Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Roberts Center - Kingswood Oxford

Archivist's Corner

December 28, 2022

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Roberts Center

Named in honor of Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts, the construction of the Roberts Science Arts Center was a priority back in 1969 due to limited science laboratories space, art classes confined to dark basement rooms, and a music program that had no facilities of its own. With the merger of Oxford and Kingswood, came a need for larger and improved facilities to accommodate not only the increase in the number of students on campus but the need for new educational opportunities. After a successful capital campaign, construction began in 1970 and was completed in the summer of 1972. The Roberts Foundation not only gave a significant amount of funding toward the construction of the Science Arts Center but also funding that would allow the Mark Twain Masquers a permanent home for its Hartford area amateur theater productions on a beautiful stage in the Roberts Center in a 600-seat auditorium. Edward and Ann were long-time members of the Masquers.


In the summer of 1972, in anticipation of the opening of the Roberts Center, the curriculum was expanded to include facilities for the arts-drama, art, photography, music, laboratories and classrooms for the sciences, a typing room, a computer center for math and an auditorium for lectures and school assemblies.


The dedication of the Roberts Center took place on September 21, 1972. The programs included a special assembly for students in the afternoon and an evening gathering for special guests. The keynote speaker was Dr. Margaret Mead. Presentations were given by Kingswood Oxford’s Headmaster, Robert Lazear, and the Mark Twain Masquers of Drama, Instrumental, and Vocal Music.


Kingswood Oxford School has seen many events take place in the Roberts Center Theater through the years, such as our amazing musicals, fall, and spring plays, senior class nights, and concerts highlighting our talented musicians and singers.


KO has opened its doors to the community by offering the stage to outside performances, including the Mark Twain Masquers, ballet recitals, and the West Hartford Orchestra, to name a few.


On December 2, 2022, the school, along with the Roberts Foundation, hosted a very special anniversary celebration. Guests were treated to a walk down memory lane with a special archive exhibit in the KO gallery. The show opened with Day by Day (Godspell), which was performed at the original dedication, sung this time by KO’s Lindsay Perkins. Other performances included a selection of jazz standards played by KO faculty, alum Jake Kulak ‘18 and his band, bass player Nate Reeves, dancer/choreographer Savana Jones, and a special appearance by two-time Tony Award-nominated singer and actress, Kate Baldwin, who performed together with KO students in front of a full house. It was a night to remember!


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