Charles Grawn (1857-1942) was the third to hold the position of principal and the first president at Central State Normal School from 1900-18. Born in Salem, Mich. in 1857, he attended the State Normal School in Ypsilanti (B.Ed). His graduate studies were performed at Columbia University (M. A. 1904) and he received an honorary Master of Arts degree from University of Michigan (1906). Before his tenure at Central, Principal Grawn was the superintendent of Traverse City schools and principal of the training school at Michigan State Normal.
Grawn was the first head of Central to use the title president (beginning 1908). Under his leadership, the campus built environment increased in size to twenty-five acres and three new buildings were built, including Central Hall and the Training School. The curriculum was modified and Central was authorized to grant higher-level teaching certificates. Charles Grawn retired in 1918.