Indiana State University Newsroom

Field campus becomes 'Sycamore Outdoor Center'

September 25, 2012

Indiana State University's Field Campus has a new name that university officials say better reflects its purpose and may attract more people to the site.

The facility located 18 miles east of Terre Haute, off of U.S. 40 and Indiana 59 near Brazil, is now known as the Sycamore Outdoor Center.

In announcing the name change during a luncheon at the site for faculty, staff, students and members of the four-year-old "Friends of the Field Campus" support group, university President Dan Bradley praised recent improvements to the 93-acre wooded, lake-filled tract.

"This facility is a great asset to the university. The improvements are impressive and they were done with a modest expenditure," Bradley said during the Sept. 21 event. "The Sycamore Outdoor Center is used by academic departments, scholars and a wide variety of campus and community groups. It's just so beautiful; it should be getting lots of use."

Improvements during the past year have included renovation of the center's main building, construction of a new outdoor pavilion and installation of wireless internet service, said Don Rogers, associate professor in the department of kinesiology, recreation and sport, which oversees the facility.

"A lot of neat things are happening here and we are connecting with the community," said Biff Williams, dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services. "While football and basketball are tremendously popular, not everyone wants to play football or basketball. The Sycamore Outdoor Center offers other opportunities, such as canoeing, rowing and hiking. We are excited about this facility."

Williams said the center will play an important role in the mission of Indiana State's new Sycamore Center for Health, Wellness and Life Enrichment, one of eight "Unbounded Possibilities" programs the university is supporting via a $5 million initiative to strengthen its most distinctive and promising programs.

"We want to get kids out here to learn to recreate. Many young people simply don't know how to play," he said.

Rogers, who serves as director of the Sycamore Outdoor Center and the Keystone Adventure Program based at the center, said more than 1,100 people have taken advantage of the facility so far this year.

Visitors have included 15 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who benefited from an outdoor therapy program via a partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project. Rogers said efforts are underway to host another Wounded Warrior event and to establish the Sycamore Outdoor Center as the only Indiana chapter site for Team River Runners, another veterans support group which provides kayaking and canoeing for servicemen and women.

Rogers praised the staff of the university's offices of facilities management and information technology, which performed the work in-house. He said an expanded student employment program Bradley implemented also provided additional staff to help operate the facility.

Rogers said renovations to the Sycamore Outdoor Center will benefit the service work of students involved in the Keystone Adventure Program. Additional improvements are planned, he said, including developing a former science education center at the site as an interpretive center.

The Sycamore Outdoor Center features eight man-made lakes fed by an underground water supply, full-size classroom facilities, meeting facilities, platform tents, kitchen facilities, showers and restrooms and fire pits.

The Keystone Adventure Program features team initiative courses, a high ropes course, a climbing tower, cooperative games and field initiatives, adventure recreation and group work experiences.

More information about the center is available at or by contacting Rogers at 812-237-3210 or; or Matt Porter, field campus manager, at 812-448-1991 or

Photo: - Michael Bush, a freshman at Indiana State University, rides a zip line Sept. 21, 2012 at the Sycamore Outdoor Center, formerly known as the ISU Field Campus. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: - Indiana State University President Dan Bradley announces a name change for the ISU Field Campus to the Sycamore Outdoor Center. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: - Don Rogers, associate professor of kinesiology, recreation and sport and director of the Sycamore Outdoor Center, discusses recent improvements to the 93-acre facility near Brazil, Ind. during a Sept. 21, 2012 luncheon in which a name change was announced for the site formerly known as the ISU Field Campus. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Contacts: Don Rogers, associate professor, kinesiology, recreation and sport; director, Sycamore Outdoor Center, Indiana State University, 812-237-3210 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or