When Francis “Fran” Horn became the University’s sixth president, student enrollment was under 3,000 and state leaders often dismissed the University as a “cow college.” President Horn expanded the University’s footprint and reputation by increasing enrollment, faculty, programs, and buildings, thereby transforming a small “country” college into an internationally recognized educational institution. He was a strong proponent of student activism ‘as evidenced in his March 27, 1962 letter to Dean of Students John Quinn:
I regret I cannot agree with you that this Freedom Ride activity should be ‘slowed down.’ For almost the first time since I’ve been here at the University, students seem to have become interested enough in a matter beyond their own personal concerns to take some positive action. For years many college administrators, and I have to admit to being among them, have urged that students should get more excited about issues of consequence. I consider segregation to be one of these.
Francis H. Horn