150 Years: 1866 - 2016

Celebrate #Roberts150 With Us

Roberts Wesleyan College has officially turned 150 years old!  It is our hope that alumni everywhere will be able to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime Sesquicentennial celebration whether online by sharing your memories, attending events on campus or in your area, or visiting our website for stories, images and information on upcoming activities. We welcome alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff to be part of our 150th anniversary celebrations!


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View our timeline of the last 150 years

To view a more detailed timeline for Roberts and Northeastern Seminary click here

1866

Chili Seminary

Established by Benjamin T. Roberts & opened in 1869

1885

Chesbro Seminary

The school was renamed A.M. Chesbrough Seminary

1893

B.T. Roberts Memorial Hall 

Named in honor of B.T. Roberts and currently the home of Northeastern Seminary.

1893

Cox Hall

Named in honor of businessman Edward Cox. First public event held in Cox Hall was the funeral of B.T. Roberts in February 1893.

1921

President George W. Garlock

Served as President of Roberts & Seminary from 1921-1930

1926

The Arch

is gifted by the class of 1926

1933

President Merlin G. Smith

Served as President of Roberts & Seminary from 1933-1957

1935

Carpenter Hall

Named in honor of Adella P. Carpenter. A four story, 36,000 square foot building built in 1935 and updated in every way, now with geothermal energy system

1945

Roberts Junior College

The school was renamed Roberts Junior College

1949

Roberts Wesleyan College

A charter is obtained to provide a four-year curriculum and another name change to Roberts Wesleyan College

1962

DeBarr Residence

Named in honor of Anna & Duran DeBarr (Uncle Buck), Dir. Of Campus Services, bookstore, and College bus driver, 1971-1992.

1962

Mohnkern Residence

Named in honor of Donald Mohnkern, Registrar 1960-1992.

1962

Morrow Residence

Named in honor of Jean & Dave Morrow, Dir. Of Admissions & Dean of Students 1967-1982

1962

Sittig Residence

Named in honor of William Sittig, Chairman of Board of Trustees, and Ruth McIntyre Sittig, professor 1949-1983

1962

Whittingham Residence

Named in honor of Dorothy Whittingham, chair of Nursing Division, professor 1954-1986

1964

Hasting Center for Academics

Named in honor of Bob & Mary Hastings, friends of the college. 

1964

Anderson Residence

Named in honor of Harry F. Anderson, professor and beloved coach, 1933-1976

1964

Magill Residence

Named in honor of Stanley R. Magill, professor 1947-1985.

1964

O'Brien Residence

Named in honor of John D. O'Brien, faculty 1931-1969

1964

Updyke Residence

Named in honor of Howard E. and Cora Updyke, literature professors, Academic Dean 1934-1969

1965

Presidents's Home

Current home built in 1965 under President Ellwood(Woody) & Beth Voller.

1965

Beeson Hall Residence

Named in honor of Lillian & J. Eslie Beeson, professor 1926-1967

1968

Miner Hall

Named in honor Burdette N. Miner, Chairman of Board of Trustees 1930's.

1968

Garlock Commons

Named in honor of President George W. Garlock. The Ellen Stowe Roberts dinning room, named to honor the wife of B.T. roberts is located within the commons.

1968

Smith Science Center 

Named in honor of President Merlin G. Smith

1981

President William C. Crothers

Served as President of Roberts & Seminary from 1981-2002

1987

Voller Athletic Center

Named in honor of Ellwood A. Voller, President 1957-1968

1989

Dr. William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr.

Honorary Alumus

1990

U.S. Ambassador Kirk Wagar '90

United States Ambassador to Singapore

1992

Master's of Education degree

Master's level programs introduced, starting with Med

1996

Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center

Named in honor of Howard S. Roberts, great-grandson of B.T. & Ellen Roberts; decorated naval officer.

1996

Adams Residence 

Named in honor of Jean & Paul L. Adams, President 1974-1981

1996

Dailey Residence

Named in honor of Florence & Alton Dailey, alumni Class of '23, business manager, trustee, and benefactors 

1998

Northeastern Seminary

NES is chartered to provide theological education at Roberts Wesleyan College

2000

SIFE

Roberts Wesleyan College chapter of Students in Free Enterprise was formed

2001

September 11

Roberts responds to September 11 inside and outside classrooms to issue disaster relief

2001

Rinker Community Service Center

Named in honor of David & Leighan Roberts Rinker, a 5th generation decendent granddaughter of B.T. & Ellen Stowe Roberts; both trustees of the college.

2001

Davison Hall Residence

Named in honor of Donald & Maxine Davison, benefactors and friends.

2002

President John A. Martin

Served as President of Roberts & Seminary from 2002-2014

2007

B. Thomas Golisano Library

Named in honor of local businessman, entrepreneur, & friend of the college.

2008

Jenn Suhr '04

Olympic Silver Medalist Winner

2012

Jenn Suhr '04

Olympic Gold Medalist Winner

2012

Redhawks

From Raiders to Redhawks - an image of physical, spiritual, and intellectual significance 

2012

Outdoor Athletic Center

Completion of the stadium facility including, locker rooms, training room, and consession stand

2012

Clock Tower

Dedicated to Dr. Bill & Rilla Crothers

2014

NCAA Division II

Roberts becomes full member of NCAA Division II

2014

President Deana L. Porterfield

Presidential inauguration September, 26 2014 and currently serving as President of Roberts & Seminary 

2015

Crothers Science & Nursing Center

Named in honor of President Bill & Rilla Crothers.

2016

Doctorate of Psychology 

Doctorate level programs introduced, starting with PsyD

HEAR OTHERS’ STORIES OF THEIR TIME AT ROBERTS


Roberts has made me a better person. This school has challenged me to strengthen my Christian faith. It’s easy to with such a loving environment. Professors pray in class for our well-being and are open and supportive about things going on outside of school. I’ve made life-long friends here through my teammates on the basketball team. “We’re the closest team I’ve ever been on since I came to Roberts. -Asia Dingle, Psychology 2018
Professors in the Graphic Design program have helped me exceed my own expectations.  I feel very prepared to do work in this field after college. I’ve not only learned the technical information needed, but also how to apply what I’ve learned to real jobs. I’m thankful to the professors who went the extra mile for me. Their encouragement, experience, and advice on Packaging Design have helped me grow as a professional, and all I had to do was ask.-Jameson Hoffman, Graphic Design 2017


Roberts is a lens allowing me to see God’s blessings. In my first semester at Roberts I saw God moving through others and myself. I feel very grateful for being accepted by others here in a way that I have never experienced before. My friends on the tennis team, SMAC, dorm mates, and everyone in between have become my college family. They motivate me to be a stronger individual. -Joshua Moore, Physical Education 2019
A surprise awaited me at Roberts, and little did I know it would be an unexpected act of generosity. I was headed to financial aid to talk about my bill when the act occurred. As I sat down with the financial aid counselor to check my account, something amazing happened. $200 was paid towards my bill. An anonymous gift was given to me by a student who had overheard my situation. At first I thought it was a mistake, but the blessing was real. -Kristen Mattison, Math Education 2017


Roberts has transformed me into a more patient woman. Coming into Roberts, I was young-minded and shallow. I didn’t take time to hear other people’s opinions. Now, I may not agree with someone, but I will at least hear them out. Someone who took part in my transformation was one of my professors. Carrie Starr has been a huge influence on me since freshman year. She’s always willing to lend an ear, offer advice, and work with students on a personal level. -Lakiah Huff, Business Management 2016
Roberts was the place where I could play the sport that I love: basketball. Playing at Roberts made me very disciplined with time management, maintaining my grades, and communicating with my professors. The best part of playing was being part of a team. That’s one of the reasons I came back to play in the alumni games this February. I got a chance to play with players I hadn’t seen since the beginning of my career. -Marissa Bunce, Alumni as of 2013


At Roberts I have discovered my best self. I was searching for a school that put emphasis on spiritual growth and character as well as education. Roberts was that school. My approach to business has been transformed here. As a management and social entrepreneur major, I’ve learned to make business less about self-gain and more about the value of creating jobs.  Roberts has taught me values and purpose that will prepare me to be a steward to those I impact. -Nic Grunert, Management Major 2017
One of my favorite memories from my time at Roberts was during our SIFE (Enactus) trip to Guatemala. Professors Carrie & Erv Starr took us to climb an active volcano. Once we got to the top, we had to "slide" down the volcanic ash to get back down, which felt like skiing in a ball pit. In the midst of sliding down my foot got caught on something and I did a split as I slid down, tearing my pants completely down the middle! When I got on solid ground, I was mortified because I had to hike 4 hours down the mountain with torn pants. Thankfully Erv came to my rescue and gave me an extra pair of pants that he had. I will never forget that day or the lengths that Erv went to make sure I could make it down the mountain with dignity!  -Michelle Cronk, Alumni as of 2007


In the fall of 1955, my freshman year, Roberts had never had a soccer team. I got together with Ed Stam, Jack Bates, Gary Chatterton and a couple of other friends in Roberts Hall Dorm (by the way that was the last year Roberts Hall was used as a dorm) and we ask Garth Stam, the basketball coach, if we could start a soccer team. Garth agreed and we put together a really good team and Garth quickly filled a schedule. Roberts has had soccer every year since. It was a lot of fun. Basketball started right after soccer and we were in great shape from all the running. I was able to start at point guard to my surprise which made my freshman year so great. -Harlan Dotson, 1959
Coming to Roberts, I was very shy. I was homeschooled and I wasn’t sure what to expect once I arrived here. Later, I felt very comfortable in the Roberts environment and I’ve become a lot more social. I’ve gotten the opportunity to study what I’m passionate about: Art. My classes allow for a lot of one on one attention, but at the same time, I am able to bond with other art students. Our schedules make it easy for us to spend a lot of time together.  -Caitlyn Montes, Painting 2017


Roberts wasn’t where I started my education, but I’m glad I’m ending here. The day I spoke in front of the Honors Department about Diversity stands out in my mind. Dr. Mrs. asked me to speak in part because of my Native American background. It was quite the experience to take part in Q & A with no boundaries and to hear different perspectives on the topic. Questions were asked that couldn’t be answered easily, setting the stage for a very open discussion. -Alexis Wilson, Communication 2016
I’ve only been at Roberts for a short time, but the impact on me has been tremendous. Roberts has helped me become a better man. I’ve grown in my maturity and in my relationship with God. Chapel has been a positive force motivating me to pursue God further. Classes at Roberts are also more structured than at my last school. Professors here aren’t satisfied with minimum effort. They push you to get your assignments done and to do them well.  -Davon Jackson, Business Management  2017


Hearing the story of Pres. Bill Crothers and his wife Rilla made me think, “This is a place I want to work.” Dr. David Basinger, a professor of Phil Ethics at the time shared a scenario in his class, where the Crothers were found to be cannibals who cooked up unsuspecting students and made meatballs of them to serve their guests. Upon hearing about the class, Rill and Bill made meatballs and brought them to the Phil Ethics class. The story served as impetus for me to do a few "unorthodox" activities with my students including: shooting blow-guns in class, turning everything in Dean Bovee's office upside down, and asking students to stand on tables, sit on floors, or dance blindfolded in the hallway.” -Ervin Starr, Professor of Management; Director, Undergraduate Business Program
Roberts is a wonderful atmosphere to sing for God. Gospel Choir allows me to express myself and give God glory with people who love Him as much as I do. I love to sing with this amazing group of people. Every meeting is a good time and everyone there is fun to be around. We are able to goof around while accomplishing a lot. Gospel choir is filled with enthusiasm and I love being a part of it.  -MaiJoi Sharp , Liberal Arts 2019


At Roberts, it’s always a good time. I remember the Friday before school started vividly. Salt hosted orientation and it was a blast. We were split into teams with people we didn’t already know to play the Human Scavenger Hunt.  We were running around at 9 o’clock at night with a list of clues, adrenaline pumping, and competitive spirit. It made the night even better when my team came in first. -Theresa Lippa, Business Administration with a minor in Mathematics 2018
The moment I walked on stage at Roberts, I felt like I belonged. My first performance in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe taught me a lot about myself and acting. I really saw the difference between High School Theater and College Theater after auditioning and playing my part. Theater has taught me teamwork and independence.  -Derick Trost, Cross-Disciplinary 2019

150stories
150stories

Roberts means opportunity. If I had gone to my dream university, I would never have gotten the unique experience I’ve had here at Roberts. Maybe then, I wouldn’t have had the courage to study abroad at Oxford either. The support from professors here is almost like having second parents. They are really attuned to what you want to achieve and how to get you there. -Kate Hill, Art & Business Major 2018
Roberts is a place where I feel safe and cozy because the people I love are here. I’m glad I found my home away from home.  -Leeana Hess, International Business 2016

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150stories

There is a great width of Christianity at Roberts. Contrary to the atmosphere at Roberts, I grew up in Ohio where there were only two denominations: Baptist and Pentecostal. Roberts is a free Methodist school and I was surprised to find out that Free Methodism is a fore runner of Pentecostalism. Regardless of the denomination, this school is an organization where faith is active and not limited to the campus. Professors step outside of Roberts to engage with the community. One professor came to my church to speak life into young people and attended the Promise Keepers’ meeting. -Dr.  John Walker, Professor of Applied Management and Decision Science
God led me to Roberts. I moved into a neighborhood down the street six years ago. Having finished updating the interior, I asked God what was next. He told me there was a cashier position at Roberts, to go apply, and claim the job as mine. So, I did! Now, in my third year, I am still blessed and honored to see smiling student faces day after day.   -Meg Bacon, Garlock Cashier

150stories
150stories

Roberts transforms its students. My daughter was a Psychology major and my son was a Religion and Philosophy major at Roberts.  I watched my shy daughter grow into a very independent woman who was willing to go out and meet new people. In my son, I saw a growing passion and a heart for prayer. While at RWC he and a group of friends would come together to pray for the campus each evening at 10 o’clock.  Both my children were impacted and were able to influence others at Roberts. -Cheryl Johnson, Program Coordinator at the Chesbro Center
If I had to associate one word with Roberts, it would be calling. Roberts is a place where students are called to their passions and fields where they will serve the world best.  I’ve worked at Roberts for 31 years and each year I enjoy helping young people find their way. I think I learn more from the students than they learn for me. In short, teaching challenges me to go to the Lord for everything.  -William H. Todd, Professor of Marketing 

SHARE YOUR MEMORIES OF ROBERTS USING #ROBERTS150