Alumni and students are invited to “soar” at Southeast Missouri State University’s Homecoming 2019 with a full week of events Oct. 21-26 celebrating this fall Southeast tradition.

Homecoming is one of the best opportunities for alumni to return to campus and see that what made Southeast special for them, are the same things that still make it special for our current students,” said George Gasser, director of Alumni Relations. “The Homecoming theme this year, ‘Let’s Soar,’ is a great reminder that while our alumni have soared to success and continue to soar higher, the University is hard at work making sure our current students are set to soar into their futures as well.”

Highlights during the week include presentation of the University’s Man and Woman of the Year; the Copper Dome Society and Merit Award Dinner featuring the presentation of the 2019 Alumni and Faculty Merit Awards, the Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Young Alumni Service Award; the Homecoming parade; and football game.

Southeast students have chosen the theme, “Southeast: A Tale Like No Other,” celebrating favorite children’s authors and stories. For a schedule of events and information, visit the Southeast Homecoming Facebook page.

“It’s always great to see the energy on campus build as we move from the excitement of opening weekend in August to Homecoming in October,” Gasser said. “We can’t wait to see everyone back on campus.”

Thank A Giver (TAG) initiative

Throughout Homecoming week, the University will celebrate the generosity of Southeast alumni, parents, faculty and staff who have made so many opportunities possible for students with the Thank A Giver (TAG) initiative. Students will tag equipment, facilities and buildings with “Made Possible by a Donor” signs; sign a banner to thank alumni gathered at Homecoming; and deliver gifts to the faculty and staff who give more than their time to the University.

Festivities to welcome alumni to campus begin on Friday, Oct. 25, with an endowed scholarship reception at 4:30 p.m. at the Show Me Center. This “invitation-only” event is an opportunity for endowed scholarship donors to meet the students who benefit from their generosity. For more information, contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2332.

Following the reception, the Copper Dome Society Dinner and Merit Award presentations will take place in the Show Me Center. A social begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Members of the University’s Copper Dome Society are invited to this annual dinner during which the Alumni Association’s 2019 Alumni Merit Awards will be presented. These awards have been presented annually since 1958 to Southeast alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and the University. The 2019 Faculty Merit Award, 2019 Distinguished Service Award and the 2019 Distinguished Young Alumni Service Award also will be presented.

Alumni Association’s 2019 Alumni and Faculty Merit Awards

This year’s Alumni Merit Award recipients are Patricia Reinhart, of St. Louis, Missouri, retired corporate sales executive; Donald Taylor, of Oro Valley, Arizona, chief executive officer of Titan Mining Corporation; Jon Robinson, of Union City, Tennessee, executive vice president/general manager of the Tennessee Titans; and Dr. Steven Curtis, of Norman, Oklahoma, retired University of Oklahoma professor of music education.

Receiving the Faculty Merit Award will be Dr. Debbie Lee-DiStefano, Southeast professor of Spanish. The Faculty Merit Award is presented for excellence in teaching.

This year’s Distinguished Service Award will be presented to the Honorable Abbie Crites-Leoni, of Cape Girardeau, a 1993 Southeast graduate and U.S. Magistrate Judge. Distinguished Service Awards are presented to individuals and organizations that have made lasting contributions to their communities and to the University.

Receiving the Distinguished Young Alumni Service Award will be Dane Huxel, of St. Charles, Missouri, a 2006 Southeast graduate who opened his own State Farm Agency in January 2013 in South St. Louis County. The award was established in 2017 to honor recent graduates for their outstanding service to and support of the University.

Reservations for the dinner are required. Admission is complimentary for Copper Dome Society members and $30 for others. For more information, contact Alumni Relations at (573) 651-2259.

Saturday, Oct. 26, is jam-packed with events throughout the day. Start Homecoming morning with “Alumni Coffee & Donuts” at 8-9:30 a.m. in Barbara Hope Kem Statuary Hall in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center. This informal setting allows alumni and friends to grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a donut before going outside to enjoy the Homecoming parade.

Homecoming Parade

The Homecoming parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Capaha Park and travels east on Broadway to Main Street and then south on Main Street. This year’s parade marshals are 2004 Southeast graduate Jeremy Boyer, St. Louis Blues’ organist, and 2002 Southeast graduate Nick Wierciak, vice president of Ticketing, Premium and Suite Sales with the St. Louis Blues. The parade will feature student-created floats highlighting favorite children’s authors and stories, marching bands, student organizations, alumni and student dignitaries and community entries.

After the parade, alumni can visit the Academic Hall Dome from 10 a.m.-noon to learn about the history of the University’s landmark administration building and sign their name alongside those of hundreds of other alumni who have left their signatures inside the dome over the past century. Visitors may enter through the main entrance of Academic Hall.

The campus and alumni communities also are invited to the Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing Grand Re-Opening and the 25th Anniversary of the Family Nurse Practitioners Program Celebration from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The newly renovated Crisp Hall, located on Academic Drive just off Pacific Street, features expanded instructional and administrative spaces for Southeast’s Department of Nursing and is the new home for the University’s office of Counseling and Disability Services, joining the Campus Health Clinic in its newly reconfigured facility. Visitors can mingle with faculty and students from Southeast’s Department of Nursing, tour the renovated spaces with a demonstration in the simulation lab, and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

Football tailgating will begin at 11 a.m. in front of Houck Field and on various parking areas near the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center and Houck Field House. The tailgate will feature live music, refreshments and appearances by the Southeast Marching Band, Sundancers, cheerleaders and Rowdy as they lead the football team in the Redhawk Walk down Bellevue and into the stadium. Personal tailgating space is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center parking lots.

The Cape Girardeau County Alumni Association along with University Advancement staff members will give away free chili and hot dogs, while supplies last, at the Alumni Hospitality Tent on the Alumni Center lawn.

In addition, the Vets’ Corps will host a Pig Roast at 11 a.m. in the Alumni Center parking lot. The Vets Corps at Southeast Missouri State was established in 1967. Southeast alumni who are veterans and their guests are invited to this annual tailgate event, sponsored by the Southeast Vets Corps Alumni and Southeast’s Student Veterans Organization. For more information, contact Tom Meyer, (573) 334-2875.

The Homecoming football game kicks off at 1 p.m. when the Southeast Redhawks take on the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks at Houck Field. Tickets start at $11 for adults, and $6 for fans ages 14 and under and can be purchased through the Southeast Athletics office, 1221 Broadway St. in Cape Girardeau. Tickets will also be available, while supplies last, at the ticket booths in front of Houck Stadium on game day. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 866-SEMO-TIK or (573) 651-2113. Student admission is free with a valid Redhawks ID, and students are encouraged to cheer on the team in the Redhawks Nest student section. The University’s 2019 Man and Woman of the Year will be announced during halftime.

Student Events

Student Homecoming events will get under way Oct. 21-22 with campus-wide online voting to select the 2019 Man and Woman of the Year. Students can cast their vote via the Southeast portal, For more information, contact Parris Nathan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As part of the Homecoming celebration, student groups will paint artwork on downtown Cape Girardeau window storefronts that will be displayed throughout the week. A long-held Southeast Homecoming tradition, the window art will be judged and evaluated based on use of the student theme.

A Homecoming Talent Show is slated for 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in Academic Hall Auditorium. Southeast students are encouraged to cheer on their friends as they vie for cash prizes in the annual show. For more information, contact Gabby Foust at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Field Day is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 24, in Houck Field House. Students compete in various events, including charades, musical chairs, tug-of-war and a relay race.

Field Day and Spirit Rally

A Spirit Rally, featuring the Southeast Marching Band, Sundancers and cheerleaders, will immediately follow the Field Day activities. Students are encouraged to participate in a costume contest and dance competition. For more information on Field Day or the Spirit Rally, contact Lauren Neighbors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Homecoming Bash is scheduled for 5:30-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, beginning with all students and the campus community are invited to support the women’s soccer team as it faces Jacksonville State University at 6:30 p.m. on Houck Field. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call the Redhawks Ticket Office at (573) 651-2113. After the game, students are invited to continue celebrating with an evening of fun, music, games and activities at Southeast’s River Campus.

For more information on Homecoming 2019 at Southeast, contact Alumni Relations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..