Lupton Pavilion to be Dedicated at Horn Field Campus Oct. 21

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA) has announced that the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Dr. Frank Lupton Pavilion at Horn Field Campus will begin Friday, October 21st at 4 p.m., with remarks to follow at 4:15 p.m.

Lupton was a professor emeritus in WIU’s RPTA program who retired in 1993, before passing away in March 2021. Since his passing, the professor who was also known as “Doc”, has had numerous memorials placed about Horn Field Campus and its outdoor classroom. These memorials, funded by many alumni and friends of Doc, will stand for years, carrying on his legacy of working with people in nature.

“Doc was a mentor to many,” said WIU alumnus Mike Robson, ECOEE ’76. “He was a one-of-a-kind professor. His love of the outdoors, and of teaching, was infectious. The ECOEE experience was one of the best life experiences, learning more than just the outdoors. The pavilion that is named in his honor will continue his dream of teaching the outdoors to many.”

During his tenure, Lupton served as the acting chair of RPTA from 1972-73, and named as chair in 1980. He also founded WIU’s Environmental, Conservation and Outdoor Education Expedition (ECOEE), a semester-long academic program through which he would lead numerous trips across the country which would award participants with the Wilderness Steward Certification. This program has been instrumental in helping WIU garner recognition for its outdoor leadership curriculum.

Interim RPTA Chair Michael Lukkarinen credits Lupton as a pioneer in the field of outdoor education as well as a key member during the inception of the RPTA department. “The dedication of the pavilion in his honor is a small, but appropriate way, to recognize his  impact on the field, the department and the University,” says Lukkarinen. “I am sure he is looking down on Horn Field Campus and saying, ‘The sun is shining and the birds are singing. It’s a great day to be alive.'”

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