Larzelere Hall named after long standing department head

Larzelere Hall has been a cornerstone of north campus since the late 1950's. Designed by architect Rodger Allen of Grand Rapids, the hall’s outside appearance was mirrored from Robinson Hall.

It was first opened in September 1957 at a cost of $1.22 million. One year later, the building was named after Claude Larzelere, who headed the department of history and social sciences from 1900-39.

Larzelere was born in Bowens Prairie, Iowa and came to Michigan as a young boy. He attended grade school in Quincy, Mich., which is just East of Coldwater.

He had an illustrious academic career, receiving various degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago and Oxford University. Larzelere’s biggest academic achievement came in 1900 when he received his master’s degree from Harvard.

While at CMU, Larzelere specialized in Michigan history and government. He was credited with teaching the first college courses in Michigan history and authored two text-books, “The Story of Michigan” and “The Government of Michigan.”

Larzelere was active in the community during his time in Mount Pleasant by heading the Mount Pleasant Board of Education, serving on the city council and working on the city charter commission.

After it’s dedication, Larzelere Hall was designated to be a men's residence hall. It would change to women only from 1959-70. In 1972, it was designated as a residence hall for honors students.


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