Opened March 1928
Warriner 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.
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