PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Brown community will celebrate the completion of the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center in Faunce House during a dedication ceremony on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010. The ceremony will include remarks by President Ruth J. Simmons, Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch, Chancellor Emeritus Stephen Robert, and several student leaders. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on the College Green.
The Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center was created with a $20-million renovation of the 1904 Faunce House building, considered by many as the “heart” of Brown’s College Hill campus. Robert provided the lead gift for the project, which was supported by three additional anonymous gifts.
Designed by the Boston-based firm Schwartz/Silver Architects, the project installed a floor-to-ceiling glass entryway in the iconic Faunce Arch, which leads to an Information and Welcome Center for visitors and prospective students — a symbolic “front door” to campus. Additionally, the building now features an updated food venue (the Blue Room), space for a variety of student organizations, expanded dining and informal gathering areas, and an upgrade of the building’s systems and accessibility.
“The Stephen Robert Campus Center, located physically at the center of so much of campus life, is already creating wonderful new opportunities for joint projects and performances, new conversations and connections. From the multipurpose room to the Blue Room, from Leung Gallery to the new archway entrance, this vibrant place is alive with the activity we long imagined as part of such a center,” Simmons said. “Our students have long spoken of the need for more shared space for these kinds of activities and Steve Robert, hearing that call when he was chancellor, responded. We owe him a great big campus bear hug for making this exciting venue possible.”
The need for an updated campus center was identified in the Plan for Academic Enrichment, which placed a premium on creating an environment in which Brown students, faculty, staff, and others would feel part of a community and take advantage of the many learning opportunities that exist outside the classroom.
“I am deeply proud to have been able to play a role in transforming this space to serve students and the broader community," said Robert, a 1962 Brown graduate who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2007. "I could not be more pleased than to see it come to life, enhancing student life and fostering interaction among people from across the University." (See a slide show of Robert’s first visit to the new campus center in August.)
History of Faunce House
Faunce House is one of the University’s most important and cherished buildings. Constructed in 1904, courtesy of John D. Rockefeller, it was originally envisioned as an area “devoted primarily to the social and religious uses of students.” It was expanded in the early 1930s, thanks to John D. Rockefeller Jr, a member of the Class of 1897, and named, at his request, to honor Brown’s ninth President, William Herbert Perry Faunce. This expansion and renovation, which added dining facilities and a theatrical space, ensured that Faunce House would become among the most important student facilities on campus. The building was rededicated in 1989 following another significant renovation to update the building and create improved spaces for students.
Renovation for the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center began in summer 2009 and was completed in August 2010. The project directly supported over 155 temporary jobs in Rhode Island in construction and related industries, according to an independent analysis by Appleseed Inc. of New York.