What is in a Name? Hitchcock Hall

Hitchcock Hall

Annette Holt Hitchcock, namesake for Hitchcock Hall, arrived at Central in 1942 to serve as Dean of Women (a post she held until 1960) and to teach English, which she did from 1942 until her retirement in 1962.

During her time as Dean at Central, Hitchcock, a widow, resided in Kamola Hall, which allowed her to keep a close eye on the young women on campus, making sure they followed the rules regarding curfews and male visitors.

An interview in a 1942 Campus Crier student newspaper notes that she maintained an open door for students—and an open cookie jar.

Prior to joining the staff at Central, she was Dean of Women and an assistant professor of English at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Hitchcock earned a Master of Arts degree (in student personnel) from Teachers’ College at Columbia University in New York City and earlier a BA in English from the University of North Dakota.

Records indicate that Hitchcock was born on October 2, 1890, in North Dakota. She married Raymond Royce Hitchcock, who was a prominent professor of Mathematics at the University of North Dakota, and they had two children.

Raymond Hitchcock taught math at the university from 1910-1937. He was serving as head of the department when he died unexpectedly in 1937 at the age of 56.

Following her departure as the Dean of Women in 1960, Hitchcock moved off campus and into small, two-bedroom bungalow on East 7th Avenue in Ellensburg, where she resided until her retirement in 1962.

Annette Hitchcock photo

It appears that after retiring, Hitchcock at some point moved to Sparks, Nevada, to be closer to her son, Raymond Holt Hitchcock. She also apparently reverted to using her maiden name, Annette Blondie Holt (which appears on her headstone).

She was living in Sparks when she died in 1983 at the age of 92 and was buried in St. Cloud, Minnesota, near her husband.

In 1964-65, Central erected a student housing complex containing four residence halls (two additional halls were built in 1966) designed by famed Seattle architect Fred Basetti. One of the three-story buildings, which are collectively known today as the Bassettis, was named Hitchcock Hall in Annette Hitchcock’s honor.

Perhaps appropriately, when it opened, Hitchcock Hall was restricted to women students.

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