May 10, 2013
At a special dinner in conjunction with the May meeting of the Illinois Wesleyan Board of Trustees, the University paid tribute to the Shirk family and the Shirk Foundation for their generous support of the Shirk Center and Shirk Athletic Complex.
Athletic Director Dennie Bridges shared the story of how the friendship between Russ Shirk and Coach Jack Horenberger led to the creation of the Shirk Center and the Shirk Foundation Endowment nearly 20 years ago. He also noted how the endowment that Russ and Jim Shirk created is so unique and important to keeping the Shirk looking like new. This endowment has also contributed to numerous enhancements of the athletic campus, including the purchase of the land for Horenberger Field, expansion of the Beadles-Morse Tennis Courts, improvements to Tucci Stadium and more.
President Richard F. Wilson in his remarks noted that “What is unusual, and I might say even unique, about the experience at Shirk is the extent to which the sentiment among students is shared by faculty and staff and by the community. I cannot tell you how many times someone comes up to me on campus or in Bloomington-Normal and begins the conversation by mentioning that they are delighted to be able to attend events at ‘The Shirk’ or work out there at 6:00 a.m. As president, this is a great way for a conversation to begin.”
The theme of the evening was “The Shirk Athletic Complex Building Community.” To bring the community-building that goes on at the Shirk Center and Athletic Complex to life, a special video and booklet were created.
Contact: Matt Kurz (309) 556-3203