Searle Center Exterior

Searle Center

With the elegance and grandeur of a big-city ballroom, the Searle Center is a primary location for dinners, receptions, and events.

Dedicated in 2015, the 24,000-square-foot Searle Center seats 800 people and includes an open, spacious lobby with an escalator. Located inside the Searle Center is Plaster Auditorium, where lectures and concerts are held. Events such as the renowned Center for Constructive Alternatives lecture series and Curate’s annual summit, the President’s Ball, and the Senior Dinner take place in the building. The Searle Center takes its name from the Searle family’s pharmaceutical company, G.D. Searle and Company.


315 N West Street
Hillsdale, MI 49242


The College originally provided dining service on the first floor of East Hall. The dining service was transferred on May 25, 1959, to the then-new Curtiss Dining Hall, which is connected to the Dow Conference Center. Students ate their meals here until 2008, when the Grewcock Student Union opened. Curtiss Dining Hall and various rooms in the Dow Conference Center also hosted meals for guests at campus lectures. In recent years, however, the increasing number of campus visitors necessitated a larger dining hall.

Dedicated in October 2015, the Searle Center takes its name from the Searle family, founders of G.D. Searle and Company, a pharmaceutical company that rose to industry prominence with the development of products such as Dramamine and Metamucil.

Hillsdale College trustee and alumnus Gunnar Klarr, ’75, and his wife, Louise Searle Klarr, provided the leadership funding for this renovation and construction project.