Southeast Celebrates Homecoming 2014 with ‘Paint the Town Red’ Theme


The 2013 Man of the Year Benny Dorris and the 2013 Woman of the year Lacey Balsmann celebrate their awards.

The 2013 Man of the Year Benny Dorris and the 2013 Woman of the year Lacey Balsmann celebrate their awards.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 22, 2014 – Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Homecoming 2014 Sept. 29-Oct. 4 with a full slate of activities as alumni, students and friends are invited to “paint the town red.”

“Homecoming is a cornerstone event on the alumni calendar,” said Jay Wolz, director of Alumni Relations at Southeast. “Every year, thousands of Southeast graduates return to campus to enjoy Homecoming activities, to reminisce with friends and classmates, to reconnect with staff and faculty members, and to fondly remember their time on campus.

“The tradition of Homecoming at Southeast dates back to the early 1900s.  It’s one of our most cherished traditions … something our students, faculty, staff and alumni look forward to each fall,” he said.

Highlights will include the annual crowning of the 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 for a complete schedule of events.

Southeast students will kick off this year’s celebration with Southeast Spirit Day on Monday, Sept. 29. Students are asked to sport their favorite Southeast spirit gear to launch “Paint the Town Red” Homecoming festivities.

On Sept. 29-30, students will have the opportunity to select this year’s Man and Woman of the Year. Voting for the candidates will take place via the Southeast portal, accessible at For more information, contact Michele Irby, Campus Life and Events, at (573) 651-5120.

Field Day is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 29 in Houck Field House. Students compete in various events, which are free. For more information, contact Joanna Shaver, coordinator for campus programming, at (573) 651-2280.

A Spirit Rally is planned for later Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Houck Field House. The rally will feature the Southeast cheerleaders, Sundancers, Rowdy, band, athletic teams, and the announcing of 2014 Man and Woman of the Year candidates. The event is free.

Students who want to showcase their special talents may do so at a Talent Show at 7 p.m. in the Show Me Center on Tuesday, Sept. 30. For more information, contact Shaver at (573) 651-2280.

Student Homecoming fun will continue with laser tag on Thursday, Oct. 2, from 8-11 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center-North.

Alumni events begin with an Endowed Scholarship Reception from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, in the Show Me Center. Students receiving an endowed scholarship can meet and mingle with their scholarship donors at this event. For more information, contact Susan Burton, Southeast Missouri University Foundation, at (573) 651-2203 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Alumni smile for the camera at the 2013 Copper Dome Society Dinner.

Following the reception, Copper Dome Society members, alumni and friends are invited to attend a Copper Dome Society Dinner honoring this year’s Merit Award recipients. Since 1958, Alumni Merit Awards have been presented to Southeast graduates who have brought distinction to themselves and the University.

This year’s honorees are Karla Bakersmith, ’81, of Chesterfield, Mo., president and chief executive officer of Scrubs & Beyond, LLC; Cynthia Fleck, ’87, of St. Louis, Mo, president of Cynthia Fleck & Associates, LLC, in St. Louis, Mo.; Eric Levin, ’84, of Edwardsville, Ill., chief financial officer of The Boeing Company’s Phantom Works division; Sam Park, ’82, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., West Coast Editor and part-owner of the transmedia company Monsterverse Entertainment and his new horror media company, Scratch Lightning Productions; James W. Riley Jr., ’80, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., founder of Red Letter Communications; Dr. Cynthia Stone, ’81, of Fairhaven, Mass., chief academic officer for Northeast Maritime Institute in Fairhaven, Mass.; and Dr. Chris Wright, ’96, of Yardley, Pa., corporate strategic research downstream portfolio manager, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE) Company.

Receiving the Faculty Merit Award will be Dr. Willie Redmond, professor of economics at Southeast.

Attendees can mingle at 6:30 p.m., with dinner served at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, in the Show Me Center. The ceremony will begin at approximately 7:45 p.m., and will include the showing of Merit Award recipient videos. Tickets are $25 per person, and members of the Copper Dome Society will receive up to two complimentary tickets for family members. For Copper Dome Society and Merit Award Reception tickets and more information, call the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2332.

Redhawk fans can cheer on the women’s soccer and volleyball teams as they battle the University of Tennessee-Martin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3. The soccer game will be held at Houck Stadium, while the volleyball match is scheduled for Houck Field House. Ticket prices vary for both and can be purchased at (573) 651-2113 or at

Saturday events get under way 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. All alumni, friends and their families are invited to attend the breakfast, where this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients will be honored. Cost of the breakfast is $10 per person. Space is limited, and reservations may be made by calling the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients are Dr. Linda Lattin Burns, Southeast professor emeritus of English and secondary education; Dr. Dan and Paulette Cotner of Cape Girardeau.; and the team physicians for Southeast athletics — Dr. Jimmy Bowen, Dr. James Edwards, Dr. Patrick Knight, Dr. Brian Schafer and Dr. Andrew Trueblood, all of Advanced Orthopedic Specialists in Cape Girardeau.

The breakfast precedes the annual Homecoming parade that begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Capaha Park. Serving as parade marshals will be Southeast Missouri State University President Kenneth W. Dobbins and his wife, Jeanine Larson Dobbins, founder and director emeritus of the Missouri Statewide Early Literacy Intervention Program based at Southeast.  Also serving as parade marshals will be their son, Paul, and his wife, Stacey, and their children Lincoln Kenneth and Brady Larson. The parade travels east on Broadway to Main Street and then south on Main Street to Independence.

The Homecoming parade, which will feature decorated floats, marching bands, the Man and Woman of the Year candidates and a variety of other entries, is one of the largest in the region. Floats will depictcelebrations from around the world. Contact Shaver for more information at (573) 651-2280.


Fans partake in the 2013 Homecoming tailgate before heading to Houck Stadium to watch game.

After the parade, numerous Greek and student organizations will hold pre-game tailgates at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, in front of Houck Stadium on Bellevue and in the parking lots surrounding the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center. Southeast students, alumni, staff, faculty and friends are invited. Several campus organizations, including fraternities and sororities, will participate. The tailgate area will feature food, beverages and live music. For more information, contact Nate Saverino at (573) 651-2962 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Free tours of the Academic Hall dome will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone interested in taking a tour should enter through the building’s front entrance, which faces Normal Avenue.

Also during this time, the Alumni Association invites members of the Class of 1964 to celebrate the 50-year reunion of their class with a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 4 in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center. The cost is $15 per person. For more information, contact Alumni Relations at (573) 651-2259 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The football game is the cornerstone of Homecoming festivities.

The Redhawks will take on Tennessee State University at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 at Houck Stadium during the annual Homecoming football game. At halftime, the Man and Woman of the Year will be crowned. To purchase football game tickets, call (866) SEMO-TIK or visit

Festivities will continue for alumni who are at least 70 years old at the Diamond Club Reception at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the Dempster Hall atrium. Cost of the event is $15. Appetizers and a cash bar also will be available. For more information, contact Alumni Relations at (573) 651-2259 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A variety of Greek and other alumni events will also take place throughout Homecoming Week. For more information on these events, visit

“Homecoming is a great opportunity for our alumni of past generations to network with current students and, in doing so, they discover the common bond that connects the past with the present,” Wolz said.

VIA - Southeast Missouri State University News Bureau

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