Northrop Auditorium transforms with the U

As the auditorium reopens, we should remember the building’s important role in history.

Tiffany Trawick

Northrop Auditorium has proved to be a central part of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus since it opened in 1929. The monumental structure has blossomed as a center for prestigious art and as a site of
many demonstrations throughout our campus’s history. As the University reinvests in this beautiful venue, it also reinvests in its past and its
future.

Northrop reopened its doors last week for the grand reopening after a four-year renovation, which cost $88.2 million. In a sense, Northrop has been a long-standing symbol of our campus through time.

In the 1930s, people rallied against World War II at Northrop, as the country was on the verge of joining the war.

On Oct. 15, 1969, Moratorium Day, former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale — who taught on campus until last year — and others called for peace in Vietnam. A few years later, students used Northrop as a safe haven after police sprayed them with tear gas during the Eight Days in May protests.

After 9/11, students, faculty and staff gathered at Northrop’s steps for a vigil to remember their fellow Americans.

Northrop is more than just an auditorium; it’s the focal point of campus. We host international artists and visionaries on its stage; we meet, debate and advance education in its seats; and we capture the attention of the world on its steps.

While the auditorium provides a venue for students, faculty and other members of our community to enjoy theatrical productions, music and more, it will undoubtedly bring others to our campus. With them, we share our University’s story with the world.

Much of students’ time at the University is passing, but Northrop has been a constant, seeing countless young people become leaders. A new Northrop will undoubtedly become a stage for many future talents who will carry the University’s story with them. This is why the renovation and Northrop’s new face is so important.

According to its website, “Northrop is an epicenter of discovery and transformation that connects the University of Minnesota and communities beyond by celebrating innovation in the arts, performance and academics.” Let’s hope Northrop continues to transform with us all.