Robertson Hall

1959 - Present

Robbie Hall, 1965
Students bid farewell in front of Robbie Hall, 1965.2


Arizona (Swan, Arizona-McKee)
Dakota (North Dakota)
Santa Barbara (Beardsley)
Wallace (Byler)
Wheatlake (South Dakota)

Robertson is the newest and largest hall. It is the only hall with air conditioning or an elevator. Its lobby might not be as elegant as those the other halls, but it does contain an original wooden phone booth. Raney Dining Room, the Centennial Room, and the kitchen are in Robbie's basement, which means a short walk to meals but a small rec room (and squishy tornado warning sit-ins).

Planning & Construction

In March of 1944, Cottey president Dr. Marjorie Mitchell inquired about purchasing a "cow pasture" west of Missouri Hall.4 Three years later, the land was bought, and the street separating the two blocks was closed. In 1952, President Dr. Blanche Dow recommended that a new residence hall be built with kitchen and dining facilities to serve 400 to 500 people. The President of the Supreme Chapter of the P.E.O., Bessie R. Raney, gave $50,000 toward the new hall.

Another four years passed, and in 1956 the board of trustees proposed that a hall be built immediately, suitable for housing 150 students and feeding 500. In March of the following year, a Mrs. Wright donated $100,000 to the college in memory of her mother, former Nebraska State Chapter President Elizabeth C. Robertson. When the hall was finished in 1959, it was named after Elizabeth Robertson and its dining room was named after Bessie Raney.

Raney Party Room, 1968
Raney Party Room, 1968.6 Later the Red Room; now known as the Centennial Dining Room.
Iowa suitemates dressed for Red Room Dinner, 1976
Iowa suitemates dressed for Red Room Dinner, 1976. (Courtesy Christine Renner.)
Centennial Dinner, 2005
Jocelyn, Anya, and Jen at Co-Thom's Centennial Dinner, 2005. (The vague theme was "accessories.")

Centennial Dining Room

The private dining room adjacent to the kitchen was converted into the "Raney Party Room" in 1967, which students and faculty could reserve for special lunches and dinners.6 It was in use most days of the week, particularly for suite birthday celebrations. The room was decorated with crystal chandeliers, red carpet, walnut paneling, and furniture formerly owned by Bessie Raney herself. Gladys McCue Thompson (who was the very first to be honored with a suite) later donated a set of solid mahogany chairs for the private dining room.7

In 1969 its name changed to "The Red Room," and suites began enjoying formal dinners there twice a year. The name reflected the new d├ęcor, which included "deep red carpet, goblets, china and curtains."11 Advance reservations and a special menu were part of the experience, the same as today. In 1984 the room was again remodeled and christened the "Centennial Dining Room" in honor of Cottey's centennial year. Since then, each suite has had a Centennial Dinner once per year, during which they are served a lavish five-course meal of their choosing. However, in spring of 2009 Cottey President Dr. Rogers announced that Centennial Dinners would be reduced to once every two years per suite. This was largely due to the recession and budget constraints.


  Interiors Exteriors Holidays Miscellaneous  

Robbie Interiors
Seniors in Raney Dining Room, c. 1964
Seniors leave Raney Dining Room at the end of a Saturday dinner, c. 1964.2
Robbie rec room, 1965
"Virginia Jacobi and Brooks Perryman relax in Robbie Rec after finals," c. 1965.2
Robbie exectuive officers, 1965
Robbie exec officers Lynn Dupree and Betty Halvorsen, c. 1965.2
Robbie student assistants
Robbie student assistants, c. 1965.2
Co-Thom Centennial menu, 2005
The Centennial Dinner menu of the day is on display for other diners to see, 2005. (This is Co-Thom's.)
Raney omelet bar, 2005
Members of Wallace Suite on Omelet Bar night in Raney, 2005.
Robbie Exteriors
Robbie Hall, c. 1960
Robbie shortly after it was built, c. 1960.4
Robbie, c. 1976
Robbie, c. 1976.5
Robbie Hall, 1981
Seniors line up for Fun Dinner, c. 1981.
Robbie Hall, 2005
Robbie, 2005.
Robbie Hall, 2005
Another view of Robbie, 2005.
Robbie Hall, 2005
Front of Robbie, 2005.
North side of Robbie, 2005
North side of Robbie, 2005. (Wallace, Santa Barbara, and Co-Thom suites.)
  Robbie Hall entrance, 2005
Robbie Hall entrance, 2005.
Robbie Christmas party, 1965
Bev Larson plays Santa Claus at the Robbie Christmas party, 1964.2
Tearing of the Squares in Robertson Hall, 1964
Betty Halvorsen and Lynn Dupree perform the tearing of the Squares in Robbie lobby, 1964.2
Hanging of the Greens dinner in Raney, 1964
Kristi Bard serves coffee to Chris Vance during Hanging of the Greens buffet in Raney Dining Room, 1964.2
Dana Pugh decorates Robbie parlor, 1975
Dorm President Dana Pugh helps decorate Robbie's parlor, 1975.9
Swan suite at Christmastime, 1975
Swan suitemate, Cooley, "gets a surprise" from Santa in Robbie parlor, 1975.9
Southeastern suitemate Nancy in Robbie parlor, 1975
"Nancy finally makes TV" in Robbie's parlor with Santa Claus, 1975.9
Rec Rats, 1975
"Robbie Rec Rats help make holidays a little merrier," 1975.9
Rec Rats skit, 1976
Robbie Rec Rats perform a Christmas skit, 1976.10
Susprise in Robbie parlor, 1976
Susprise in Robbie Hall, 1976.10
Holiday deer decorations in Raney, 2004
Holiday decorations on the Raney Dining Room stage, 2004.
The deer is sniffing my glass!
"The deer is sniffing my glass!" Susie Klein exclaims, 2004.
Robbie lobby
Robby lobby during Hanging of the Greens dinner, 2005.
  Raney during Hanging of the Greens dinner, 2005
Raney during Hanging of the Greens dinner, 2005.
Bessie Raney, 1937
Bessie Rodrick Raney, Cottey College donor and past Supreme Chapter president of the P.E.O.8
Robbie Hall yearbook page, 2006
Robbie Hall yearbook page, 2006.3
Robertson Hall map
Robbie Hall map, 2005.

Works Cited:

  1. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1947. Print.
  2. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1965. Print.
  3. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 2006. Print.
  4. Stockard, Orpha. Cottey College: The First 75 Years. Joplin, MO: Joplin Printing Co., 1961. Print.
  5. "Cottey-P.E.O. Partnership ... Story of Campus Expansion." The P.E.O. Record Mar. 1976: 2-5. Print.
  6. "Cottey Comments." The P.E.O. Record Mar. 1968: 6-7. Print.
  7. "Gladys McCune [sic] Thompson." The P.E.O. Record Jan. 1975: 23. Print.
  8. "Who's Who on the Supreme Chapter Board." The P.E.O. Record Dec. 1937: 3-5. Print.
  9. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1976. Print.
  10. Sphinx, The. Yearbook. Nevada, MO: Cottey College, 1977. Print.
  11. O'Quinn, Tanya. "Cottey Comments." The Nevada Herald 2 Nov. 1969: 6. Print.
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