Rosemont College Receives $500K Gift to Renovate McShain Performing Arts Center

Posted: August 26, 2013

Rosemont College has received a $500K pledge from Jeffrey & Dianne Rotwitt for the renovation of the McShain Performing Arts Center. The auditorium will be renamed "The Rotwitt Theater at the McShain Performing Arts Center." The Rotwitt gift will provide the funds to support key renovations to the Center.

“McShain Performing Arts Center is an essential part of the College,” said Rosemont College President Sharon Latchaw Hirsh, Ph.D. ’70. “The Rotwitts' gift allows us to move forward with a comprehensive renewal of the McShain Performing Arts Center as opposed to doing renovations piecemeal,” Hirsh continued, “We are grateful to the Rotwitts for providing the resources that will allow The Rotwitt Theater at the McShain Performing Arts Center to offer function, beauty, and inspiration for years to come.”

A Rosemont alumna, Dianne Rotwitt also worked at Rosemont with transfer and international students. “We hope our pledge to Rosemont helps create a performance and learning space enjoyed by present and future Rosemont students, as well as the entire College community,” said Mrs. Rotwitt.

“My hope is that this new auditorium will not only provide a state-of-the-art resource for students, faculty and visitors, but that it will also enhance the spirit that has made Rosemont so vibrant and so special as it continues to grow in the future,” said Mrs. Rotwitt, “Jeff and I are so pleased to provide our gift to the Campaign for Rosemont College to create the Rotwitt Theater.”

Originally constructed in 1953 and known as McShain Auditorium, the space has housed many College events including: Academic Honors Day, Convocation, Presidential lectures, the first ethical symposium launched by Rosemont's Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility as well as multiple multicultural shows, seminars, and concerts.

In 1989, after 34 years of use, the auditorium completed its first major renovation and was renamed McShain Performing Arts Center. Today, additional renovations are needed to upgrade the building’s mechanical and electrical systems and modernize the space in order to accommodate the needs of present-day activities and to increase its appeal to organizations in search for a venue rental.

The Main Line Symphony Orchestra and Wolf Performing Arts Center use McShain annually as their ‘home’ theater, as do other theatrical and dance companies for their shows throughout the year, and these renovations will definitely rejuvenate the popularity of the venue to external organizations.

Dianne Rotwitt worked as an international student and scholar advisor at Rosemont College and the University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Jeffrey Rotwitt, a practicing attorney, is also a real estate developer who includes Sun Center Studios, The Hill at Whitemarsh, and the renovation of 30th Street Station in his portfolio of projects.

The total renovation project cost is estimated to be approximately $700,000.

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Rosemont College is a private, coeducational Catholic institution founded in 1921 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Rosemont offers a comprehensive education through small group and experiential learning experiences while providing campus-wide academic, spiritual, and professional support. We respect and embrace diversity and individuality and promote student’s lifelong success.

Last Updated: August 26, 2013