President Floyd’s first convocation was in August 2007, right after he arrived. The faculty were there in our own regalia. It’s a very colorful moment — we all wear the colors of our own institutions. Dr. Floyd shows up, and he’s wearing a plain black robe. He goes down the row, and he sees me — I have my name tag that says ‘AMDT’ — and he says, ‘Oh, I need your help with the regalia.” I said, ‘Yeah, I agree with you.” He says, “Let’s work together on that.” He came back to me again and again that day. He’d have an idea, and he’d come back. During that convocation, we agreed: I would design a stole for him using fabrics from ethnic groups that were significant in the state. We basically designed it while he was walking back and forth.
For the next four months, I worked on it several hours a day. We went all over the state, collecting textiles from different groups. It was important to have the Nez Perce tribe in, we were on their land. We added hand-woven Salish fabric, Hawaiian hand appliqué, textiles from Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Oceania, Africa, India, Japan and China. A coverlet weave represented the American colonial past.
Dr. Floyd and I were involved in it continually. It was a lot of work. But it was a wonderful thing. And at the same time that we were working on the stole, we were designing his grown. We designed a red one and a gray one. The gray one, he took with him when he traveled. He loved the red one, because he lit up in it. It looked so good on him.
In her senior year, Debbie Christel was in one of my classes. I asked her to help, and she fell in love with research. I think that’s what fired her up to go to grad school and become a professor, and we were lucky enough to hire her last year. This stole started her on her career.
Dr. Floyd was really good at working collaboratively. He would say, “What do you want to do? What do you think?” We created the regalia together, and he was really good at supporting me. I really liked him. Whenever I saw him, he remembered me. He always remembered who I was.
— Linda Arthur Bradley, Professor, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles