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Roble at 100: The History and Future of Residential Life, Education and Sustainability in Stanford's Oldest Dorm

Roble Hall, 1959
Stanford News Service


  • Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-residence, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford Law School; Resident Fellow, Roble Hall
  • James T. Campbell, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History, Stanford University
  • Laura Jones, Director of Heritage Services and University Archaeologist, Stanford University

When it opened in 1918 as Stanford’s residence for women, Roble Hall was hailed as “one of the most modern and best equipped dormitories in the United States.” An architecturally unique structure, the Beaux-Arts building featured an ornate façade and an unusual number of communal areas for practicing music and theater and encouraging its residents to be socially engaged. Over the decades, it went from housing only women to being co-educational to serving as ethnically-themed housing accommodations. Today, Roble is the oldest continuously operating dormitory on Stanford’s campus and serves as the home of the Roble Living Laboratory for Sustainability at Stanford (ROLLSS), which has resulted in some physical improvements to the building and community spaces within it. In this look at 100 years of Roble, the speakers talked about this iconic structure’s history, its role in pioneering residential life and education at Stanford, and what’s in store for the future.