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Carlin Alumni House


Purchased by Central: 1941
Renovated: 1989
Cost of renovation and expansion: $500,000

The Carlin Alumni House, which was at one time the home of the president of Central, was originally built as a private residence. The land on which Rowe Hall and the Carlin Alumni House are now located was once part of a subdivision owned by George J. Moutsatson. He sold lot number four, the future site of the house, to a Mr. Clark, a local geologist, who constructed the house on the property. Moutsatson later sold the rest of the property on East Bellows to the University, and Clark sold the house to the University in 1941. The University planned to use the house as a home for its top executive, who began living there in 1944.

Each president who lived in the house made improvements to the structure. Under President Anspach, the library was remodeled and a new patio was added. President Foust remodeled the kitchen and laundry room, excavated the basement, and began construction on a recreation room. President Boyd oversaw the most extensive renovations; an elaborate addition, designed by architects with Wakely, Kushner, & Wakely of Mt. Pleasant and bigger than the existing structure, was eventually abandoned because of the prohibitive cost. Instead, the house was painted white, a wall was removed to enlarge the master bedroom, and the kitchen was again remodeled. President Abel, the last University official to live in the house full-time, added a bedroom and bathroom to the basement. President Ellis did reside in the building for a brief period after a 1986 flood, but by this point, the president no longer lived permanently on campus.

Plans to convert the house into an alumni center were underway by late 1989 and the transformation was complete by October of 1990. Approximately $500,000 was allocated by the University to pay for the 4,500 sq. ft. renovation. The restoration and expansion of the house included the addition of a conference room, reception areas, staff offices, and workrooms. The modern Alumni House serves as a "home base" for visiting graduates, special alumni events, and also as the office building for the alumni and development staffs.

The CMU Alumni House is named for Leslie and Marge Carlin, a husband and wife counseling team with have long histories of association with the University. Leslie Carlin worked as a counselor in the Counseling Center from 1948 to 1981. Margo Carlin served as a residence hall housemother at Central from 1948 to 1967.