This is the first story in a series that will explore the people behind the names of buildings on Central Michigan University’s campus. This week, Anspach Hall’s namesake, former CMU President Charles Anspach, is the focus. The information gathered for this report comes from the Clarke Historical Library and CentralLink.
Anspach Hall is one of the most heavily trafficked buildings on campus, where most students complete a large portion of their undergraduate requirements.
The building is named after Charles Anspach, the third president and fifth executive head of Central Michigan University, which was previously the Central State Teachers College. Anspach oversaw the name change, which was applied in 1955.
He served in those positions from 1939-59, after gaining his doctorate degree from the University of Michigan in 1930.
Before coming to CMU, Anspach taught at Eastern Michigan University and was the president of Ashland College in Ohio.
As president, Anspach was known for his excellent speaking skills as well as authoring three books and co-authoring another two.
Anspach, along with his wife, Mary, were the first to live in CMU’s chief executive house, located on Bellows Street. This building was home to several following presidents before being re-named the Carlin Alumni House in 1989.
During his time at CMU, Anspach served as a delegate in the 1962 State Constitutional Convention.
Enrollment tripled, the number of faculty quadrupled, campus grew from seven buildings to more than 40, residence halls expanded from one to eight, CMU received the ability to grant graduate degrees, and CMU gained university status during his term.
After leaving CMU, Anspach spent his time presenting speeches at high school commencement ceremonies and other organizations and worked at EMU on its governing board.
Anspach Hall was dedicated in his name in 1967. The building continues to serve as a social sciences building, which holds classes in English, political science and philosophy.
The building also previously occupied WCMU-TV and Central Michigan Life, both of which have since moved to Moore Hall.
It was recently remodeled for aesthetics and handicap accessibility at a $14.4 million cost.