Holman and Hafmann halls, the twin titans of historic Southern Michigan central campus, had a storied history. Apparently Clyde Holman and Eugene Hafmann had both attended there as undergraduates and taken an immediate loathing to each other. The fact that housing arrangements in those days were determined alphabetically, plus the dichotomy suggested by their surnames, were apparently enough to result in four years of ribbing from friends (in those halcyon days, students were required to live on campus their entire career, as were faculty, restrictions not lifted until 1947).

Fate took both of them to postgraduate work in mathematics, albeit at Ohio State and the University of Michigan, and Holman and Hafmann were both hired by their old alma mater, itself in the middle of a paroxysm of postwar expansion, after earning doctorates. Offices were, once again, assigned alphabetically and the old enemies found themselves in close quarters…for the next thirty years. Their intense rivalry precluded either one ever becoming chair, and neither would retire before the other. When Holman died in his office late in 1977, he willed a large portion of his estate to fund construction of a new building.

Hafmann, not to be outdone, contributed a matching amount plus one dollar, with the stipulation that his be the larger of the two buildings. His death from a stroke two weeks later made that clause unenforceable; in a fit of irony unprecedented before or since, the architect linked the two buildings.

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