Southeast Missouri State University is celebrating Homecoming 2016 this week with a full slate of activities as alumni, students and friends reunite and celebrate with a “We Are One” theme.
“Homecoming is an opportunity for Southeast alumni to return, reminisce and reconnect,” said Jay Wolz, director of Alumni Relations at Southeast, and when our alumni come back to campus, they invariably discover that even though we are ‘many,’ we are also ‘one’ in our shared experiences, traditions and overall spirit of Southeast,” he said.
“Homecoming means ‘pride’ to the student population,” said Destiny Tulo-Lang, student homecoming president. “Homecoming encompasses celebration of the past and future with alumni success stories and student opportunities. It is a way for us to celebrate Southeast and our ‘Will To Do.’”
Highlights during the week include presentation of the University’s Man and Woman of the Year, the Copper Dome Society and Merit Award Dinner, All Alumni Breakfast featuring the presentation of Distinguished Service Awards, the Homecoming parade and football game. Visit semo.edu/homecoming for a complete schedule of events.
Campus-wide online elections will be held Oct. 31- Nov. 1 to determine the 2016 Man and Woman of the Year. Students can place their vote via the Southeast portal, accessible at semo.edu. For more information, contact Michele Irby, director of Campus Life and Event Services, at (573) 651-5120.
A Homecoming Talent Show is slated for 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in Academic Hall Auditorium. Southeast students are encouraged to cheer on their friends as they vie for cash prizes in the annual show. This year’s show will be emceed by comedian Jay Dukes. For more information, contact Grojean at (573) 651-2280.
Field Day is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Student Recreation Center. Students compete in various events inspired by this year’s theme, including tug-of-war, extreme tic-tac-toe, musical chairs and an obstacle course. For more information, contact Gretchen Grojean, assistant director for event services and scheduling, at (573) 651-2280.
Immediately following the Field Day activities, a Spirit Rally is planned at 8 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. The rally will feature the Southeast Sundancers and athletic teams, and a dance and costume competition. The event is free, and students and alumni are encouraged to wear their best outfit that encompasses their favorite superhero or villain.
On Friday, Nov. 4, alumni and visitors are invited to a River Campus Open House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning in the River Campus atrium. Southeast’s River Campus is marking its 10th anniversary during the 2016-2017 academic year, and as part of the celebration, visitors are invited to tour the facilities. Refreshments will be available. For more information or to RSVP, call (573) 651-2210.
Throughout the week, artwork created by student organizations will be located across various campus locations for all to admire. A free Alumni Art Exhibit Reception marking the opening of a month-long exhibit of works by Southeast alumna Teresa Dirks will be from 4-5 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Dobbins Center Gallery on the Southeast River Campus. Dirks is one of the University’s 2016 Alumni Merit Award recipients. The exhibit will remain on display through Dec. 9.
Alumni events begin with an Endowed Scholarship Donor Reception at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in the Show Me Center. Students receiving an endowed scholarship can meet with their scholarship donor at this event. For more information, contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2332.
Following the reception, Copper Dome Society members, alumni and friends are invited to attend the annual Copper Dome Society Dinner featuring presentation of the Alumni Association’s annual Merit Awards. These awards have been presented annually since 1958 to Southeast alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and the University.
This year’s alumni recipients are: Teresa Mosley Dirks, ’98, of Kansas City, Missouri, award winning artist in the Kansas City area; Dr. Jerry D. Durham, ’68, of Waterloo, Iowa, chancellor of Allen College; Janet Perez Eckles, ’75, of Orlando, Florida, inspirational speaker and author; William T. (Bill) Gamewell, ’72, of Ballwin, Missouri, senior vice president with Commerce Bank in St. Louis, Missouri; Pamela Macke Johnson, ’77 and ’00, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, criminalist supervisor and forensic scientist with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop E Crime Laboratory in Cape Girardeau; Pamela McClune, ’72, of Denver, Colorado, retired compliance manager with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and retired attorney and U.S. Navy captain with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve; and Dr. Pernell Witherspoon of St. Louis, Missouri, and Huntington Beach, California, associate professor of criminal justice at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
Receiving the Faculty Merit Award will be Dr. Julie Ray, professor and chair of the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education at Southeast. The Faculty Merit Award is presented for excellence in teaching.
The dinner is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Show Me Center. The ceremony will begin at approximately 7:45 p.m. and will include the showing of a Merit Award recipients’ video. Reservations are required and the cost is $25 per person. Members of the Copper Dome Society will receive up to two complimentary reservations. For reservations and more information, visit semo.edu/homecoming or call the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2252.
Events on Saturday, Nov. 5, begin at 7:30 a.m. with the All Alumni Breakfast and Distinguished Service Award presentations in Kem Statuary Hall in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center. Alumni, friends and their families are invited to attend this breakfast, where this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients will be honored. Awards are presented to individuals who have made lasting contributions to their communities and to the University.
This year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients are Charles Robert Depro of Sikeston, Missouri; James D. Maurer, and Stephen and Marsha Limbaugh, all of Cape Girardeau; and The Bank of Missouri.
Cost of the breakfast is $15 per person, payable in advance. Space is limited, and reservations must be made by Oct. 21 by visiting semo.edu/homecoming.
The annual Homecoming parade begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Capaha Park. Felix Kinsley, ’78 of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, longtime Southeast “super fan” and honorary senator for the Student Government Association, will serve as the parade marshal. The parade travels east on Broadway to Main Street and then south on Main Street to Independence.
This year’s Homecoming parade will feature decorated floats, marching bands, the Man and Woman of the Year candidates and a variety of other entries and participants from the Southeast and local community. Floats will depict students’ superhero and villain theme, following the student Homecoming theme, “Unmask Your Potential.” For more information, contact Grojean at (573) 651-2280.
After the parade, at 10 a.m. free tailgating space is available in front of Houck Stadium on Bellevue Street and in the parking lots surrounding the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center, 926 Broadway. A football game-day parking map is available at.gosoutheast.com/parking. In addition, the Southeast Alumni Association and the University Foundation will host an alumni hospitality tent in the football tailgating area to give friends and classmates a great place to connect. The tent will be open from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. between Broadway and Bellevue in front of Houck Stadium. Hot dogs, chili dogs and chili (courtesy of Wings, Etc.) will be served while supplies last.
Before the game, cheer on the Redhawks football team during the Redhawk Walk at 11 a.m., as the team, led by the Southeast Marching Band, Sundancers, cheerleaders and Rowdy, makes its way down Bellevue and into the stadium. For more information, contact Nate Saverino at (573) 651-2962 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free tours of the Academic Hall dome will be available from 10 a.m. to noon. Anyone interested in learning the history of the University’s landmark administration building and signing their name inside the dome should enter though the building’s main entrance, which faces Normal Avenue.
Alumni who are veterans and their guests are invited to the annual Vets Corps Pig Roast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sponsored by the Southeast Vets Corps alumni, this tailgate will be in the parking lot west of the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center.
The Redhawks will battle their Ohio Valley Conference rivals, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, at 1 p.m. Nov. 5 at Houck Stadium during the annual Homecoming football game. At halftime, the Man and Woman of the Year will be announced. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (866) SEMO-TIK or visit gosoutheast.com.
Festivities will continue after the game for alumni who are at least 70 years old at the Diamond Club Reception from 3-6 p.m. in the Cultural Arts Center atrium at Southeast’s River Campus. Special recognitions will take place for the graduating classes of 1966, 1961, 1956, 1951, 1946, etc. Cost of the event is $20 per person. Appetizers and a cash bar also will be available. Reservations must be made by Oct. 21. For more information or reservations, visit semo.edu/homecoming or contact Alumni Relations at (573) 651-2259.
A variety of Greek and other alumni events will take place throughout Homecoming Week. For more information about these events, visit semo.edu/homecoming or Southeast’s Homecoming Facebook page at facebook.com/SoutheastMissouriStateHomecoming.