University History

Lora Robins Court

Lora Robins Court

Site: South side of Westhampton Way, across from the Deanery
Dedication: May 1, 1980
Architect: Rawlings and Wilson
Size: 66,000 square feet
Cost: Approximately $4 million

Lora Robins Court is the newest of the residence halls on campus and houses only first-year women students. It was built in 1979 and dedicated on May 1, 1980. Funds for the building were given by E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. in honor of his wife, Lora McGlasson Robins. Mr. Robins was a 1931 graduate of Richmond College. A plaque commemorating the dedication was unveiled by Juliet Shield, the eldest granddaughter of Mrs. Robins, on May 1, 1980. Ms. Shield is a 1983 graduate of Westhampton College. In addition to Lora Robins Court the Robins family supported the construction of the Robins Athletic Center, Robins Memorial Hall, and the Lora Robins Gallery of Designs from Nature.

The exterior of Lora Robins Court echoes the Collegiate Gothic influence of other buildings on campus but in a modern, lighter way. The building has four stories and a tower room. A reporter from the Richmond Times Dispatch wrote that “multi-level roofing, coupled with an intricate brick-and-stone design, gives a royal air to Lora Robins Court.” The layout of the building is unique, consisting of three distinct sections, called modules, linked by common space. A university document from 1980 describes the layout:

Lora Robins Court

Each module consists of thirteen sleeping rooms radiating from a central core containing a lounge and other facilities. This ‘pinwheel’ design permits a cluster of 25 students to gather in an environment that encourages group interaction, but is not so large as to be impersonal.

A March 1979 Collegian article reported that with Lora Robins the university would be able to house 984 women in the fall of 1980. Today about 270 students live in Lora Robins Court in double rooms. The ground floor has a lounge that is used for meetings and study groups.

Sources:
Rosenbaum, Claire Millhiser. A Gem of a College: The History of Westhampton College, 1914-1989
UR website
VBHS building file
Collegian 1979