Central Hall

Central Hall

Central Hall holds many administrative offices, including the Business Office, Admissions, Financial Aid, Human Resources, the Deans’ Offices, and the Registrar’s Office.

The receptionist at (517) 437-7341 can provide individual extension numbers for the various offices and buildings on campus.

Address

33 East College Street
Hillsdale, MI 49242

Opening Hours

School Year
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Summer
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Contact

(517) 437-7341

History

The crown jewel of Hillsdale College, Central Hall towers above the campus and surrounding area as the enduring symbol of the College. It stands on the site of the original college building, a multi-winged structure constructed in 1853.

In March of 1874, a fire destroyed two-thirds of that building. Hillsdale’s students, faculty, and supporters rallied together and pressed forward with plans to replace that which was lost. Just five months later, the College laid the cornerstone for Central Hall, and it was completed the following year. A Bible placed inside the cornerstone bears the following prayer: “May earth be better and heaven be richer because of the life and labor of Hillsdale College.”

In 1953, the tower of Central Hall became unstable and started to lean, due to the weight of the cast-iron bell inside. The Octavus Jones & Company Troy Bell Foundry of Troy, New York, a foundry on the Hudson River that had manufactured cannons for the Union artillery in the Civil War, had cast the bell from Civil War bullets for the College in 1875.

Although the administration determined that it would be more cost effective to remove the tower, the students and community wanted to preserve it. After further analysis, administrators found that they could remove the bell and preserve the tower, the historic symbol of the College. Students mounted a “Save the Tower” drive and raised eight thousand dollars for the bell’s removal and the tower’s renovation. As a gesture of gratitude to those in the community who had contributed to “Save the Tower,” the College invited “Peanuts” cartoonist, Charles Schultz, to give a lecture at the local high school. As its class gift, the Class of 1957 provided funding for the historic bell to be preserved and displayed nearby.

Additional Central Hall renovations completed in 1998 included a new front porch and limestone steps, a new slate roof restored to its original “fishscale” design, new windows, extensive brick restoration, and further restoration on the tower.

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