This 20,856-square-foot dining and conference hall is a major renovation of the former Curtiss Dining Hall.
The Searle Center seats eight hundred and includes a new spacious entrance and lobby, as well as a completely renovated kitchen. The facility also boasts an escalator, the first one in all of Hillsdale County.
The former Phillips Auditorium is located here, awaiting its own much-needed expansion and renovation.
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.