 1893, when the state's governor replaced the members of the Board of Regents who in turn determined to appoint a new president.
On July 22, 1893, the Regents selected Enoch Albert Bryan, then president of Vincennes University, a small institution in Indiana, to lead the college. His arrival coincided with the arrival of several influential faculty members including Elton Fulmer, professor of chemistry, geology and metallurgy; Osmar L. Waller, professor of mathematics and engineering; and, soon thereafter, William J. Spillman, professor and head of the Agriculture Department.
The Washington Legislature had appropriated $97,000 for 1893-95 for the college, including funds for construction of an administration building and a mechanical engineering facility. From this point forward, the potential of the new institution began to be realized.