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Sesquicentennial Moments: Houck Stadium

Houck Stadium and Field House
Special Collections & Archives, Southeast Missouri State University
Houck Stadium and Field House

A magnificent, new multi-million-dollar, 10,000 seat Houck Stadium highlights our sesquicentennial festivities. And its completion comes almost a century after the original facility was dedicated to honor Louis Houck with a football game between Southeast and SIU on October 3, 1930.

Houck Stadium and Field House – dedicated together at that 1930 football game – are named for Louis Houck, for his 39 years of service on the board of regents. Ironically, Houck admittedly – in his own words - “knew little and cared less about athletics.” Southeast chose to memorialize Houck in this curious way because of his last official duties as president of the board.

In February 1925, an ailing and visibly frail Houck gaveled to order his final regent’s meeting in Academic Hall. He convinced the board to purchase the Matteson estate south of campus for $11,000 because the old rock quarry there would make an excellent natural amphitheater for the performing arts as Houck suggested, or an athletic field as other supporters recommended. After his passing weeks later, the Regents moved forward with the athletic plans. Yet, this last impression of their determined president strongly advocating the physical expansion of the college compelled the Regents to name the field house and stadium eventually built on the property after Houck.

Constructed of native limestone quarried on site, the old 5,200- seat Houck Stadium cost nearly $150,000 with northern seating added in 1963 and a press box in 1979.

Joel P. Rhodes is a Professor in the History Department of Southeast Missouri State University. Raised in Kansas, he earned a B.S. in Education from the University of Kansas before earning his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.