WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Celebrating 50 Years of Horn Field Campus

Sep 2, 2014

Horn Field Campus is preparing to mark its 50th anniversary by planning for construction of an outdoor education building.

“I’m just very excited about the prospects of how much we could grow the programmatic aspect of Horn with just a little bit of an additional facility,” said Mindy Pheiffer, Program Coordinator for the field campus.

Horn Field Campus is a 90 acre site just south of Macomb. Most of it is woods. It also has an 11 acre agricultural plot and eight acres of restored prairie.
Credit Rich Egger

Fundraising for the building will begin with an event called Lodge and Libations. It will be held Saturday, September 27 (RSVPs due by September 19).  Details and registration information can be found on the Horn Field Campus website.

Contributions for the project can also be made through the Western Illinois University website.

Pheiffer said the building will be named after Dr. Frank “Doc” Lupton, who is scheduled to attend the Lodge and Libations event.  Lupton is credited with leading the way to make Horn Field Campus what it is today. 

The new facility will allow for year-round programming at the field campus.  It will include a classroom and meeting space, storage space for equipment, and a food preparation area. It will have a geothermal heating and cooling system.

The estimated cost is $700,000. 

Horn Field Campus includes several brick buildings that were built in 1932.
Credit Rich Egger

Pheiffer considers Horn campus to be a community asset. She said it’s a multi-use, multi-purpose facility used for retreats and a wide variety of other purposes by university, community, and private groups as well as WIU students.

“And it’s not just for Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration (RPTA) students. I have forestry students, biology students, law enforcement students,” said Pheiffer.

“Psychology students actually were talking about setting beehives because they’re looking at bee behavior.”

The campus was acquired by WIU in 1965. Pheiffer said half of it was donated by Frank Horn and the university bought the other half.  She said even though WIU owns the campus, the school provides no operating budget for it.