Searle Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

May 9th, 2014

On May 9th, Hillsdale College held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Searle Center, a capital project that will renovate and expand Curtiss Dining Hall and Phillips Auditorium. The increase in campus visitors and attendees at lecture programs over the last several years–the College hosted 7,000 visitors in 2013 alone–has necessitated this expansion, a testament to the growing influence of the College throughout the nation.

Remarks by Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, and Gunnar Klarr, ’75, at the Searle Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

To view full-length videos of remarks at the Searle Center Groundbreaking Ceremony, please click here.

About the Searle Center

With extensive interior and exterior renovations, the Curtiss Dining Hall and Phillips Auditorium will become the new Searle Center. The expansion will add over 24,000 square feet to the dining hall and auditorium, increasing their capacity to 850 and 800 respectively. Features of the renovations include a new portico, colonnade, outdoor patio, spacious lobby, escalator, private viewing area, balcony addition, study room, and offices.

The Searle Center has been made possible by the generous support of friends of the College, and of Louise and Gunnar Klarr. The Center takes its name from the Searle family, who operated G.D. Searle & Company, a successful and innovative pharmaceutical company, during the late 19th century and much of the 20th century.

About Louise & Gunnar Klarr

Louise Searle Klarr is from Illinois. Her family founded G.D. Searle Company, an international pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Louise has a background in animal science, and currently serves as president of her family's cattle business located in Nevada. Appointed by the governor in 2012, Louise is one of seven members of Michigan's Natural Resources Commission, which directs the Department of Natural Resources for the state. 

Gunnar Klarr is a Hillsdale College Trustee and graduate of the Class of 1975. He hails from the Detroit suburbs of Michigan and has worked in his family's retail and construction businesses. He now directs and manages several non-profit ventures, including the Kinship Foundation, Kinship Fellows, Christian Leadership Academy, and Michigan Family Forum.

Louise and Gunnar have five children, two of whom are Hillsdale College graduates: Abigail, ’09, and Sally, ’12.