‘Connections@Work’ Theme of Homecoming 2006

Photo of cheerleaders during the 2005 Homecoming Parade

Southeast Missouri State University cheerleaders march down Broadway during the 2005 Homecoming Parade.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Oct. 6, 2006 – Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Homecoming 2006 Oct. 18-22 with the theme “Connections@Work.”

The crowning points of this year’s celebrations will be the “Let’s Get the Show on the Road” Homecoming parade, Redhawks football versus Eastern Kentucky, as well as a concert featuring Brad Paisley with special guest Carrie Underwood.

“After students leave campus at graduation and scatter to new careers in new towns, it becomes harder to remain connected. Homecoming is the best time for alumni of all ages to get together to keep their friendships alive,” said Doug McDermott, director of marketing and constituent relations. “Connections@Work” will provide alumni the opportunity to reconnect with each other through a variety of career-based activities.”

The 80-year-old Homecoming tradition will begin with the 25-Year Club Reunion, reserved for University faculty of 25 years or more. The dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, in the University Center Missouriana Room. Just an hour later, comedian Ron ‘Tater Salad’ White will tickle the Show Me Center’s audience with blue-collar humor. White is best known for his participation in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, but has recently established himself as a star in his own right. For more information and tickets, contact the Show Me Center at (573) 651-5000 or visit http://www.showmecenter.biz/.

Friday will prove to be a busy day, with two career activities in the Robert A. Dempster Hall. At noon, an Executive Forum is scheduled in Glenn Auditorium. Open to the public, the forum will be an informal panel discussion with key executives who are invited to visit the Harrison College of Business. The forum will be moderated by Rex Rust, co-president of Rust Communications.  In addition, a free continuing education session for attorneys titled, “Professional Conduct and Winning in Appellate Court,” will be held at 12:30 p.m. in the Atrium.  Moderated by Mike Price, Alumni Association president, the forum will provide up to three hours CLE credit. Contact Mike Price at (573) 334-3736 or michael.price@usdoj.gov.

Mid-afternoon hunger can be satisfied at Dr. Tom Harte’s food show and autograph signing, to be held at 2 p.m. at the Southeast Public Radio Studios. Harte’s book was published by Southeast’s University Press, and the signing will include food and fun. Harte is Southeast professor emeritus of speech communication and theatre and a host of Caffe Concerto on Southeast Public Radio.

The “Docs” Reception, a gathering for alumni with doctoral, law, medical, veterinarian and dental degrees, is scheduled for 5 p.m. on the Show Me Center Concourse. The event will provide career networking for alumni with advanced degrees, such as doctors, lawyers and professors. There is no charge for the event, but interested alumni are asked to contact Jane Stacy at (573) 651-2930 to reserve their seat. Also at 5 p.m., but a few miles away, a Vet Corps Reunion Reception is planned at the VFW Hall on Kingshighway. For more information, contact Bill Humphries or Thomas M. Meyer at (573) 334-2875.

Representatives of the University’s Alumni Association will present seven alumni and a faculty member with the annual Merit Awards at the Copper Dome Society/Merit Award Dinner. Meet the Merit Award recipients at the pre-dinner social at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are available by calling the Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or the University Foundation at (573) 651-2252.

Since 1958, Alumni Merit Awards have been presented by Southeast to honor alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and to the University. The Faculty Merit Award is presented for excellence and distinction in teaching. Recipients of this year’s Alumni Merit Awards are as follows:  Dr. David M. Amberger of Honolulu, Hawaii, president, chief executive officer and laboratory director of Aloha Laboratories; Dr. Edward H. Cleino of Tuscaloosa, Ala., a retired University of Alabama educator and administrator who taught percussion and music education for 30 years; Gary Downing of Fairfield, Conn., chief executive officer of Lansinoh Laboratories; Donald H. Heeb of St. Louis, retired athletic director, head football and golf coach at Vianney High School; and Mark A. Hitt of Jefferson City, Mo., manager of the Missouri Department of Agriculture International Marketing Program; Kathy Kremer Toon, teacher of homeless children in downtown San Diego; Lt. General Clyde A. Vaughn, director of the U.S. Army National Guard.

This year’s recipient of the Faculty Merit Award is Barry Bernhardt of Cape Girardeau, director of University bands at Southeast.

Friday evening will include a reunion for all football players who played for Coach Bob Smith from 1984 to 1988. Contact Trent Lane at (573) 675-3485 for more information. Friday will wrap up with the “Broadway Spirit Stroll,” an opportunity for alumni and friends to take in the nightlife of historic downtown Cape Girardeau.  Alumni are invited to join the Golden Eagles at 10 p.m. in front of Buckner Brewing Co., 132 North Main St. For more information, contact Barry Bernhardt at (573) 651-2334 or bbernhardt@semo.edu.

Saturday’s events will begin at 7:30 a.m. with an all-alumni breakfast in the future Southeast Alumni Center, formerly the First Baptist Church sanctuary at 926 Broadway. The breakfast is $9 per person and will honor this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients:  June (White) Barton of Catron, Mo., owner of Barton Farm; Bob Keathley of Bernie, Mo., former corporate executive, and his wife, Yvonne Keathley, also of Bernie, retired high school journalism teacher; Dr. Jerry Kinder of Cape Girardeau, medical director of the Wound Healing Center at St. Francis Medical Center; Wedel Nilsen of Cape Girardeau, a retired artist and educator; and Harry Rediger of Cape Girardeau, retired manager of J.C. Penney. For more information or to make reservations, contact the Alumni Association at (573) 651-2930. 

The “Let’s Get the Show on the Road” Homecoming parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Broadway and West End Blvd. The parade will run east on Broadway from West End Blvd. to Main Street. It will then continue south on Main Street.

Southeast’s Homecoming Parade is recognized as one of the largest in the region, and this year’s parade will be an exciting celebration of Southeast pride. The parade marshal will be John Tlapek ’81, president of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents and majority owner and chairman of the board of Auto Tire and Parts Co., Schaeffer Enclosure Co., and Cape Electrical Supply Co. Tlapek is also president of Summit Equity Group, a private equity firm based in St. Louis.

The parade dignitary will be Gen. Seth McKee, former Southeast student, who retired in 1973 as Commander in Chief, North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), a military command consisting of U.S. and Canadian air defense forces.

Other special entries in the parade this year will be the Vet Corps, a former student organization of veterans, and the fraternal brothers of Phi Beta Sigma. The Vet Corps is inviting VFW Posts, American Legion Posts, AMVETS, National Guard Units and other area veterans to march with them in the parade. For more information and to submit entries, contact Angie Grissom at (573) 651-2259 or agrissom@semo.edu.

A number of tailgate parties will help fans get pumped up to cheer on the Southeast Redhawks, beginning at 11 a.m. outside of Houck Stadium. This year’s parties include the College of Education/Southeast Public Radio Chili Cookoff and Challenge. Participants will cast their votes for the best chili on campus during this third-annual cookoff. Entries from staff, faculty, students, volunteers and on-air personalities will vie for this year’s prize. For more information, contact Dana Bailey at (573) 651-2408 or dbailey@semo.edu or Amanda Lincoln at (573) 651-5078 or alincoln@semo.edu.  

Other tailgate parties will include the Department of Criminal Justice Tailgate Party, the Phi Beta Sigma Tailgate Party and the Alpha Phi Alpha Tailgate Party. In addition to these, current Alumni Association members are invited to attend the Booster Club Tailgate Party at noon in the Booster Corral at Houck Stadium. A picnic on Academic Terraces also is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The picnic will include the opportunity for all former students to tour the Southeast Explorer and the S.H.O.W. Mobile. Hot dogs with all the trimmings will be available. Special guests at the picnic will be alumni who work in the health care profession.  The picnic has been generously supported by Southeast alumnus, A. Paul Vance ’42.

Alumni are invited to gather at 11 a.m. to ‘rally round’ the new “Sadie’s Place” in Kent Library. “Special Collection” areas will be hosted by various colleges and professional groups, and refreshments will be provided by Kent Library.

An Honors Reception for past and present Governor’s Scholars, Honors Scholars, Honors students and Honors faculty will be held at 11 a.m. in Kent Library. To RSVP, visit www.semo.edu/honors. For more information, contact Craig Roberts at (573) 651-2513 or croberts@semo.edu.

A rousing pep rally will be held at noon on Academic Terraces, led by Barry Bernhardt, director of the Golden Eagles Marching Band. All former members of the Golden Eagles are asked to join the band for the walk to the stadium and onto the field to sing the Alma Mater. In honor of Alumni Merit Award recipient and director of the U.S. Army National Guard, General Clyde Vaughn, there will be a very special flyover of FH64s immediately before the kickoff.

The annual Homecoming football game will kick off at 1 p.m. in Houck Stadium as the Southeast Redhawks take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Members of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity will be recognized at halftime as will all former members of the Golden Eagles Marching Band who have participated in one of the bands directed by 2006 Faculty Merit Award Recipient Barry Bernhardt. There will be a pre-game introduction of past members of the Vet Corps at the end of the field. For more information and tickets, call (573) 651-2113 or toll-free 866-SEMO-TIK, or visit www.gosoutheast.com.

Several events are planned after the football game. Alumni who are at least 70 years old are invited to the Diamond Club Reception at 3 p.m. inside the Marquette Tower for a time of fun and remembering. The cost is $10 per person for appetizers and a cash bar. All agriculture graduates and friends are invited to attend the New Demonstration Farm Open House at 5:30 p.m. on Highway 25 South in Jackson. Honored guests will be Rock Wilferth, Weldon Macke and 2006 Alumni Merit Award Recipient Mark Hitt. Contact Dr. Randy Shaw, dean of the School of Polytechnic Studies and Extended Learning, at (573) 651-5195 or rshaw@semo.edu for more information.   A concert featuring Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will get under way at 8 p.m. at the Show Me Center as part of the Time Well Wasted Tour. For more information or tickets, contact the Show Me Center at (573) 651-5000 or visit www.showmecenter.biz. Sunday will provide an opportunity for those returning to Cape Girardeau to enjoy a tour of the city. Those who board a bus at 10 a.m. at the Wehking Alumni Center, 1401 N. Sprigg St., will visit the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, the Mississippi River Tales Mural, the Red House Interpretive Center and the River Campus. After the tour, lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. at a local restaurant. Reservations are required, and the cost is $25 per person. Contact Jane Stacy at jcstacy@semo.edu for reservations or more information. Phi Beta Sigma will hold church services at the Baptist Student Union at 11 a.m., featuring guest speaker James Winfrey, class of ’89. Contact Michael Martin, chapter president, at (314) 560-1419 or mmartin1s@semo.edu. For more information on Homecoming 2006 at Southeast Missouri State University, contact the Southeast Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or alumni@semo.edu.