The $15 million Shirk Center, opened in 1994, was funded in part by a $5 million gift from the Russell and Betty Shirk Foundation of Bloomington. The Shirk family owns Beer Nuts, Inc.®, the Bloomington-based snack food company. The two-level, 135,344-square foot complex seats 2,680 for sporting events (3,450 for commencement) in its performance arena, and contains four multi-use courts for tennis, volleyball, basketball, and other sports, as well as racquetball courts, a 200-meter track, a training room and wellness center, classrooms, and other facilities.
A $6.5 million two-story addition and renovation of the fitness center (completed in 2015) includes new flooring, installation of a reusable water bottle station and several new cardiovascular machines and circuit training weight equipment.
The Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball team won a school-record 46 straight home games prior to losing to Benedictine, 73-70, on Dec. 9, 1998. The only prior loss was on March 11, 1995, to Manchester (89-82) in the NCAA Division III tournament.
The Titans won their first 14 home games in 1994-95 at the Shirk Center, giving IWU a 23-game home court win streak, including nine at Fred Young Fieldhouse.
From 1962-94, IWU men’s basketball was 311-80 at Fred Young Fieldhouse, named for 1915 IWU alumnus Fred Young, a Titan athletic great and long-time sports editor/columnist for The Daily Pantagraph. The first game in the building was March 2, 1962, an 85-59 conference championship-clinching win over Lake Forest. The final game was Feb. 22, 1994, a 91-80 conference championship-clinching win over North Park. The longest winning streaks at Fred Young Fieldhouse were 31 games (1975 to 1978), 20 games (1986 to 1988), and 17 games (1962 to 1965).
The Fitness Center includes three racquetball courts, a weight/exercise room with cardiovascular and exercise equipment, and free weights. Athletic support areas include locker rooms; training room for men and women; equipment, storage, and laundry areas; offices; classrooms; a concession stand area; and a display area for athletic trophies and other memorabilia chronicling Illinois Wesleyan's rich sports history.
Directions To The Shirk Center