Week of September 20, 1999


six month archive


Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Homecoming ‘99 Oct. 8-10 with the theme “Rolling on the River.”

Highlights of Homecoming weekend will be the presentation of the Faculty and Alumni Merit Awards, the Homecoming parade, the Homecoming Music Festival, the Vince Gill and JoDee Messina concert at the Show Me Center and the football game.

The 1999 Faculty and Alumni Merit Award winners will be honored Oct. 8. The Merit award winners and the academic college presenting the awards are: Dan McLean, Donald L. Harrison College of Business; Dr. Richard Eichhorst, College of Education; Dr. Jerry Caulder, College of Science and Technology; Nina Swan-Kohler, College of Health and Human Services; Dr. James LaRue; Polytechnic Institute; and Billie Letts, College of Liberal Arts.

Dr. Larry Easley, associate professor of history, is this year’s recipient of the Faculty Merit Award. All recipients will be honored at a Merit Award/Scholarship Dinner on Friday, Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

Oct. 9 will begin with the annual Copper Dome Breakfast, honoring the class of 1949. The 1999 “Friend of the University” Award and class checks will be presented at that time.

Following the breakfast will be the Homecoming Broadway Mile, sponsored by Wellness Advantage. Walkers will receive a commemorative cup and a free ticket to the Homecoming football game for finishing the mile walk down Broadway in front of the parade. Other prizes also will be given.

The Homecoming parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Capaha Park and will proceed east on Broadway to Main Street. Mark Twain, a native of Missouri, will be the parade marshal this year. Rumor has it that he is bringing Aunt Polly, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as guests. Parade floats will be depictions on the theme “Celebrating Southeast Around the World.”

After the parade, a number of tailgate parties, luncheons and reunions will be held. The first annual All-Greek Alumni/Student Tailgate will be held in the tailgate area across from the Playdium. The Booster Club will hold a tailgate party at noon. The “Luncheon Celebrating 25 years of Women’s Athletics” will be held for former and current Southeast women athletes at the Student Recreation Center. A Sundancer and a Cheerleader reunion will be held at the tailgate area, and a Nursing Alumni reunion will be held at the River Campus. In addition, the Department of Foreign Languages will hold a “Brat and Kraut Cookout” at Houck Stadium.

A “Rolling on the River Festival” will be held on the River Campus after the parade. The event will feature live music, face painting, miniature horses and river history at Old St. Vincent’s Seminary, recently purchased by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

At 1 p.m., the Homecoming football game will be held at Houck Stadium when Southeast takes on Tennessee Tech. Homecoming Parade float winners will be announced at the game, along with the overall winners of Homecoming 1999. The Man & Woman of the Year will also be announced.

Homecoming week events will begin on Oct. 1 with the African-American Alumni Happy Hour at 6 p.m. at Jeremiah’s Restaurant Lounge located at 102 N. Kingshighway in Sikeston, Mo.

Philanthropic Day, a community service day for students, will be on Oct. 5. Students will be moving furniture, painting, and gardening at local schools. The annual Block Party will be held on Oct. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Scully softball field. The event includes food, games, and music from Mix 104.7. At 7:15 p.m., a Student Government Bonfire, featuring music, will be held at Scully softball field. The Man and Woman of the Year Recognition Dinner will be held on Oct. 7 at the Show Me Center. The retiring Man and Woman of the Year will preside over the dinner at 6 p.m. Current candidates and staff members will be recognized for their efforts in improving the University.

There also will be a second African-American Happy Hour at 5:30 p.m. at Michon’s located at 8181 S. Florrisant in St. Louis. At 6:30 p.m., a 25-Year Club reunion will be held in the University Center for all faculty and staff who have been with the University for 25 years or more.

An Alumni Golf Outing will be held at Bent Creek at noon on Oct. 8. Alumni can play 18 holes with a four-person team, receive a sack lunch, and have a chance to win prizes. The cost is $34. At 1 p.m., there will be a “Meet the President” reception held at Wildwood, in which visitors will have the opportunity to meet Southeast’s new president, Dr. Kenneth Dobbins. A Pep Rally and Coloring Contest will be held at area elementary and secondary schools at 2:30 p.m. The newly remodeled Student Recreation Center will hold an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. All members of former literary societies are invited to attend the All Society Reunion at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. At 6 p.m., a third African-American Alumni Happy Hour will be held at Port Cape Girardeau, located at 19 N. Water. Another reunion will be held for anyone who attended Southeast in the 1950s. The decade reunion social will be held at 8 p.m. at the Osage Center. Pi Kappa Alpha will have an alumni cocktail party at the Memorial Lodge at 5:30 p.m.

Vince Gill and special guest JoDee Messina will perform in concert on Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. in the Show Me Center. Tickets are $30.25 and $25.25 and can be purchased at the Show Me Center Box Office.

The City of Roses Homecoming Music Festival will coincide with this year’s festivities. The festival will provide a weekend of live music for downtown Cape Girardeau. Over 30 local bands will perform indoor and outdoor at restaurants, clubs, the downtown dance studio, and at the River Campus. Live music, including folk, gospel, jazz and bluegrass will be heard along the river.

Following the football game, several post-game parties will be held Oct. 9. The African-American Alumni will hold a pizza party in front of Kent Library. The 1930s and 1940s reunion will be held at Port Cape. The Chemistry Alumni Social will also begin after the game at 547 Alta Vista. The 1960s and 1970s reunion will be held at the Wine Cellar at 4 p.m. At the same time, the 1980s and 1990s reunion will be held at Mudsuckers. At 6 p.m., “Abe’s Boys Dinner” and the Pi Kappa Alpha Alumni/Student Dinner will be held at the Holiday Inn. Theta Xi and Lambda Chi Alumni/Student Dinners will be held at the Drury Lodge. Sigma Nu Alumni/Student Dinner also will be held after the football game.

For more information or to make Homecoming reservations, contact the Southeast Alumni Office at (573) 651-2259. A complete schedule of events can be found on the Alumni Office website at www2.semo.edu/alumni/homecome.html.

top of page


The Alumni Association of Southeast Missouri State University has selected six alumni and a Southeast faculty member to receive the University’s annual Alumni and Faculty Merit Awards.

The seven will be honored during Homecoming festivities at the annual Merit Award Dinner. The dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Student Recreation Center located adjacent to the Show Me Center.

Larry J. Easley is this year’s recipient of the 1999 Faculty Merit Award for excellence and distinction in teaching at Southeast Missouri State University.

Easley holds a bachelor of science in history degree from Western State College, and a master of arts in history degree from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition, Easley has completed additional advanced graduate work at Southern Illinois University and the University of Wyoming. Easley is an associate professor of history at Southeast, where he has taught for more than 30 years.

Billie Letts, best-selling author of Where the Heart Is, and The Honk and Holler Opening Soon, is the recipient from the College of Liberal Arts. Letts began her education at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. She completed a bachelor of science degree in education with a major in English at Southeast Missouri State University. Upon completing her degree, she launched her teaching career at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and in Oklahoma.

Presently retired from the English faculty of Southeast Oklahoma University, she spends a vast amount of time writing. Warner Books Trade Paperback has published both her books and she has negotiated a movie deal for the rights for Where the Heart Is. Letts and her husband reside in Durant, Okla.

Dr. James LaRue, retired professor of the industrial technology department of the University of Northern Iowa, is the recipient of the Polytechnic Institute award. LaRue graduated from Southeast in 1947 with a bachelor of science in education degree with an emphasis in industrial technology. He received his master of arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado (UNI) in 1952 and a doctoral degree in education from Pennsylvania State University in 1968.

He was honored upon retirement from UNI in 1986 with the “LaRue Metal Technology Laboratory.” His research projects included developing the patent-applied-for sparkometer, a co-development of the electric testing/learning response board.

LaRue and wife, Nancy, also a graduate of Southeast, currently reside in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Dan McLean, retired president and former chief executive officer of Safeco Insurance Companies’ Property and Casualty operations, is the recipient from the Donald L. Harrison College of Business. McLean last attended Southeast in 1955 and finished five remaining hours for his bachelor of science in business degree at Wichita State in Kansas.

He was formerly outgoing chairman of the Insurance Information Institute, a past trustee and executive committee member of the American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, former outgoing chairman of the Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction, and a past member of the board of directors of the National Association of Insurance Women Education Foundation. In addition, he was on the board of directors of the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and on the board of trustees of the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Dan and his wife, Denise, presently reside in Westchester, Ill.

Dr. Jerry Caulder is the recipient from the College of Science and Technology. He completed a bachelor of science degree in botany and zoology from Southeast in 1964, and a master of science degree and a doctoral degree in agronomy and plant physiology from the University of Missouri. In addition, Caulder received an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of Missouri in 1997.

Founder, executive chairman, president and chief executive officer of Akkadix Corp., an agricultural biotechnology company, Caulder also is a former president, chairman, chief executive officer and chairman emeritus of the board of directors of Mycogen Corp., a diversified agribusiness and biotechnology company.

Caulder presently is executive chairman and chief executive officer of Myelos Corp., a neuroscience company which uses biotechnology to develop products for the treatment and prevention of diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.

He and his wife Carol (Boken) Caulder, who received her bachelor of science in education degree from Southeast in 1963, presently reside in Rancho Santa Fe, N.M.

Dr. Richard Eichhorst, retired executive director of the South County (St. Louis) Chamber of Commerce after 10 years of service, is the recipient from the College of Education. Eichhorst graduated from Southeast in 1956 with a bachelor of science degree in education with an emphasis in physical science. Following graduation, he received his master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a specialist’s degree in education in 1976 and a doctoral degree in education in 1978 both from St. Louis University.

Eichhorst became involved at his previous alma mater, Hancock High School in South County, where he served for 31 years as a basketball, baseball and track coach, athletic director, high school principal, and eventually assistant superintendent for business administration.

Eichhorst also was a basketball and football referee, working 25 years in the Big Eight, the Big 10, and the Missouri Valley Conference, as well as the U.S. Football League and the National Football League.

Eichhorst has been co-founder and president for eight years of the Friends of Jefferson Barracks Historical Society, co-founder and first president of the South County Unit of the American Cancer Society, and founder of the Pre-School Program/Parent Readiness Education Program of Hancock School District.

Eichhorst and his wife, Barbara Ann (Seelman), currently reside in St. Louis.

Swan-Kohler, founder, owner and president of Swan-Kohler & Associates, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, public relations and marketing firm, is the recipient from the College of Health and Human Services. Swan-Kohler graduated from Southeast in 1974 with a bachelor of science degree in vocational home economics education. She holds a master of science degree in home economics communications, with an emphasis on foods and nutrition, from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Swan-Kohler is a 20-plus year member of American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) and AAFCS’s business section, a member of Consumer Science Business Professionals, International Association of Culinary Professionals, a former chair of Iowa State University’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board, a member of the Cedar Rapids Salvation Army Advisory Board, a trustee on the Iowa 4-H Foundation Board, and a member of the Cedar Rapids Birthright Advisory Board.

Swan-Kohler, a native of Pocahontas, Mo., resides in Cedar Rapids with her husband, Ronald Kohler.

Each Alumni Merit Award is presented by an academic college or school at Southeast to honor distinguished alumna or alumnus. The awards have been given since 1958 to graduates or former students of Southeast who have brought distinction to themselves and to the University. Tickets for the dinner are available by calling the University Alumni Office at (573) 651-2259.

top of page


The 1999 Southeast Missouri State University Homecoming Broadway Mile will be held on Oct. 9, just before the Homecoming Parade.

The walk/run, sponsored by Wellness Advantage at Southeast, begins at 9:10 a.m. at Capaha Park, at the intersection of Broadway and West End Blvd., and proceeds east ahead of the Homecoming Parade, finishing at Main Street.

A brief awards ceremony will be held and refreshments will be provided in the parking lot across from Ragsdales, immediately following the race. The first male and female to finish the Broadway Mile will receive a $100 savings bond. Second and third place male and female winners will receive a $50 savings bond.

All participants will receive a commemorative cup, key chain and a free ticket to the Homecoming football game at 1 p.m. Other community prizes will be offered.

Everyone is invited to participate in the event. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Southeast Missouri Hospital parking lot at the intersection of Broadway and West End Blvd. The prices will be $9 for adults and $8 for dues paying Southeast Alumni members, students and groups with three or more family members.

Participants also can register before the event at Wellness Advantage, located in the Student Recreation Center at Southeast. The cost for participants registered by Sept. 22 is $8 for adults and $7 for dues paying Southeast Alumni members, students and groups of three or more family members. The first 100 registered participants will receive a free T-shirt.

Registration forms also are available in advance at First National Bank, Commerce Bank, Capaha Bank and Schnucks.

For more information about the Broadway Mile, contact Jenny Brune at (573) 651-2572.

top of page


The Southeast Missouri University Foundation received $3,865,284 in private support in fiscal 1999, making this past year the second highest giving total in the past five years, exceeded only by the 1987-1988 record-setting pace of $5.77 million.

“This past year’s level of support from alumni, friends and businesses indicates the Foundation has sustained a significantly higher level of commitments,” said Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “We share the deep appreciation of our students, faculty and everyone associated with the University and Foundation with each and every donor.”

Wayne Davenport, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Foundation, said giving above the fiscal ‘98 level increased in three categories: businesses and corporations, private foundations, and in the dollar amount of employee matching gifts received.

“The Foundation is increasing its efforts in these areas, and they will be of great importance in our ‘125 Years -- Prologue to the 21st Century’ Campaign,” Davenport said.

Business/corporate giving in the year which ended June 30 totaled $593,148, up 23.7 percent from fiscal ‘98; Foundation grants totaled $53,377, up from $14,047 in fiscal ‘98; and matching gifts increased from $42,230 in fiscal ‘98 to more nearly $54,000 this past year.

In fiscal ‘99, giving from Southeast graduates totaled $1,233,484 and contributions from non-alumni individuals was $1,964,781.

“Non-alumni individuals frequently have higher overall giving than graduates at universities whose fund-raising programs are as young as ours,” Davenport said. “This presents important opportunities for us to explain the benefits of increased alumni support that have a direct impact on our students and faculty.”

Gifts and gifts-in-kind to the Booster Club increased 6.5 percent last year to more than $480,000, and contributions and underwriting for KRCU-FM, Southeast Public Radio, increased 50 percent to more than $106,000.

A comprehensive Foundation Annual Report for 1998-1999 will be published this fall. Alumni and friends interested in receiving a copy should contact the Foundation and University Advancement Division at the Wehking Alumni Center, One University Center, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

top of page