Swallow Robin Hall

Swallow Robin Hall was built in 1916 under the famous African-American architect Samuel Plato, who has buildings that appear in the National Register of Historic Places. Closed in 1986 for failing to meet fire safety standards, the historic hall was renovated and reopened four years later through the urging of Taylor conservationists. Swallow Robin is the oldest remaining hall on campus and Taylor’s third oldest building. It is co-ed and houses just 75 students, making it the smallest hall on campus and strengthening its family feel.

Residents often hang out in the downstairs lounge, which feels very much like a “family room” away from home. Hall activities include weekly all-hall worship, a yearly "Swalloween" Party and an annual large-scale Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament. Each year the residents of Swallow Robin host Swallow Robini, an Italian dinner prepared and served by students, which transforms the lounge into an Italian restaurant.

Namesake: Sarah Swallow and Leah Robins

Rebecca Swallow née RobinsRev. Silas C. Swallow was a Pennsylvania minister and leading Prohibition crusader who ran for United States President on the Prohibition Party ticket in 1904. Swallow and his wife, Rebecca, were Taylor benefactors who became increasingly interested in the University at the height of the Prohibition movement. At that time, Taylor’s chapter of the Intercollegiate Prohibitionist Association dominated state prohibition oratorical contests year after year, and Taylor served as the Indiana state headquarters of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (Taylor president Monroe Vayhinger’s wife, Culla, was president of the organization’s Indiana branch). 

Taylor’s Prohibition activism likely inspired the Swallows’ decision to provide the leadership gift for the construction of a new residence hall. The couple asked the hall be named in honor of their mothers, Sarah (Sally) Swallow and Leah Robins (Rebecca’s maiden name was Robins). Sarah was a mother to seven children and Leah to eight. The pair of Pennsylvania mothers were strong servant leaders in their homes, ministering to their families and having such a powerful impact their children chose to honor them and their example.

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