Many of the buildings on the Alma campus, as well as major facilities within buildings, have been named in honor of individuals whose exceptional contributions have been particularly significant in helping the College to fulfill its mission. Facilities have been named for former presidents and faculty members, trustees, alumni and many generous benefactors. Information concerning possibilities for naming buildings on the Alma campus may be obtained from the Vice President for Advancement, Alma College, 614 W. Superior St., Alma, MI 48801-1599, or telephone (989) 463-7081.
Bahlke Field. Mr. and Mrs. William A. Bahlke contributed this tract of about eight acres for use as an athletic field in December 1923. Mr. Bahlke was admitted to the bar and moved to Alma to begin his practice the same year that Alma College was founded, 1886. He was involved in local government and in the organization and operation of several businesses. His wife, Mary E., was a member of the Alma College Board of Trustees from 1920 to 1942.
Louanna Baker Jones Auditorium. This 150-seat auditorium in Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center is named in honor of Louanna Baker Jones, Class of 1912, whose generosity has provided facilities and scholarships for Alma students. She never sought recognition, but when she was presented a Founders Day Award at Alma's 90th anniversary convocation in 1976, the power of her example prompted the student body to rise in unison and applaud her.
Bauervic Educational Media Center and Strosacker Collaborative Learning Center. This facility on the third floor of the Swanson Academic Center began with a generous grant from the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation in 1981. A grant from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation in 2002 made possible purchase of high-end multimedia equipment that has turned the space into the Collaborative Learning laboratory. Now in place are workstations for digital imaging, video and multimedia; a large format color printer; and scanner to scan photographs, film and slides.
Beck Courtyard. This courtyard at the center of the Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center is named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Beck of Harbor Springs and their family. Their leadership and support helped make possible remodeling the former Tyler Student Center and Van Dusen Commons to provide a new campus center in 1983-84. Mr. Beck, a member of Alma's Board of Trustees and its chair from 1991-94, has served as an executive with Atlas Disposal; Waste Management, Inc.; Chemical Waste Management, Inc.; and Blockbuster Videos.
Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery. Site of exhibitions of work by Alma students and faculty as well as other professional artists, this gallery is at the heart of the Clack Art Center. It is named in honor of Flora Kirsch Beck, a trustee of the College from 1959 to 1992. Mrs. Beck was on the Board simultaneously with her daughter, Judith L. Maze, who became a trustee in 1972 and served as Chair of the Board from 1994 to 1997. Both have contributed much to the improvement of Alma's programs and facilities.
Bonbright Hall. One of four units of South Residence Complex, erected in 1969-70, this hall is named for Carl W. Bonbright of Flint, who was chairman of the Board of Genesee Merchants Bank & Trust Company and a member of Alma's Board of Trustees for 45 years. Mr. Bonbright replaced his father on the Alma Board in the mid-1920s. He was active in Flint civic and service groups and for 27 years was chairman of the Flint City Planning Commission.
Brazell Hall. This hall in South Residence Complex is named in honor of Reid Brazell, member of the College's Board of Trustees for 44 years (1942-86) and its chair from 1962 to 1970. Dr. Brazell, who began his oil industry career in Oklahoma in 1927, was for many years the president and chief executive officer of Leonard Refineries in Alma. After this company became a part of Total Petroleum (N.A.), Ltd., his leadership continued for a year until his retirement in 1971.
Bruske Hall. A residence hall constructed in 1966-67, this building is named in honor of August F. Bruske, second president of the College (1891-1912). He was a tireless worker for Alma even before he became president, actually beginning his efforts on behalf of the College prior to its founding. A speaker at his retirement program noted that "for Dr. Bruske to live was Alma. 'This one thing I do,' was his motto. He thought Alma, he talked Alma, he dreamed Alma."
Carey Hall. One of the units of South Residence Complex, Carey Hall is named in honor of Walter F. Carey, a member of Alma's Board of Trustees for 45 years, from 1952 to 1997. Mr. Carey, of Petoskey, served as president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, the American Trucking Association, the Michigan Trucking Association and the National Automobile Transporters, and as chairman of the Defense Advisory Council of the National Defense Transportation Association and the National Safety Council.
Clack Art Center. Originally constructed in 1922-23 as Memorial Gymnasium in memory of the veterans of World War I, this building was converted to an art center in 1970-71. It is named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Clack and in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh L. Clack and their four children who died in a 1957 airplane crash. A contingency clause in the wills of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Clack provided nearly a quarter of the funds for the 1970-71 renovation. Robert Clack was a professor and registrar at Alma. Hugh was a member of the Class of 1942, and his wife, Ann, graduated in 1943.
Colina Library Wing. Opened in January 1996, the Colina Library Wing is named in honor of John Colina and his wife, Nancy, of Riverview. Mr. Colina, a member of the Board of Trustees since 1989, served as its Chair from 1997 to 2000. Former Alma Parent Board members, the Colinas have two daughters who are Alma graduates, JoMarie Colina Goerge, Class of 1989, and Lori Colina Lee, Class of 1990. The Colinas generously donated the initial $1 million gift for the wing, which adds 8,000 square feet to the Kehrl Building and houses stacks and student study areas. The $2 million project included a new computer system for library circulation and remodeling of the main floor of the existing structure. The wing also offers students additional resources through three special rooms. The Olofsson Computer Classroom was named by a gift from Gustav Alex and Patricia Newburg Olofsson '52 of Harbor Springs, Michigan, and Stuart, Florida. On the first floor, the Stephen R. Christner Memorial Study Room was named by a gift from Richard and Michele Christner of Big Rapids in memory of their son Stephen, Class of 1997, who died in April 1995. On the second floor, the John R. Smith Memorial Study Room was named by a gift from Rhea Stinson Smith '25 of Big Rapids in memory of her husband John '28.
Dow Science Center. When built in 1958-59, this was the first new academic facility on the Alma campus in more than 50 years. Funding for the $1.5 million building was provided by a grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Mr. Dow was founder of the Dow Chemical Company in Midland. In the late 1980s the same foundation provided a grant of $3 million to make possible extensive renovation of the science center.
Dunning Memorial Chapel. Constructed during the troubled early years of World War II, this chapel is named in honor of Dr. John Wirt Dunning, Class of 1904, the only Alma alumnus to become president of the College (1938-42). Its $75,000 cost was met by contributions from Presbyterians. The largest gift was one of $25,000 from Adam E. Armstrong of Three Rivers. While an Alma student, Dr. Dunning interrupted his studies for a year to serve as a sports writer in Grand Rapids and Los Angeles. He also was a Presbyterian pastor.
Eddy Music Center. The first campus building to be devoted exclusively to the teaching of music, the facility was erected in 1974-75. Funds for construction were made available from the estate of Mrs. Sara Eddy of Flint, and the building is named in her honor. Mrs. Eddy and her husband, Fred G. Eddy, were members of First Presbyterian Church of Flint and were generous friends of Alma. Both were members of pioneer Michigan lumbering families.
Gelston Hall. Members of Alma's Board of Trustees contributed a third of the cost of this residence hall, which was constructed in 1955-56. Additional gifts were made by the Kresge Foundation and other friends of the College. Presbyterian women's organizations throughout Michigan provided funds for furnishings. The building is named in honor of Mary C. Gelston, Alma's first dean of women and a member of the faculty from the College's opening in 1887 until 1906.
Hamilton Commons. Constructed in 1966-68, this dining facility is named in honor of Roy W. Hamilton, sixth president of the College (1943-46). The composer of Alma's alma mater, Dr. Hamilton came to the College as a professor of English in 1919 after serving in the Army during World War I. Before that he was a pastor. He was Alma's vice president and acting president before being named president. After he left the presidency, he taught English at Alma until his death in 1952.
Heather Room. A gift from Saga Food Services, the Heather Room was added to Van Dusen Commons in the early 1960s. It was operated as a public dining room, serving luncheons and dinners, by Saga Foods (now Sodexo Food Services) for a 10-year period until the early 1970s. It is now used for special dining arrangements by both College and community groups.
Herrick Foundation Computer Center. Located in Swanson Academic Center, the offices for Information Technology and the College's computer facilities were dedicated as the Herrick Foundation Computer Center in 1983. The foundation was established in 1949 with Mr. and Mrs. Ray Wesley Herrick as donors. Mr. Herrick was a Ford Motor Company executive and founded the predecessor of Tecumseh Products Company.
Hogan Center. The Hogan Center, built in 1969, was named in May 1999 to honor Romain G. and Helen Kempf Hogan, Alma alumni from the Class of 1928, through a generous gift from their son, James Patrick Hogan of Scottsville, Virginia. This structure provides space for intercollegiate, intramural and recreational athletics, along with a Fitness Center. The three main sections of the building are the Baker Jones Educational Unit, Cappaert Gymnasium and McClure Natatorium.
Baker-Jones Educational Unit. Offices and classrooms of the Hogan Physical Education Center are named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Baker, Louanna Baker Jones and Harold H. Baker, all of Midland, whose contributions to construct the building in 1969 were made in memory of their parents. William Baker, Class of 1914, served on Alma's Board of Trustees from 1953 to 1976. Louanna Baker Jones graduated from Alma in 1912.
Cappaert Gymnasium. The site of intercollegiate and intramural athletic contests and of major campus events such as commencement, this facility is named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Cappaert of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Their generosity helped to make possible the Physical Education Center. A 1942 graduate, Mr. Cappaert was a varsity athlete at Alma.
McClure Natatorium. This facility for intercollegiate and recreational swimming as well as swimming instruction is a popular feature of the Hogan PE Center. It is named in memory of Harold M. McClure Sr., pioneer Michigan oilman and Alma civic leader. A professional athlete before he entered the oil business in 1919, Mr. McClure at one time was mayor of Alma. Funds for the facility were given by Mrs. Harold M. McClure Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Harold M. McClure Jr. of Alma.
Art Smith Arena. Construction on a new gymnasium for the Hogan Center began immediately following commencement in 2008. The estate of long-time Alma residents Arthur L. Smith '38 and Carra Jones Smith '42 provided the $1 million naming gift. The 29,000-square-foot addition to the Hogan Center provides the new home court for Alma’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams. The arena also serves as a primary venue for commencement, convocations, major speakers, concerts and other major campus events. The facility was opened in fall 2010.
Hood Building. The oldest structure on the campus today, Hood Building was originally constructed in 1899-1900 as a museum. During World War I it was a barracks for members of the Student Army Training Corps. Later it was used for instruction of biology and psychology and then for offices. The building was given as a memorial to Francis A. Hood of Saginaw, owner of a barrel manufacturing company, by his widow and his son Frank. The Hood family were members of First Presbyterian Church in Saginaw. In 1975 Hood Building was remodeled for the Admissions Offices by a grant from the Herrick Foundation. The building now houses the Advancement and Marketing and Communications offices.
The Ronald O. Kapp Science Laboratory Center. Opened in September 1990, the Kapp Science Laboratory Center provides laboratories and state-of-the-art scientific equipment to support the College's programs in chemistry and biochemistry. This building honors Dr. Ronald O. Kapp who served Alma College as biology professor, vice president and provost, friend and mentor for 32 years. Dr. Kapp's encouragement of student participation in scientific research played a large role in the design of the Center.
Kehrl Building. The College's library building is named in honor of Floyd A. Kehrl, a Detroit-area banker and generous benefactor to Alma who left a sizable portion of his estate to the College. In recognition of many gifts from Presbyterians for construction of the building, the library's collections are named in honor of the Reverend Mr. John Monteith, the first Presbyterian minister to reach Michigan in 1816. The Dr. Bernard J. Graham Book Collection was established by his brother Ford M. Graham '32, a trustee of the College from 1969 to 1996, along with family and friends. Dr. Bernard J. Graham '26 was a local physician who frequented the library's reading lounge. The Anderson Reading Area was named in memory of John R. and Kathryn Berry Anderson '33. The Olofsson Computer Classroom was a gift of Patricia and Al Olofsson, members of the Class of 1952.
Kimball Court. This garden area on the north side of Eddy Music Center is named in honor of Dr. John R. Kimball, who served Alma from 1959 to 1974 as director of admissions, dean of students, vice president for administrative services and professor of education. The court was a gift to the College from Dr. Kimball's many friends after his death in 1974. An Alma graduate, Dr. Kimball was superintendent of schools at Nashville, Michigan, before working for the College.
Kirk in the Hills Religious Life Center. The lower level of the Dunning Memorial Chapel was remodeled in 2002 with a gift from Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church of Bloomfield Hills. Located there are meeting rooms and the offices of the Chaplain, Center for Responsible Leadership and Service Learning Program.
Klenk Park. Named for former baseball coach Bill Klenk '59, the baseball park northwest of campus on Charles Road opened in March 2000, and in 2002 the Scotland Yard soccer field was added. The Skinner Room, built in 2003, which houses the Alma College Baseball Hall of Fame, is named after Charlie Skinner '39, former faculty member, player and coach.
McIntyre Center for Exercise and Health Science. Opened in October 1997, this building was named in honor of the McIntyre Foundation of Monroe, Michigan. The 6,500-square-foot wing was added to the north side of the Hogan Physical Education Center. The McIntyres have been closely associated with Alma College for many years; the central campus mall is named for them. Mr. Charles S. McIntyre, a member of the Board of Trustees from 1952 to 1982, served as chair from 1975 to 1977, and son James T. McIntyre '69 has been a member of the board since 1983. The Colina Human Performance Laboratory, on the wing's north side, is named for JoMarie Colina Goerge, Class of 1989, and Lori Colina Lee, Class of 1990. Dr. Richard '59 and Mrs. Joanne '60 Heuschele provided a gift to fund the Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory. Gilbert A. and Eleanor Currie funded the Human Anatomy Laboratory.
McIntyre Mall. The scenic mall around which Alma's academic buildings are clustered is named in honor of Charles S. and Marion F. McIntyre of Monroe. Mr. McIntyre was a member of the College's Board of Trustees from 1952 until his death in 1982, chairman of the board of Monroe Auto Equipment Company, and a leader in civic affairs and in the First Presbyterian Church of Monroe. In 2004 the mall was renovated and an obelisk was added that features four important areas of the College's history — the founding resolution by the Presbyterian Synod of Michigan to establish the College, the introduction of the College into the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1902, the alma mater written by Dr. Roy Hamilton in 1922, and a plaque that honors the McIntyre Foundation for its support of the College.
Mitchell Hall. This was the first campus residence to be constructed for men. Earlier men's dormitories, Pioneer and the first Wright halls, were originally built as women's residences and then converted for use by men. It is named in honor of James E. Mitchell, an 1893 graduate who returned to the campus four years later as a professor of history and advocate of student activities. His term of service was longer than that of any other faculty member in Alma's history — 44 years.
Newberry Hall. A women's residence hall constructed in 1961, this building is named in honor of Helen Newberry Joy, who made several gifts to Alma College during her lifetime. After her death, administrators of the Helen Newberry Joy Foundation, which she established, made a gift to the College to make possible construction of this now co-educational residence hall. Her husband, Henry B. Joy, was president of Packard Motor Car Company.
Nisbet Hall. A part of South Residence Complex, Nisbet Hall is named in honor of Stephen S. Nisbet '19, who served on Alma's Board of Trustees from 1944 until his death in 1986. In 1961-62 he presided over the convention that formulated Michigan's present Constitution. An educator and administrator for many years before becoming an executive with Gerber Products Company in Fremont, he was chairman of the State Board of Education and also served with many other state and local groups.
President's House. The President's House provides an on-campus residence for the president and the president's family. Since 1894, Alma College's presidents had resided in what is now Smith Alumni House. The President's House was built in response to needs of Harry Means Crooks' family. The three-story Georgian (Colonial) structure was built at a cost of $36,000 by the Board of Trustees and other friends of the College. During the 1970s the house was used at various times as a music building, conference center and location of the Admissions and Development offices. When President Oscar Remick became president in 1980, the House was restored for use again as the President's House.
Redman Gate. This red brick marker at the corner of West Superior and Grant streets signals the eastern entrance to the campus. Displaying the College's name and seal, the Redman Gate records the College's appreciation for the leadership and significant financial support of Trustee and Mrs. James E. Redman and the Redman Foundation. It also honors the memory of Clara and Harold Redman, James Redman's parents. James Redman served on Alma's Board of Trustees from 1969 until his death in 2004.
Reid-Knox Administration Building. This building was given by Mrs. Annie Reid-Knox as a memorial to her husband, W. Franklin "Frank" Knox, both Alma alumni. Frank Knox came to Alma in 1893 at the suggestion of a Presbyterian pastor, and he left in 1898 to join Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. After the Spanish-American War, he began a career in journalism. He was editor and publisher of The Chicago Daily News when he became the Republican candidate for vice president in 1936. During World War II he was secretary of the Navy. The building's largest room, the Reid-Knox Memorial Room, is a replica of the Knox's living room in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Oscar E. Remick Heritage Center for the Performing Arts. Opened in October 1993, the Remick Heritage Center supports the College's programs in dance, music and theatre. Through its performance hall, theatre, dance studio and supporting facilities, the Remick Heritage Center provides a comfortable setting for applied studies, rehearsals and performances. The initial $2 million gift for the project from the Lawrence Beck family of Harbor Springs was supplemented by the donations of nearly 3,000 other contributors. Beck, a member of the Board of Trustees since 1981, and its chair from 1991 to 1994, named the building to honor his parents, immigrants from Denmark, and all other immigrants throughout the nation's history. Through fund-raising efforts of Michigan Presbyterian churches, the concert hall was named Presbyterian Hall in June 1994. In 2003 the Heritage Center was renamed the Oscar E. Remick Heritage Center for the Performing Arts in memory of the College's 10th president (1980-87), who died in 2002. In recognition of a gift that provided for facility upgrades and equipment enhancements in 2007, the theatre was named The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation Theatre.
Smith Alumni House. Renovated in 1999, the Smith Alumni House is across from Dunning Memorial Chapel at the corner of Philadelphia and Superior streets. Coach Arthur L. Smith '38 and Carra Jones Smith '42 provided the naming gift for the renovation. The Board of Trustees purchased the property from Dr. August Bruske, Alma's second president, in 1917. The house was known as Kirk International Center from 1982 to 1999 and was named after Dr. Florence A. Kirk, professor of English from 1954 to 1967. As headquarters for the Alumni Relations Office, it has space for Alumni Board meetings and receptions, and houses displays of memorabilia and guest rooms for visiting alumni.
Jerry G. Smith Atrium. The atrium, located on the second floor of the Swanson Academic Center, is named for Dr. Jerry G. Smith '65. Dr. Smith was Alma's first Africa Fellow (later the Jerry G. Smith Global Service Fellow) in 1963 and was the recipient of the Barlow Trophy in 1965. The Global Service Program annually provides one or more Alma students with the opportunity to have a teaching internship in a developing area such as Africa or India. In memory of Jerry G. Smith, following his death in 1972, gifts from members of his family and friends provided a bronze memorial sculpture by Glen Michaels for the atrium.
Alan J. Stone Center for Recreation. Named after Alma College's 11th president, Alan J. Stone (1988-2000), this 53,000-square-foot facility houses four courts and a suspended three-lane track. Each court has tennis, basketball and volleyball lines, and one of the courts is designed for in-line hockey and indoor soccer. The Center, which opened in 2001, also includes a spacious fitness room, a climbing wall, and a multi-purpose room.
Strosacker Library Expansion. In 1986, a major gift from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation of Midland made possible an expansion of the Kehrl Building. The Special Collections Room and Archives of the Strosacker Library Expansion were named in honor of former head librarian Helen MacCurdy '36, who served on the library staff from 1950 to 1979.
Swanson Academic Center. The College's main classroom and faculty office building, Swanson Academic Center is named in honor of President Emeritus Robert D. Swanson (1956-80) and his first wife, Roberta B. Two-thirds of the present campus buildings were constructed during President Swanson's administration. With assistance of a $500,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, construction of Swanson Academic Center began in 1972 and was completed by Winter Term 1974.
Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center. Originally two separate buildings that were constructed in the early 1950s, this campus center is the result of a 1983-84 renovation project funded by a $200,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation and gifts from other friends of the College. Dr. and Mrs. Leon Tyler of Niles gave $200,000 for construction of one of the original buildings in memory of their son Jerry and his family, who died in the LaSalle Hotel fire in Chicago in 1946. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Van Dusen of Detroit gave $250,000 for the other original structure.
Wilcox Medical Center. This building was constructed in 1969 to provide temporary office space for faculty who were displaced by a fire that leveled the College's principal classroom and faculty office facility. When a new academic center was completed in 1974, a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Rex A. Wilcox of Alma made possible conversion of part of the structure as a medical center. It also is used for College mailing and copy operations. Dr. Wilcox was a member of the Board of Trustees and physician for College athletic teams.Wright Hall. Named for and built on the site of one of the College's first residence halls, Wright Hall is a model of environmental sustainability. The newest residence hall balances the heritage of old Wright Hall with the needs of today's students. Opened for residency at the start of Winter Term 2005, the new building is designed for 60 students in double and single rooms equipped with private baths, living rooms and kitchens. Designed to be more like apartments than dorm rooms, the building includes suites and apartments conducive to the "family" atmosphere Alma College projects. The building has rooms set aside for student collaboration and game rooms. Keeping with the commons theme envisioned in the College's strategic plan, a Commons Area provides a venue for social activities and a place for student poets, musicians, actors and artists to showcase their talents. Alumni's fond memories of the first Wright Hall provided the financial impetus for the name and construction.