Arizona State College (ASC) built Tinsley Hall in 1964 as a male dormitory. ASC named the hall after Dr. William W. Tinsley, who came to Northern Arizona State Teachers College in 1927 and served in several capacities during his thirty-five year tenure. His legacy lives on in his scholarship created to aid students in the field of social studies.
Tinsley Hall has housed the Modern Language House and Office of International Programs. In 1996, Tinsley switched from a male-only residence to coed. Today the structure houses the Community Development Center, Office of Diversity and Student Life, and Programming Assistance. A Tinsley hall traditions is the name "Tinsley Crazies," which was given to a group of hall residents who actively attend social and sporting events.