Constructed in 1963, the John M. Robsion Jr. Memorial Arena has served as the home court for the Bulldog basketball program since the 1964-65 season. The arena's seating capacity is 1,800, and the gymnasium has recently undergone some renovation. During the past year, the lobby and gym areas have been total repainted and the floor was redone. New scoreboards and lighting system were installed for the 2003-04 season as well as a new roof and gutters. Also, all of the locker room areas received vast improvements.
Previously, the only major alteration had to do with the reserved seating section in the lower level portion of the gym.
The reserved seating section once consisted of folding chairs. However, orange, chair-back seats with black armrests have replaced the folding chairs. In addition, there are handrails dividing each aisle in the reserved seating section.
Besides the gym, Robsion Arena also houses an indoor swimming pool, an athletic training room, lockerrooms for the the men's basketball, women's basketball, volleyball and football teams and classrooms and offices for the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department.
Originally, the building was known as the Physical Education Building. The name was changed to the John M. Robsion Jr. Memorial Arena in 1990 to honor one of the school's alums and long-time supporter.
Robsion was a 1919 graduate of the old Union College Academy. Through his professional and political life took him all over the world, Robsion never forgot his roots and ties to Union as he remained a loyal supporter of the school.
Born in 1904, the Barbourville, Ky. native attended and graduated from George Washington University in 1926. He was a congressional secretary from 1919-28, and he was admitted to the bar in 1926 and moved to Louisville in 1928. From 1928-35, Robsion served as chief of the Law Division of the United States Bureau of Prisons. After practicing law in Louisville for nearly seven years, Robsion served in the U.S. Army from 1942-46 and was stationed overseas in Africa, Italy and Austria. Upon his discharge, he held a variety posts in the political world, including three terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Following an unsuccessful run as Kentucky gubernatorial candidate in 1959, Robsion practiced law in Louisville and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. until his death on Feb. 14, 1990.