University of Dubuque Appoints Robbins to Lead Programming for Performing Arts and Campus Center

Jun 20, 2012 | University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

President Jeffrey F. Bullock announced the appointment of Thomas J. Robbins as special assistant to the president and executive director of the University's new Performing Arts and Campus Center, effective August 15, 2012.

"We are so glad to welcome Thomas home to Dubuque, and to have him on board as we work to develop our Fine and Performing Arts program and position the University's new Fine Arts and Campus Center as a regional cultural center," commented President Bullock.  "His experience in higher education and in the community arts world will serve the University well.  We look forward to having him join us in this new campus facility that will serve as a teaching, learning, performing, and gathering place for the University community for decades to come."

A native of Dubuque, Robbins graduated from Hempstead High School in 1987. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in business management from Central College in Pella, Iowa, and his master of arts administration degree through the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.  Following two years as director of marketing for the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Opera, he spent seven years in university arts management positions (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Northern Illinois University). In December 2010, Robbins celebrated his 10th year as executive director of the Schauer Arts and Activities Center, an independent comprehensive regional performing and visual arts center located in Hartford, Wisconsin ( The Schauer Center boasts a Performing Arts Series, Schooltime Matinee Series, Community School of the Arts, and art gallery exhibitions in addition to playing host to several resident tenant community arts groups (band, symphony, chorus, theater, and visual arts guild).

"It has been a true pleasure following the progress of the University's new undertaking over the past several years," stated Robbins upon his appointment.  "I am eager to work to establish this beautiful new venue as an academic and social hub of campus life, while also making a contribution to the regional arts scene. Being a part of the University in these pursuits is a sincere privilege."

In May 2011, the University broke ground on the 84,000 square foot Performing Arts and Campus Center.  The new facility is central to the University of Dubuque campus, and will provide a multitude of venues to serve students, faculty, staff, and the public.  Art by Osmosis is the overarching theme of the new building, inviting people of all walks to happen upon Art in its myriad forms, intentionally and accidentally, as they visit the new center for their work, study, recreation, and entertainment.  The primary functions of the building can be categorized as a casual student campus center and formal public areas, with overlaps of each meant to encourage interaction and interest.  The student areas are designed to provide educational spaces, group and individual study settings, student services, offices, and hospitality; the public areas provide performance venues, associated gathering spaces, gallery space, heritage display, offices, and hospitality.  The Center is slated to open in the Spring of 2013.