101 N. Superior Project to Become The Ludington Center

The naming recognizes a family’s civic-mindedness and longtime ties to Albion College

June 30, 2016

A renovated downtown Albion building that will serve as a hub for interaction between Albion College, the City of Albion and the region will be named The Ludington Center. The Ludingtons, a Midland-based family, have had a strong interest in the Albion community as well as a distinguished history at the College.

The building currently under renovation at 101 N. Superior St. is scheduled to open late this year. It will be named The Ludington Center in honor of Jack and Dorothy Ludington, both of whom were 1951 graduates of Albion College.

Adjacent to City Hall on Cass Street, the building will be the home of several College and community entities, including the Build Albion Fellows Program, the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management and the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service. The Ludington Center will also serve as headquarters for the 11 AmeriCorps VISTA members due to arrive in Albion this fall. Additionally, the building will serve as a collaborative community space for the City of Albion.

“The Ludington Center brings Albion College into the heart of downtown, which certainly is important all by itself,” said President Mauri Ditzler. “But beyond the physical, bricks-and-mortar connection, it will be the connections made inside the building that will make this undertaking successful.”

Jack Ludington and Dorothy Lamson met as students at Albion, and the couple maintained a lifelong relationship with the College. Jack was a Dow Corning employee who became chairman and CEO of the company during his 42-year tenure. He joined the College’s Board of Trustees in 1979 and served as board chair from 1983 to 1989. In Midland, he served on dozens of local boards. Dorothy Ludington was a lifelong student and active community volunteer.

Dorothy and Jack’s three children graduated from Albion College as well: Thomas Ludington, ’76; Laura Ludington Hollenbeck, ’78; and Annie Ludington Sullivan, ’82.

For Tom Ludington, a U.S. District Court Judge who resides in Midland, the building’s naming is significant on several levels.

Members of Albion College’s Board of Trustees, including U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Ludington, ’76 (bottom left), got a peek inside the 101 N. Superior project on May 12, the day of the hotel groundbreaking just two blocks south.

“My father would have supported the College’s outreach to the community of Albion, to build a closer connection between the school and the community,” said Ludington, currently a College trustee himself.

“I think he’d also be extremely pleased that such fine programs as Gerstacker and Ford will be housed in the building,” Ludington added. “Dad and Mom had great respect for Gerald Ford and Carl Gerstacker, and it would have made them immensely proud to have those programs located in the building.” Gerald Ford was the 38th U.S. President, and Carl Gerstacker was a chairman of Dow Chemical Co. who was also an Albion College trustee.

One other point of pride, Ludington said, has been the leadership of the project’s developer, Sam Shaheen, ’88, a personal friend and a member of the Board of Trustees from Saginaw. “Without his leadership and effort, the project would not have been completed,” Ludington said.

When the doors open, Ditzler said the impact of The Ludington Center will be felt quickly, particularly by students. “It will be an exciting locus of activity that will change what it means to attend Albion College in Albion, Michigan,” he said. “The Ludington Center represents so much for our college, now and in the years ahead.”