‘The Adventure Continues’ Theme of Homecoming 2003

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Sept. 19, 2003 – Southeast Missouri State University will mark the upcoming bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark expedition with the Homecoming 2003 theme “The Adventure Continues.”

Homecoming 2003 is scheduled for Oct. 2-4. Highlighting this year’s festivities will be a parade with a patriotic theme, a nationally televised football game, and the presentation of the annual Merit Awards and Distinguished Service Awards.

Events will get under way Oct. 2 with a 25-Year Club Reunion for University employees of 25 years or more and a Homecoming Party for the Minority Alumni Chapter in St. Louis. Events Oct. 3 will include an Endowed Scholarship Reception, a National Pan-Hellenic Council Kickoff Party and the 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 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.

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:  Lt. Gen. James Conway of Camp Pendleton, Calif., commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force; Dr. James Jett of Rochester, Minn., professor of medicine at the Mayo Medical School; Dr. Raymond Reiker of Hilton Head, S.C., a private consultant and advisor to the Vatican World Food Supply Organization in Rome; and Dr. Bradley Wigger of Louisville, Ky., associate professor of Christian education and director of The Center for Congregations and Family Ministries at Louisville Presbyterian Theology Seminary.

This year’s recipient of the Faculty Merit Award is Dr. Jack Sterrett of Cape Girardeau, professor of marketing and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at Southeast.

Events on Saturday, Oct. 4, 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 National Alumni Council will honor six individuals with Distinguished Service Awards. Recipients will be Becki Cook of Cape Girardeau, an attorney and former Missouri Secretary of State; Rev. Bernard Johnson (formerly Henry A. Johnson) of Vina, Calif., a Trappist monk; Gov. Ted Kulongoski of Salem, Ore., governor of Oregon; Michael Landrum of Blooming Grove, N.Y., a professional actor and spokesperson; Weldon Macke of Gordonville, Mo., retired Cape Girardeau County auditor; and Helen Harrelson of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., a professional actress.

The Distinguished Service Awards, which are being given for the second time, are presented to individuals who attended Southeast but who did not graduate, 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.

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 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 a patriotic theme with every major float depicting a part of a patriotic panorama. Several patriotic groups have been invited to participate in the parade, which will feature about 200 entries, including many area marching bands, the University’s Golden Eagles Marching Band, color guards, floats and a multitude of truck/trailer entries. A number of dignitaries will be riding in the parade, including the Homecoming Court, the retiring Man and Woman of the Year, the National Alumni Council president; this year’s Alumni Merit and Faculty Merit Award winners; Dr. 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 occurs on Broadway in front of the KFVS-TV tower.

After the parade, alumni and friends are invited to gather at the Houck Stadium Tailgate Area from 10 to 11:15 a.m. prior to the football game. At the tailgate area, Nina Swan-Kohler, an alumna of Southeast Missouri State University, will be promoting her new cookbook, Tailgates to Touchdowns, and providing samples of recipes found in her cookbook. She also will have the cookbook available for purchase.

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 Southeast Booster Club also will be holding a tailgater at 10:30 a.m. at the Booster Corral at Houck Stadium.

For the first time in the University’s history, the Homecoming football game will be carried nationally on The Football Network.  Kickoff will be at 11:30 a.m. in Houck Stadium when Southeast takes on Eastern Illinois University. The Football Network is the first cable network dedicated exclusively to football at all levels.  Southeast is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) league title in preseason voting by the OVC head football coaches.

Winning floats 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 a patriotic flair.

After the football game, several events are planned, including the Seventy-Five Plus Party, the Abe’s Boys’ Reunion, the Knox Teams Reunion, a 1950s and 1960s Reunion and a Pi Kappa Alpha 45th Anniversary celebration.

For more information on Homecoming 2003 at Southeast Missouri State University, call Southeast Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or visit http://www.semoalumni.com.