Eugene C. Warriner Hall

Opened March 1928
Cost: $750,000

WarrinerWarriner Hall, Central's administration building and the most striking architecture on the campus, was built on the ruins of Old Main, Central's first building, which burned in 1925. Excavation for the new building started on October 26, 1926. The foundation was laid by December 7, the cornerstone by May 27, 1927, and the building was finished in March of 1928. The architects on the project were the firm of Malcolmson and Higginbottom of Detroit.

Warriner Hall has served many purposes in its 73 years of existence. It was originally built as a classroom building, and it housed the English, History, Speech, Mathematics, foreign languages, Psychology and Education, and parts of the Music Department until other academic buildings gradually took over those functions. It had a beautiful library with a two-story ceiling. There was a women's commons and cafeteria in the west wing on the third floor. The building also housed the university mailroom, the campus' first radio station, and a student savings bank.

WarrinerThe building was named for the president of Central from 1918 to 1939. Eugene C. Warriner was born in the village of Earlville in Dixon County, Illinois, in 1866. Graduating from high school in 1884, he taught in a rural school for three years before deciding to continue his own education by entering the University of Michigan. He graduated with honors from that institution in 1891, and then enrolled in the Boston School of Theology, believing that he would enjoy a career in the Methodist ministry. However, he changed his mind after a few months and returned to U of M to continue his studies of Latin and Greek. Soon he received an appointment as principal of the Battle Creek High School, where he remained for three years before moving to East Saginaw to accept the principalship of the high school there. Four years later he was promoted to Superintendent of Schools. When he became president of Central Michigan Normal School in 1918, he had completed twenty-two years of service in Saginaw. Warriner served as president of Central for just over twenty years, during which time the college enrollment grew from fewer than five hundred students to nearly one thousand. Warriner led the college through the trying years of World War I, the 1918 flu epidemic, the Great Depression, and two disastrous fires. He retired in June of 1939.

 

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