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The 375-seat concert hall at the Mahaney Center for the Arts has been renamed the Olin C. Robison Concert Hall.

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Middlebury Concert Hall Named for Former College President Olin C. Robison

June 23, 2015

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The 375-seat concert hall at the Mahaney Center for the Arts will be named for Olin C. Robison, who served as Middlebury’s thirteenth president from 1975-1990. The new name, as approved by the Board of Trustees at their May meeting, is the Olin C. Robison Concert Hall.

“I am delighted to announce this tribute to a past Middlebury leader who made a lasting impact on the arts at Middlebury,” said President Ron Liebowitz. “Among Olin’s significant achievements, the College broke ground on what we now know as the Mahaney Center for the Arts, a creative hub for music, dance, theatre, and art.”

Olin C. Robison

“Our concert hall plays a vital role in the cultural life of our students and the campus community,” said Liebowitz. “Naming the hall for Olin is a fitting honor that recognizes one of the things he especially valued at Middlebury.”

The Olin C. Robison Concert Hall is an acoustical marvel with a 27-foot by 40-foot elliptical stage and a wraparound balcony. The hall hosts more than 300 events annually, including the Performing Arts Series, which attracts renowned chamber artists from around the world, as well as concerts, lectures, symposia, rehearsals, and classes.

“Robison Hall is an outstanding concert hall with amazing acoustics, a specialty of the architectural firm of Hardy, Holzman, and Pfeiffer, who designed many fine concert halls around the country,” said Pieter Broucke, professor of history of art and architecture, and director of the arts. “We hear from many of our world-class performers such as Paul Lewis and Richard Goode that they love to perform in this space because of its superb acoustics.” 

Robison became president of Middlebury College in 1975 at the age of 39, and presided over a period of significant growth at the College. In addition to launching the Center for the Arts, he increased the size of the faculty, directed a successful $80-million capital campaign, established the School in Russia and the summer Arabic School, built Coffrin Residence Hall, acquired and converted the College Street School into Twilight Hall, and started the first-year seminar program, which is the foundation for academic advising at the College. After stepping down as president of Middlebury, Robison was later named the president of the Salzburg Seminar, a post he held until his retirement in 2005. Robison currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.