Variety of Homecoming Activities Planned for Alumni


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 15, 2004 ᾰ The colleges and schools of Southeast Missouri State University are participating in Homecoming 2004 with a bountiful and varied assortment of activities ranging from cooking demonstrations and tours to lectures and special tailgaters that will ensure returning alumni and friends of the University will have nary a dull moment throughout the weekend. 

Festivities will begin Friday at 9 a.m. in the Dearmont Quadrangle, where the College of Health and Human Services will sponsor cooking demonstrations by Mariko Yoshiya, 2004 Distinguished Service Award Recipient.

Yoshiya, a highly recognized Japanese cooking show host, will present lectures and demonstrations to majors in dietetics, nutrition and hospitality and classes are open to others upon request. Contact Dr. Georganne Syler at (573) 651-2890 for more information.

At noon on Friday, the Department of Theatre and Dance will host “Conversations with the McNeely Family on the Theatre, Television and Film.”  This free event will be presented in a conversational format during which Don, Jerry, and Jane McNeely, three siblings who attended Southeast during their undergraduate years, will discuss their successful careers in stage, television and film.  Don McNeely had a career in broadcasting for 50 years.  He began early as a 16-year old high school KFVS Radio instructor, and returned after he came back from college.  Don became one of the most recognizable faces in the broadcast area as KFVS-TV’s Chief Weatherman.  Throughout his life, Don was an actor in several plays and a musician, forming his own band and playing extensively.  He continues to do promotional spots for KFVS, and leads vacation tours for Holiday Travel Service with his wife, Sue.

Jane McNeely Bruns was a political consultant, and helped establish one of the leading political consulting firms in the United States that handled the presidential races of Hubert Humphrey and Jimmy Carter.  Jane has also been very involved in community theatre and music.  During her career, she performed on a cable talk show in St. Louis and Atlanta, and taught political science at Webster University.  She continues to perform with Little Theatre in the Washington area.

Jerry McNeely has been a television writer, director, and MTM producer and playwright, as well as a professor at University of Wisconsin.  His writing credits number well over 100, and his work as a director has guided several television stars, including James Earl Jones, John Denver, Lee Majors, and many others.

“Conversations” will focus on each of their personal stories. The event is open to the public and will be held in the Forrest H. Rose Theatre in the Grauel Building.  A reception will follow the presentation in the theatre lobby.

Also at noon on Friday, the Donald L. Harrison College of Business will hold a lunch meeting for Distinguished Service Award recipient Marvin Strunk. The meeting will take place from noon until 1:30 p.m. in Dempster Hall Room 241. Strunk, a retired president and chief executive officer of the Madison Bank and Trust Company, attended Southeast for two years. He led eight trips to Russia from 1991 to 2002 and also was a trade delegation member to Mexico for the State of Illinois.

Perched high above the field and the scene of Saturday’s game, Kent Library is poised to offer returning alumni programs throughout the day Friday, such as  “An Introduction to Kent Library’s Web Page” from 2 to 2:30 p.m. and  “Researching Companies for Investment” from 3 to 3:30 p.m. both at Kent Library Little Theatre Lab Room 215.  There will be an alumni memorabilia exhibit from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Special Collections Room. Rare Book Room tours will run from 3 to 4 p.m. Refreshments will be provided for all.

On Friday evening from 4 to 6 p.m., the School of Polytechnic Studies will hold a reception for Faculty Merit Award recipient Dr. Bill Ellis in Magill Hall of Science Room 112. Ellis joined Southeast Missouri State University in 1979 as a professor of agriculture. He received the service award from the School of Polytechnic Studies in 2001 and the PRIDE Award from the School of Polytechnic Studies in 2003. He has served on the Governor’s Swine Advisory Committee, is a member of the American Society of Animal Scientists, the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, Missouri Academy of Science and the National Agribusiness Marketing Association. The reception is open to the public, but reservations are requested by calling Cheryl Reinagel at (573) 651-5915 or

Saturday is game day and many tailgaters will be held prior to the Homecoming game in which Southeast takes on Tennessee-Martin. Southeast fans will be out in full force, rallied by professors like Dr. William Bratberg of the College of Education’s Department of Educational Administration and Counseling.

“We’ve promoted the idea of having a tailgate for alumni,” Bratberg said. “We’re having a chili competition for the faculty, and we’ve designed our own T-shirts that say ‘College of Education: Cornerstone of Success,’ since Southeast began as a teacher college.”

Southeast scholar athletes have chosen to honor the College of Education during the game. Bratberg said he looks forward to the chance to garner some recognition for the department, have some fun and eat some chili.

“We’re going to sit together at the game, make some noise and represent the College of Education in a positive light,” he said. 

The College of Education Chili Cook-Off is slated for 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday in the tailgate area.

Meanwhile, the College of Health and Human Services will be having its own tailgate, which will offer some healthy snacks, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the tailgate area.  The college’s Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology also will be be tailgating in the area at that time.

After the game, the college’s Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation will host a post-game reception in the Parker Hall lower gym at 4 p.m. All physical education, recreation, health management and sports management alumni and friends are invited to attend for food, good cheer and a silent auction.

Homecoming weekend activities will conclude with the School of Polytechnic Studies’ dedication of the new Charles L. Hutson Horticulture Greenhouse. The greenhouse will be dedicated at a grand opening ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31. The greenhouse is located at the intersection of Bertling and Old Sprigg streets. Parking will be available at the University’s tennis courts near the corner of Bertling and Sprigg, and shuttle service to and from the greenhouse will be provided. Refreshments and tours of the facility will be available after the ceremony. 

The 11,660-square-foot greenhouse has been built on a six-acre plot west of the University’s new softball fields at Bertling and Sprigg, with access from Bertling. The new greenhouse is double the size of the current one off New Madrid west of the Student Recreation Center. The new state-of-the-art greenhouse facility is expected to give students experience by being involved from planting to sales.

“Experiential learning is number one as far as we are concerned,” said Dr. Wesley Mueller, chair of Southeast’s Department of Agriculture.