Ruby Diamond Auditorium has been the center of the Tallahassee, FL community and home of many cultural events and community performances over the years. Especially close to me were the many dance performances of the Tallahassee Dance Academy for which my girls danced for 12 years each, and the “7 Days of Opening Nights” performances over the years that I attended.
The history of Ruby Diamond Auditorium is deeply rooted in tradition that is typical of most of the buildings on Florida State University’s campus. Ruby Diamond was a graduate of the Class of 1905, one of 13 graduates of Florida State College. She received her Master’s degree from Florida State College for Women. She was a revered alumni and benefactor of FSU. She donated land adjacent to the Fine Arts Building and at age 95, in 1981 donated downtown property in order to fun an endowment for the College of Education now resides. In 1970, Ruby Diamond Auditorium in the Westcott Building was named in her honor.
The original auditorium was built in 1911 and closed in 1951 when a settling crack was discovered.. A new auditorium was built in 1954. In October, 2008 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a gift of $1 million to Florida State University to restore and expand the lobby of Ruby Diamond. It is now named “The John S. and James L. Knight Lobby.”
Sat., October 2nd, 2010 the Blues legend B.B. King performed during the opening ceremony after a formal reception in the new Knight Lobby and President Barron welcomed the audience who enjoyed a fantastic performance in the new performance hall.