Carleton announces gift, music addition to Weitz Center

9 May 2016

Northfield, Minn.—A gift of $20 million from Barbara ’70 and Wally ’70 Weitz and family—including children Katie ’96, Roger ’99 and his wife Kate, and Drew ’02 and his wife Meredith ‘02— will make possible a music performance commons addition to the Weitz Center for Creativity.

The planned music addition will house the music program and create a new performance space of high acoustic quality to replace the existing Concert Hall. These facilities will support a broad range of curricular and co-curricular music and performance needs and will further integrate creativity across the disciplines as rehearsal spaces, the music resource library, and teaching studios are relocated to this space.

The Weitz Family gave an initial $15 million gift in 2007 to help make possible the Weitz Center in its current form. The Weitz family is the largest single donor in Carleton history after giving $25 million during the last campaign.

“I’m thrilled that Carleton’s music department will have new facilities that match the excellence of the curriculum and faculty, as well as the music-making and music-appreciating opportunities on campus,” Roger Weitz said. “Music is an integral part of the lives of so many Carleton students, both music majors and non-music majors alike.  I hope these new facilities will help add to the number of both.”

The planned $36 million addition will be funded from gifts and long term debt with construction set to begin construction in May 2016. With an anticipated completion date of August 2017, the facility would be available to the Carleton community for the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year. A public groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 13, 2016.

“The Weitz family’s vision and generosity is humbling—a singular example of the dedication of Carls to their alma mater and the strong tradition of giving that exists here at Carleton,” Carleton President Steve Poskanzer said. “Their name is already synonymous with this successful facility, and the College is profoundly grateful for their commitment to ensuring that music continues to be a robust and vibrant part of the Carleton curricular and co-curricular experience.”

The need for a new music performance facility was addressed in Carleton’s strategic plan and facilities master plan, as 800 Carleton students are annually involved in curricular and co-curricular musical activities. The new addition includes a 400-seat performance hall; rehearsal spaces that range in size for individuals or small groups; faculty offices and studios; and two gathering lounges for before and after performances. The new building includes 13 individual practice rooms, along with 6 practice/teaching studios and 11 teaching studios.

“The ability to have concurrent rehearsals will dramatically expand the opportunities for student engagement in musical endeavors,” said Steve Richardson, Carleton’s director of the arts. “The new performance hall expands our ability to attract and showcase outside music and performance groups. This new facility integrates our entire music program into the academic and cultural life of the Weitz Center for Creativity.”

Carleton has worked with HGA Architecture of Minnesota to develop plans for the Weitz Center for Creativity addition. More information on the project, including floor plans and architectural renderings, is available at