Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Haggar College Center

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Institution Name: Saint Mary's College
Original/Historic Place Name: Alumnae Centennial Library
Location on Campus: center of campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1941-1942original construction Larson, Jens Frederick
Designer: Jens Frederick Larson
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: cement
Walls: brick
Roof: slate shingles
ca. 1942-1982library
ca. 1982-present (2006)student union

The Alumnae Centennial Library was designed by Jens Fredrick Larson, an internationally known architect and author of Architectural Planning of the American College (1933).
Larson designed buildings for some thirty colleges, including Dartmouth College, where he was resident architect (1919-1920), lecturer (1926-1931), and developer of the college's master plan (1919-1952). He was a partner in private practice from 1926-1969.

The Alumnae Centennial Library served as the college library for forty years, and was home to the Graduate School of Sacred Theology (1943-1967), founded by Sister M. Madeleva Wolff, C.S.C., (1887-1964), the poet-president of Saint Mary's College (1934-1961). This was the first school of theological study for women. As such, the Alumnae Centennial Library building is an important symbol of the contributions of the Sisters of the Holy Cross to the education of women. The term "centennial" refers to the 1941 centenary of the founding of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in LeMans, France. Saint Mary's College was established in 1844 as a college for women, which is its current mission.

The Cushwa-Leighton Library designed by Evans Woollen, Indianapolis, Indiana, replaced the Alumnae Centennial Library as the college library in 1982, and Evans Woollen redesigned the Alumnae Centennial Library as the Haggar College Center in 1982. Woollen added an addition to the rear of the 1940s building that serves as the entry-level college bookstore and a second level outdoor terrace. The structure is among the most beautiful on campus and faces Lake Marian, a man-made rectangular lake with an island and fountain that is one of the focal points of the campus.


Creek, Sister Mary Immaculate. A Panorama: 1844-1977, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Notre Dame, IN: The College, 1977.

McCandless, Marion. Family Portraits, History of the Holy Cross Alumnae Association of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1879-1949. Notre Dame, IN: Saint Mary's College, 1952.

Wagner, Monica. Benchmarks: Saint Mary's College, How it Grew. Notre Dame, IN: Saint Mary's College, 1990.


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Last update: November 2006