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History of the CLC

The Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center


Through the generous donations of many persons, construction started in May 1995. The $8 million facility was completed in September 1996. The state-of-the art facility was designed by SWBR Architects, Inc. Christa Construction of Victor, NY, served as construction managers.

About Howard Stowe Roberts

Howard Stowe Roberts (1914-1984)
- Great-grandson of B.T. Roberts

- A scholar, leader, patriot, and military hero, who, as a Navy Reserve pilot, participated in the 1937 search for aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

- As pilot of a torpedo bomber in 1940, he managed the first-ever surrender of a submarine to an airplane, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross from the United States, the Distinguished Service Cross from England, and the Red Star from Russia.

- As a Squadron Commander in the Pacific, in 1944 and 1945, he was awarded the Navy Cross for combat effectiveness in the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Silver Star for leading the first strike against the enemy at Manila.

- Captain Roberts retired from the U.S. Navy Legal Department in 1961 to practice law in Pensacola, Florida.

Through many generations, the Roberts family has made major contributions to American life, as well as to Roberts Wesleyan University, from the institution's founding in 1866 by Benjamin Titus Roberts (1823-1893) to the present day, with his great, great-granddaughter, Leighan Roberts Rinker, having served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.

To find out more about Howard Stowe Roberts, click here.


The facilities available for use at the Cultural Life Center are numerous and offer a wide variety to fit not only performance needs but conference services as well.  For more information about any facility in the Cultural Life Center call (585) 594-6812 or email

The Andrews B. Hale Auditorium is a fully professional, climate-controlled performing arts facility with a full complement of lighting and sound equipment and comfortable seating for nearly 1,000 (974 to be exact) in the Skinner Orchestra Section and Cooke Balcony. After the Voller Athletic Center (VAC) arena, it is the largest performance venue on the RWU campus. The Auditorium can support many events, from a single speaker at a podium to a fully-staged theatrical production with orchestra. The Kresge Stage is proscenium style with an area roughly 30' deep and 50' wide, with an ability to extend to 45' deep by the use of the orchestral lift. It has a single purchase counterweight fly system. A Steinway 9-foot piano & Steinway 7-foot were donated to grace the new auditorium.

Backstage houses the dressing rooms and the Studio Theater/Scene Shop. The theater also houses the RWU student drama classes and is home to the Roberts Wesleyan-Community Theatre (RWCCT).

The Robert Shewan Recital Hall is an acoustically superior room with a 30-foot canopy, specially configured for recitals and chamber music. The audience size can be 200. Named in honor of and grateful appreciation to the man who so effectively chaired the Division of Fine Arts at Roberts Wesleyan University from 1969-1996.

The Donald F. and Maxine B. Davison Gallery, located next to the Recital Hall, features works from national, regional, and local artists, as well as Roberts Wesleyan University faculty and the senior exhibit.

The Kodak Atrium is a spacious lobby in the Cultural Life Center. This area is ideal for pre-or post-performance receptions.

The Fred L. Emerson Lobby on the upper level serves smaller receptions.

The Box Office is located on the upper level, adjacent to the main administrative office. The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday (in accordance with the academic schedule), and the window is open one hour prior to ticketed events. Tickets can be purchased and printed at home on line anytime at

There are four Classrooms available for smaller seminars and meetings.  They can also be perfect for breakout sessions for larger conferences that use the auditorium. They are located in the Davis Educational wing, named in recognition of Dallas D. Davis.