Roburn Hall

Historic marker #2100 in Whitley County recounts the history of Roburn Hall on the University of the Cumberlands’ campus. Prior to 2005, the University of the Cumberlands was called Cumberland College.

Roburn Hall was the first building on the campus of the Williamsburg Institute, later becoming Cumberland College. The school and contractor, J. A. Cooley, built the structure in 1888. Initially, the building was known simply as The Institute or the Old Recitation Building and housed many of the school’s activities. The land the building rested on cost approximately $800. The 1887 contract for the building estimated that the building could hold 200 pupils and would cost $12,500 to finish.

In 1928, the Old Recitation Building became a girl’s dormitory. Large oak trees surrounding the structure provided the new name for the dormitory. In Lain, a shorten form of oak or oaken is “roburn”. One of the professors, Dr. E. E. Wood, renamed the building Roburn Hall. The 1928 Cumberland College catalogue stated of Roburn Hall: “This building faces Johnson Hall with Main Street running between them. This is a three-story brick building and is equipped with all modern dormitory conveniences, including lavatories in each room.”

In 1993, the building received an extensive renovation. For a period of time, the dorm was used for men, but in 2013, it became a women’s dormitory again. In 2010, the building was renamed in honor of one of the founders of the school, Dr. E.S. Moss. Now, the dormitory is referred to as either Moss Hall or Roburn-Moss Hall, and houses about thirty female students.