‘Southeast…A Bridge to the World’ Theme of Homecoming 2004

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Oct. 15, 2004 – Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Homecoming 2004 with an international theme as it hosts ‘Southeast…A Bridge to the World.”

Homecoming 2004 is scheduled for Oct. 28-31.  Highlighting this year’s festivities will be a parade with an international theme and the presentation of the annual Merit Awards and Distinguished Service Awards. This year’s festivities will highlight the global influence of Southeast and the worldwide accomplishments of its students and alumni.

Events will get under way Oct. 28 with a 25-Year Club Reunion for University employees of 25 years or more.  Events the following day will include a six-person scramble Alumni Golf Tournament at Bent Creek Golf Course in Jackson, Mo.; an Alpha Phi Alpha Mentoring Program and Reception; an Endowed Scholarship Reception for scholarship donors to visit with student recipients; a Reception for Dr. Bill Ellis, Southeast professor of agriculture and recipient of this year’s Faculty Merit Award; an Alpha Phi Alpha 25th Anniversary Dinner and Black Tie Dinner; a Sigma Chi Fraternity Alumni Barbecue; a Delta Chi Open House; an NPHC Comedy Show and After-Party; and the annual Copper Dome Society/Merit Award Social and Dinner. Representatives of the University’s Alumni Association will present four alumni and a faculty member with the annual Merit Awards at the Copper Dome Society/Merit Award Dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Show Me Center. Tickets for the dinner are available by calling the University Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (563) 651-2252.

Alumni Merit Awards are presented by Southeast to honor distinguished alumni.  The awards have been given since 1958 to graduates of Southeast 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:  John Brussman of Cape Girardeau, Mo., former vice president and general manager of Anheuser Busch; Dr. Gregory  Davis of Carmel, Ind., executive director of Eli Lilly & Company; John Hoskins of Jefferson City, Mo., director of the Missouri Department of Conservation; and Marjorie (Best) Schramm of St. Louis, former mayor of Kirkwood, Mo.

This year’s recipient of the Faculty Merit Award is Dr. William Ellis of Perryville, Mo., professor of agriculture at Southeast.

The evening will end with another new event, the “Pep Rally Stroll,” an opportunity for alumni and friends to join Southeast cheerleaders, Sundancers and the Golden Eagles as they take in the nightlife of downtown Cape Girardeau and share Southeast spirit with all in their path. Alumni may meet at Buckner Brewing Co., at the corner of Broadway and Main Street at 10 p.m., or join the stroll at one of its many stops downtown.

Other special events on Friday include a cooking demonstration by Mariko Yoshiya, Japanese television cooking personality; a lecture by the McNeely family on their experiences in theatre, television and film; an Alpha Phi Alpha Mentoring Program and Reception and 25th Anniversary Black Tie Dinner; a reception for Ellis, Southeast professor of agriculture and recipient of this year’s Faculty Merit Award; performance by professional dance ensemble, “Paul Taylor II”; a Sigma Chi Fraternity Alumni Barbecue; a Delta Chi Fraternity open house; and the National Pan-Hellenic Council Comedy Show and After-Party.

Events on Saturday, Oct. 30, will begin with an All Alumni Breakfast to be held at 7:30 a.m. in the Student Recreation Center South Campus, formerly the Activities Center of the former First Baptist Church property, 926 Broadway.

During the breakfast, Southeast’s Alumni Association will honor six individuals with Distinguished Service Awards.  Recipients will be Marvin Strunk of Glencoe, Ill., former president and chief executive officer of Madison Bank and Trust in Chicago, Ill.; Jane McNeely Bruns of Rockville, Md., co-owner of an established leading political consulting company, actress, and teacher; Sen. Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, a Missouri state senator; Mariko Yoshiya of Japan, chief executive officer of Nutri-Cooking and Japanese television personality; Hee-chiat Chew of Hong Kong, assistant conductor of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; and Dr. Tony Barringer of Cape Coral, Fla., an associate professor in the Division of Criminal Justice at Florida Gulf Coast University.

The Distinguished Service Awards, which are being given for the third time, are presented to individuals who attended Southeast and have made lasting contributions to the University and their communities, said Jane Stacy, director of alumni services and development.“Each of these people have brought distinction to the University and remain active in the life of the University,” she said.

Also at the breakfast, the University will honor Judith Celmira Guevara Cooklis, a 1945 graduate of Southeast, who was the first international student on the Southeast campus.

Breakfast tickets are $9 per person.  To purchase a ticket or for more information on the awards, call (573) 651-2259.Following the breakfast, the Homecoming parade will get under way 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.

This year’s parade will feature an international theme with every major float depicting a different foreign country.  Area Girl Scouts will be carrying the flags of many international countries.  The parade is expected to include more than 200 entries this year, including many area marching bands, the University’s Golden Eagles Marching Band, color guards, floats, and a multitude of vehicle entries.  Donald L. Dickerson of Cape Girardeau, president of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents and a 1954 alumnus, will serve as parade marshal. A number of other dignitaries will be riding in the parade including the Homecoming court, the retiring Man and Woman of the Year, the Alumni Association president; this year’s Alumni Merit and Faculty Merit Award winners; Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University; and Jane Stacy, director of alumni services and development.

Parade entries will begin lining up at 7:30 a.m. in Capaha Park, where floats will be preliminarily judged.  Final judging will occur on Broadway on the front lawn of the forthcoming location of the Alumni Center, formerly the First Baptist Church property.

As customary, a number of tailgate parties will help fans get pumped up to cheer on the Southeast football team, the largest of which will be held at the Houck Stadium Tailgate Area from 11 to 12:45 p.m. prior to the football game.  A variety of international foods will be available for the crowd’s enjoyment. At the main tailgate, a number of organizations will have special gatherings, including the Criminal Justice Association, Delta Delta Delta, Golden Eagles, College of Health and Human Services, and Presidential Ambassadors.

Other tailgate parties include the Southeast Booster Club at 11 a.m. at the Houck Stadium Booster Corral and the Baptist Student Union Tailgate Party at the Baptist Student Center, 909 Normal Ave. 

Also at 11 a.m. in the Dearmont Kitchen Lab, Nina Swan-Kohler, an alumna of Southeast Missouri State University, will be promoting her cookbook, Tailgates to Touchdowns, and will be teaching a cooking class highlighting the “easy to tackle” recipes found in her cookbook.  Cost of the class is $25 and includes the cookbook.   Contact Swan-Kohler at swankohler@cs.com to register; the class is limited to 30 participants.

Swan-Kohler is a 1999 recipient of the Southeast Alumni Merit Award.  She has become a nutritionist, culinary professional and home economist. 

She received her bachelor’s degree in home economics from Southeast in 1974 and has worked in the culinary and food marketing industries for the past 25 years.

The annual Homecoming football game will take place at 1 p.m. in Houck Stadium as Southeast takes on University of Tennessee-Martin.  Student competition winners will be announced throughout the game, and the Man and Woman of the Year will be crowned at half time.  University officials say the half time show will feature an international flair.

After the football game, several events are planned. The newly renovated Marquette Hotel Building in downtown Cape Girardeau will be the site for the Seventy-Five Plus  Party/Abe’s Boys Reunion. Alumni age 75 and older along with former players of Coach Abe Stuber are encouraged to attend this special time of remembering at 4 p.m.

The reunion for classes of the 1950s and 1960s and the Knox Teams will be held at 4 p.m. at Buckner Brewing Co., in downtown Cape Girardeau.

Other post-game gatherings include a reception for alumni who majored in physical education, recreation, health management and sport management; an open house and reception at the International Center to honor International Distinguished Service Award winners; a reception for former Golden Eagles; Delta Chi Fraternity dinner; NPHC step show and after party; and Sigma Nu Fraternity 10th Anniversary Celebration.

Sunday will provide an opportunity for those returning to Cape Girardeau who have been out of the area for some time to enjoy the “Everything New in Cape Girardeau” bus tour on Sunday, Oct. 31. The tour, hosted by Grace Hoover, will feature the Emerson Bridge, River Campus, Water Street murals, Marquette Hotel, Lorimier Red House, future home of the Alumni Center, and the nature walk. The 9:30 a.m. tour will be led by Dr. Frank Nickell and will start at the Wehking Alumni Center.  Reservations are necessary.

The Alumni Association will host a free continental breakfast Sunday at 10 a.m., at the Johnson Faculty Center.  Mike Parker ’67, Alumni Association president, will host with his wife Dawn (Poyner) ’72.

The day will conclude with the dedication at 1 p.m. of the new state-of-the-art campus Greenhouse at the corner of Old Sprigg and Bertling in Cape Girardeau.

For more information on Homecoming 2004 at Southeast Missouri State University, call the Southeast Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or visit www.semoalumni.com.