Bond to Serve as Homecoming Parade Marshal, Receive Distinguished Service Award

Photo of U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond

U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond will serve as the parade marshal for Southeast’s 2009 Homecoming parade. He also will receive a Distinguished Service Award during Homecoming festivities.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Sept. 23, 2009 – U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond will serve as the parade marshal for Southeast Missouri State University’s 2009 Homecoming parade.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the corner of Broadway and West End Blvd. and will proceed east on Broadway to Main Street. The parade route then turns south on Main.

Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, says the University is thrilled Bond will lead the parade.

“Senator Bond has been a friend of Southeast Missouri State University for many, many years and has worked tirelessly during his tenure to bring federal dollars back to Southeast Missouri. We felt it was fitting to honor a man who has done so much to advance higher education in this region.”

In addition to serving as parade marshal, Bond will be honored with a Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Awards are presented to individuals who have made lasting contributions to their communities and to the University. The award will be given at an All-Alumni Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 10 in the Wehking Alumni Center, 926 Broadway. Other recipients of the award will be Mike Smythe of Cape Girardeau, general manager of KFVS12; Lisa Filkins a senior Human Resources executive in St. Louis; and Lu Ruzicka of Chesterfield, Mo., a retired teacher and benefactor.

Bond’s fourth term in the U.S. Senate ends in 2010. He has announced plans to retire at the conclusion of his term and will not seek reelection.

Bond, in cooperation with U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, is responsible for garnering $7.55 million for the River Campus, Dobbins says, including $2.6 million in federal funding for planning and enhancing the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Regional Museum and the Explorer mobile museum serving Southeast Missouri; $2.95 million to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts; and $2 million for the City of Cape Girardeau for infrastructure on and around the River Campus.

Dobbins said Bond is responsible for initiating the Missouri NASA Education Program, which was developed to augment K-12 science, mathematics and technology education in Missouri through the enhancement of teaching, student learning and curricular materials. Bond secured more than $1.75 million for the NASA Education Program which has three primary components: the Missouri NASA Educator Resource Center located on Southeast’s campus; the Missouri NASA Education Specialist Network, which includes six full-time trained educators located in Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City; and the NASA exhibit aboard the Explorer mobile museum. The Explorer brings the benefits of quality museum-centered learning to public events and K-12 schools, with the primary target being rural students.

Bond helped to secure almost $2 million for the SEMO Regional Crime Lab to assist law enforcement agencies throughout Southeast Missouri in the war on crime. The crime lab, which operates in a state-of-the-art facility, provides testing for drugs, firearms examinations, blood/body fluids, serology, trace evidence, arson, fingerprints, alcohol in blood, urine toxicology and DNA. The lab, which was dedicated in September 2003, is situated in about 8,000 square feet of space in a building at 122 S. Ellis. It serves nearly 100 law enforcement agencies in southeast Missouri. The lab also features a bullet trap in the lab’s firing range to enhance firearm analysis capability. Bond’s efforts in securing federal funding also allowed for unfinished space in the building to be renovated for these purposes.

Bond also was instrumental in landing $2 million for state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing technology and electronic equipment to make the Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building, one of the finest teaching facilities in the nation in the field of advanced manufacturing technology, Dobbins said. Industries are continuously challenged to reduce production costs, increase productivity, improve product quality, and comply with environmental concerns.  To address these issues, some industries may need to modify current manufacturing processes or adopt completely new technologies.

“This facility has become the focus and staging point for the coordinated delivery of technical education and for the training and retraining of technical workers in the region,” Dobbins said. “A large part of the growth can be attributed to the outstanding lab equipment in the facility.  Southeast, working in coordination with Workforce Development, “has delivered technology training and programs that can truly meet the needs of the region.”

In addition, Dobbins credits Bond for securing $650,000 in federally designated funding for the purchase of the Southeast Health on Wheels (S.H.O.W.) Mobile, and medical and dental equipment necessary to provide primary health and dental care aboard the unit. Under a partnership between Southeast and Southeast Missouri Hospital, the S.H.O.W. Mobile provides primary health care and education in Southeast Missouri, a rural economically deprived area with critical health and dental care needs.

Dobbins said Bond also helped Southeast Missouri State in landing $3.5 million for the University’s transit program and Multi-Modal Transfer Facility, and $300,000 for renovation of the Perryville Higher Education Center. He also asssisted the University in securing $10 millon in federal funds for the Interstate 55 interchange at East Main Street and La Salle Avenue.

“With tight state funding issues, these and other federal funds have made a significant difference in the ability of Southeast Missouri State University to serve its students and the region, and in the quality of life for all Southeast Missourians,” Dobbins said.

Bond has had a remarkable public service career extending over three decades, since his election in 1970 as state auditor. A sixth-generation Missourian, he graduated with honors from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia.

He served as governor of Missouri from 1973 to 1977 and from 1980 to 1985. During Bond’s tenure as governor of Missouri, he helped to secure $3.19 million in state funding for the Show Me Center and was instrumental in supporting a plan that led to voter approval of $600 million in bonds for capital improvements in Missouri. The Show Me Center is one of the buildings partially financed through those funds. Bond participated in a ribbon cutting and dedication of the Show Me Center in September 1987.

“He served two terms as governor of Missouri, and is now serving in his fourth term in the United States Senate,” Dobbins said. “As a governor and senator, and a member of the Senate Committees on Appropriations, Intelligence, Environment and Public Works, and Small Business, he has been a champion of improving education, and a great friend of Southeast Missouri State University, in particular,” Dobbins said.