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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
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Virtual Tour
Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Pray-Harrold


Pray-Harrold (earlier)
Pray-Harrold (present)

Pray-Harrold (earlier)

Pray-Harrold (present)

Historical Name(s): Pray-Harrold

Date Constructed: Built 1969

Architect: Swanson and Associates

Style of Architecture: International

Original Use: Classroom and office space

Dates of Renovation: Unknown

Current Use: Classrooms and Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of African American Studies, Department of Computer Science, Department of Economics, Department of English Language and Literature, Department of History and Philosophy, Institute for Diversity and Business Services, Department of Mathematics, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology.

History: When it opened in 1969, Pray-Harrold was said to be one of the largest

Carl Esek Pray

Carl Esek Pray
Charles F. Harrold

Charles F. Harrold
classroom buildings in the United States. It had been built with an appropriation from the State Legislature for $5.6 million. The exterior was designed to match the architecture of the University Library and other buildings around the central part of campus. The seven-story building accommodated 4,500 students each hour in its 75 classrooms and four lecture halls. Fully air-conditioned, the structure provided office space for 407 faculty members. Functionally, the building was designed with the most heavily used areas, the classrooms and lecture halls, on the first four floors while the offices were located on the top three floors.

Pray-Harrold was named after Carl Esek Pray and Charles F. Harrold. Carl Pray was the extremely popular head of the Social Science and History Department, 1914-38. One senior class was so fond of “Daddy Pray” that they commissioned a bust, which remains in the archives of the Halle Library. Twice the school yearbook, the Aurora, was dedicated to him. Pray always cared about foreign students, and formed classes, called “Immigration Classes,” to help them get comfortable in the United States. In 1944 citizens of Ypsilanti voted him an Outstanding Citizen of Ypsilanti in 1944. He was described as a delightful storyteller to young children, and wrote two articles designed for children, “The Art of Story Telling,” and “What Are the Best Stories for Children?” He died in 1949.

Pray shares the building title with Charles F. Harrold, professor of English Literature, 1925-43. A biographer described Harrold as “a lecturer of great clarity and charm, often holding his students spellbound.” Harrold was known internationally for his work on Carlyle and on Cardinal Newman.

Today, the building remains devoted to classroom and office space.

Location - Pray-Harrold


Location of Pray-Harrold (Click on the image for a bigger view)