|Southeast Missouri State University|
|President||Dr. Kenneth Dobbins|
|Students||10,477 (Fall 2006)|
|Location||Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA|
|Campus||Rural, 400 acres (161.9 ha)|
|Nickname||Redhawks (Division I FCS)|
|Mascot||Rowdy the Redhawk|
Southeast Missouri State University, is a public, accredited university located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States, near the banks of the Mississippi River. The institution, having started as a normal school, has a traditional strength in teacher education. The recent addition of the River Campus, housing the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts, has increased the university's commitment to education in the arts. As a comprehensive institution, the institution offers over 200 areas of study, including undergraduate degrees as well as master's degrees and a cooperative Ed.D. program with the University of Missouri.
- 1 Student body and diversity
- 2 History
- 3 Campus
- 4 Athletics
- 5 List of Fraternities and Sororities
- 6 Capaha Arrow
- 7 Alumni
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Student body and diversity
In Fall 2012, the University had a record enrollment of over 11,000. 93.1% of students attended full-time, while 6.9% attended part-time. In Fall 2002, 645 male students and 921 female students enrolled as first-time students (freshmen, typically). Female students made up 58.8% of the student body. Minority enrollment included African-American (6%), Hispanic (1%), and Asian (1%).
Southeast Missouri State University has had five names in its history, each time attempting to better reflect its mission and identity:
University Name Dates Used Southeast Missouri State Normal School 1873–1881 Missouri State Normal School—Third District 1881–1919 Southeast Missouri State Teachers College 1919–1946 Southeast Missouri State College 1946–1973 Southeast Missouri State University 1973–Present
Southeast Missouri State University was founded in 1873 when a group of prominent businessmen and politicians successfully lobbied the State of Missouri to designate Cape Girardeau as the home of the Third District Normal School. Originally known as Southeast Missouri State Normal School, the first classes were originally taught at the nearby Lorimier School until April 1875 when the first normal school building was completed.
The Normal building was described by Mark Twain in "Life on the Mississippi":
"There was another college higher up on an airy summit--a bright new edifice, picturesquely and peculiarly towered and pinnacled--a sort of gigantic casters, with the cruets all complete."
The Original Normal School Building burned down on April 8, 1902,  and was replaced in 1906 by Academic Hall, the school's domed landmark building. It was designed by Jerome Bibb Legg, who also designed the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall, and includes light fixtures from the 1904 World's Fair.
In the 1950s Southeast Missouri State College had an enrollment of approximately 1,600 students and steadily increased to more than 7,000 students in the 1970s due to low tuition costs, aggressive recruiting, and the construction of Interstate 55 between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. The College also moved away from its focus on only training teachers and began to offer courses of study in business, nursing, and the liberal arts. Due to this expansion of curriculum and student body population, the college officially became Southeast Missouri State University in 1972. The physical size of the campus also grew in this same period. In 1956, the institution had ten buildings on campus. By 1975, the number had increased to twenty-two buildings. In 1998, the university acquired the former St. Vincent's Seminary on the Mississippi river. This property has been redeveloped as the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts, which opened in Fall 2007.
Missouri State Normal School—Third District President John Sephus McGhee established the University Schools on June 15, 1896. This allowed prospective teachers to gain real world teaching experience while earning their degrees. As the university expanded its curriculum and extra-curricular activities so did the University Schools. In 1903, as recent construction allowed for more space for university classes, the training school was able to expand its class sizes as well. The University Schools consisted of an elementary, junior high, and high school. The University Schools closed at the end of the 1986-1987 school year, due to increasing costs.
University presidents 
- Lucius H. Cheney (1873–76)
- Alfred Kirk (1876–77)
- Charles Henry Dutcher (1877–81)
- Richard Chapman Norton (1881–93)
- Willard Duncan Vandiver (1893–97)
- John Sephus McGhee (1897–99)
- Washington Strother Dearmont (1899-1921)
- Joseph Archibald Serena (1921–33)
- Walter Winfield Parker (1933–56)
- Mark F. Scully (1956–75)
- Robert E. Leestamper (1975–79)
- Bill Stacy (1979–89)
- Robert W. Foster (1989–90)
- Kala Stroup (1990–95)
- Bill Atchley (1995–96)
- Dale F. Nitzchke (1996–99)
- Kenneth W. Dobbins (1999–present)
The Normal School Building was completed in 1875, on the site of the current Academic Hall. Initially it was the only school building and housed classrooms, offices, and storage. Normal School Building was 3 stories tall, built of brick in the French Second Empire style, and was designed by Charles B. Clark of St. Louis. Just as construction was beginning on what would become Carnahan Hall in 1902, the school building burned down, at which time Academic Hall was erected in its place.
Carnahan Hall was initially built as the Science Building, and was later changed to become the Social Science Building. It is built in the Neoclassical Style and was completed in 1902 by Jerome B. Legg, who also designed Academic Hall. It is the oldest standing building on Campus and underwent a major Renovation between 1994 and 1998. During the renovation the entire interior was removed from the masonry shell, and rebuilt with state-of-the-art technology without diminishing the historic fabric of the building’s exterior. Upon completion of the project, the building was rededicated Carnahan Hall in honor of Congressman and Ambassador Carnahan of Carter, MO. Today Carnahan Hall houses the College of Liberal Arts.
The Foreign Language Building, also known as the Art Building, was built in 1902 by the same designer of Academic Hall and Carnahan Hall. Built as the companion to Carnahan Hall, it is identical to Carnahan Hall except for the pair of small towers that were added later for dramatic effect. The Art Building currently houses the Language and Anthropology Departments of the College of Liberal Arts.
Albert and Lemming Halls were completed in 1904 and 1905 respectively, and were built to meet the growing demand for student housing close to campus. Albert Hall was an all-male dorm, and Lemming an all-female. At the time of completion these were the only dormitories on campus, and previously students had to rent housing or live with families in the town some distance from campus. No longer standing, these three story dorms were built of limestone in the neoclassical style, Albert Hall located where Dearmont Hall now stands, and Lemming on the site of the University Center. These halls were named for members of the University Board of Regents, who were instrumental in expanding the campus at the time.
Serena Hall was built in 1905 and named for Joseph Serena, the eighth President of the University. Originally it was the School of Manual Training, and was the home of the Industrial Technology Department until the completion of Seabaugh Hall. Today it houses the Southeast Missouri Public Radio Studio, as well as numerous classrooms, workshops, and photography and drafting Studios. The East and West wings were built in 1962 and 1983 respectively, and were intentionally designed to contrast with the neoclassical style of the main building.
Wildwood is the President's house, and was built in 1923 upon the foundations of a winery that was already standing on the site. It has served as the University Presidents house ever since, and has been updated, remodeled, and undergone major repairs several times over its lifetime
Houck Field House was built in 1927 to house the Physical Education Department. The field house contained locker rooms, an indoor basketball and gymnastics stadium, as well as offices. The original Field House was destroyed in a fire in 1948, and was subsequently rebuilt and expanded in 1951 as the main locker room, basketball stadium, and home of the SEMO Athletics Department. Houck Field House and Houck Stadium are named for Louis Houck, an important and longtime member of the Board of Regents and local railroad entrepreneur.
Houck Stadium was built in 1930, and is one of the oldest stadiums in Missouri. It’s been renovated and updated numerous times, and currently holds 10,000 spectators. It is built of native limestone quarried from the building site. It is the home venue for SEMO football and soccer.
Academic Hall is the second oldest standing building on campus, and is the administrative center of the college. Built between 1903 and 1906 of locally quarried limestone, it was designed by Jerome B. Legg of St. Louis in the neoclassical style on a monumental scale, capped with a massive copper sheathed dome. Today it houses the administrative offices of the school such as the Registrar, Financial Services. Etc.
Kent Library, built in 1939 as a WPA project, houses the school’s library, archives, rare book room, Center for William Faulkner Studies, Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, and computer labs. The building originally was constructed in a limestone neoclassical style with wide art glass windows to fit in with the existing campus, however Kent Library underwent a major renovation between 1965 and 1968 that expanded the building considerably and wrapped the original structure in a modernist concrete screen. The library is named for Sadie Kent, a longtime librarian and faculty member at the school. The library houses an extensive collection of Faulkner materials in the Brodsky Collection, as well as the Center for Faulkner Studies.
Cheney Hall was built in 1939 as a WPA project along with Kent Library. It is the oldest residence hall on campus, and was built in the neoclassical style to match the aesthetic of the rest of the campus. With the high demand for rooms in Cheney Hall, the rooms are reserved for returning students. The hall is named for the first President of the Normal School, Lucius H. Cheney.
Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing was built between 1921 and 1923 as the Training School. Built in the neoclassical style it was designed by Study & Farrar of St. Louis. In 1998 the U-shaped north side of the building was enclosed to house Dempster Auditorium. The Training School underwent a major renovation in 1987 and was rededicated in 1988 in honor of philanthropist, women’s health activist, and long standing member of the Southeast Missouri State University foundation, Mrs. Rosemary Berkel Crisp. Crisp Hall currently houses the College of Health and Human Services and the Center for Health and Human Services that serves as a full-time student clinic on campus.
Myers Hall is located between the University Center and Vandiver Hall, and is the only residence hall open all year. Completed in 1948 as an all-male dorm, it was remodeled in 1989, and renovated again 2001. Myers Hall is now a co-ed residence hall used by students staying for the summer term, as well as students who cannot return home during holiday breaks, and is geared towards upper-classmen and foreign students.
Memorial Hall was built in 1950 as a Student Union and Lounge. It was constructed of locally quarried limestone in the Prairie Style, and today houses the School of University Studies and Graduate Studies. It was the home of the School Museum until the Museum was moved to the new River Campus. Memorial Hall is named in recognition of the services given by citizens of Southeast Missouri in the Armed Forces of the United States.
The Power Plant was built in 1951. Originally intended to be behind the campus and surrounded by trees, the Power Plant has ended up at the heart of the University grounds as the campus has expanded. The plant supplies the school with electricity, hot water, radiant heat, and most of the chilled air for the air conditioned buildings. The concrete walls of the plant also contain several large billboards that are used by many school organizations to promote events.
Brandt Hall of Music was built in 1956. Originally intended as a science building, its purpose was switched to house the growing Music Department. It served this role until the recent addition of the River Campus that now houses all Performing Arts. Brandt now serves a number of roles, housing offices, classrooms, practice rooms, and is still the home of the SEMO Marching Band and the SEMO Music Academy. Brandt Hall is built into the side of a hill overlooking the Marching Band practice grounds and built in an airy, delicate modernist style with walls of windows.
Dearmont Hall was built in 1958 to replace the aging Albert Hall that stood on the site. Originally an all-female residence hall, it now has both male and female housing by floors, as well as housing Campus Security. Dearmont Hall has its own private enclosed courtyard, and at one time had its own dining hall. The kitchen facilities are now used by the Hospitality Management program as a training lab.
Magill Hall of Science was built in 1958 and houses the Natural Science Departments. It is named for Dr. Arthur Clay Magill, long-time professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Science Department.
Parker Hall, or the Parker Athletic and Physical Education Complex, was built in 1960 and renovated in 1994. Named for Dr. Walter Parker, the ninth President of SEMO, it houses the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation. In the mid-1960s an addition with an indoor pool was added, but it became too difficult to maintain and the pool was removed from the building in 2002.
B.F. Johnson Hall was built in 1962 and houses the Math Department, as well as some chemistry, physics, and agriculture classes. The Hall is named for B.F. Johnson, a former Chair of the Math Department.
The Grauel Building was built in 1966 as the English, Speech, and Theater building. Named for H.O. Grauel, a longtime English professor responsible for SEMO's journalism program, it now houses the English and Communications Departments of the College of Liberal Arts. It also possesses the 500-seat Rose Theater.
Towers Residence Halls were built in the 1960s as the new main student housing. Consisting of a complex of 4 towers, they were remodeled and updated in the mid-1990s. The Towers Complex also houses a dining hall that serves as the primary dining hall on campus.
Mark F. Scully Building was completed in 1971and was originally known as the Education Psychology Building. It was renamed in honor of Mark F. Scully, the tenth President of the University who is responsible for much of the building and growth of the school in 1960s and ‘70s, and currently houses the College of Education, Psychology, and human Environmental Studies Departments.
The University Center was completed in 1975 to meet the demands of the rapidly growing student population of SEMO. The University Center contains the Student Union, lounges, a dining hall, numerous offices, a 500 person ballroom, and the university bookstore. Originally it also held a Bowling alley, but that was removed to make space for the large bookstore. The dining hall has been renovated twice, and includes a retail food court, featuring a variety of foods, as well as a coffee house and cafe on the north side of the building. At over 101,000 square feet (9,400 m2), the University Center is almost four times the size of the original Student Union in Memorial Hall.
Rhodes Hall of Science was built in 1983 and houses the Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Environmental Science Departments. It is named for Roger F. Rhodes, a Gideon farmer and businessman who donated a large sum of money for the construction of a new science building.
Johnson Faculty Centre was built in 1987 as a Faculty Union, and houses the Faculty Senate Offices, as well as providing lodging for visiting guests, faculty, and dignitaries. The Faculty Center is named for B.F. Johnson, former chair of the Math Department for who B.F. Johnson Hall is also named.
The Show Me Center was completed in 1987, and is jointly owned by SEMO and the city of Cape Girardeau. The Show Me Center is the primary multi-purpose building on campus, seating up to 7000 people. It is used for athletic events, conventions, concerts, commencement ceremonies, etc.
Robert A. Dempster Hall was built in 1996 and houses the Donald L. Harrison College of Business. Dempster Hall is a state-of-the-art building featuring satellite technology for distance learning as well as microcomputer labs and numerous classrooms and lecture halls all equipped with cutting edge technology. It also houses the 400-seat John and Betty Glenn Auditorium named for two SEMO Alumni and longtime friends of the University. The hall is named for Robert A. Dempster, a prominent Sikeston MO lawyer and longtime benefactor of SEMO.
Seabaugh Polytechnic Building was built in 2001 and houses the school of Polytechnic Sciences and houses high tech labs and state-of-the-art classrooms for instruction in technical study. Designed by William B. Ittner Inc. of St. Louis, the building was named for Otto and Delia Seabaugh, Alumni whose generous donation made construction of the Polytechnic Building possible.
Willard Duncan Vandiver Hall is a state-of-the-art dormitory building that was constructed in 2002 to keep up with the growing student population at SEMO. It is named for Willard Duncan Vandiver, the fifth President of SEMO, what was at that time the Third District Normal School. Mr. Vandiver is generally credited with coming up with the “Show Me State” slogan.
Henderson Hall was acquired in 2007 and after an extensive renovation was opened as a new residence hall with apartment style rooms. Reserved for sophomore, junior, and senior students, Henderson is located just across the street from the University Center.
Merick Hall was built in 2009 as the newest and most modern residence hall. It has a dining facility in it. It stands beside Houck stadium and just behind the main entrance to stadium producing an imposing and impressive first impression of the campus.
The River Campus is home to the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. The facilities incorporate two buildings: the Seminary Building and the Cultural Arts Center. These buildings contain the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall, the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum, the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center, the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre, the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall, and the River Campus Art Gallery. It is home to the departments of Art, Music, Theater and Dance. The River Campus hosts many performance series: the Touring Series, the Theater and Dance Series, the Symphony Series, the Southeast Ensemble Series, the Jazz Series, the Faculty Recital Series and Sundays at Three chamber music Series. The Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum and Art Gallery features rotating touring exhibitions.
Southeast and Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, MO agreed in 2004 to share higher education facilities at three locations in southeast Missouri: Sikeston, Kennett, and Malden. In spring 2005, Southeast eliminated Three Rivers courses from those centers, citing failure of the community college to pay approximately $10,000 in facilities-use fees. Southeast took over all course offerings at the centers, which have subsequently been named regional campuses of Southeast Missouri State University. Three Rivers Community College filed a lawsuit in March, 2005 against Southeast. The lawsuit was subsequently dropped, and Southeast and Three Rivers recently announced plans to develop a joint bachelor’s degree program in social work. Southeast now operates four regional campuses, at Kennett, Malden, Sikeston, and Perryville.
List of Residence Halls
- Henderson Hall
- Vandiver Hall
- Merick Hall
- Towers East
- Towers North
- Towers South
- Towers West
- Greek Housing
Southeast Missouri State has been a member of NCAA Division I (Division I FCS for football) since moving up from Division II in 1991. As a result of the promotion in classifications, Southeast Missouri State left the Division II athletic conference Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) (which they've been a charter member back in 1912) and joined the Division I Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).
List of Fraternities and Sororities
Among the fraternities and sororities affiliated with the school are:
North-American Interfraternity Conference
- Delta Chi
- Lambda Chi Alpha
- Pi Kappa Alpha
- Sigma Chi
- Sigma Nu
- Sigma Phi Epsilon
- Sigma Tau Gamma
- Theta Xi
National Panhellenic Conference
National Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternities and Sororities
- Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity
- Delta Sigma Theta sorority
- Phi Beta Sigma fraternity
- Iota Phi Theta fraternity
The Capaha Arrow is the University's student newspaper. Established in 1911, it is currently one of the oldest college newspapers still in publication. Notably, the second editor of the Capaha Arrow was Rush Limbaugh, Sr. who became a nationally recognized Missouri attorney and practiced law in Cape Girardeau until just before his passing at the age of 104 in 1996. Rush Limbaugh, Sr. is the grandfather of the media personality Rush Limbaugh. After the university changed its mascot from Indians/Otahkians to Redhawks, the newspaper dropped "Capaha" and is now known as simply The Arrow. It is still run by students in the Department of Mass Media and publishes a weekly newspaper distributed throughout campus. Microfilm and print copies of the Capaha Arrow dating back to the first issue are available at Kent Library and Special Collections and Archives, and some stories are also put on The Arrow website.
- 1941 Velmer A. Fassel, scientist Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University
- 1954 Conlan Carter, actor and airline pilot, attended two years
- 1960 Dick Hantak, NFL referee
- 1960 Ken Iman, center with NFL's Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams
- 1961 Roy Thomas, Comic Book Writer and Former Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics
- 1968 Clyde A. Vaughn, United States Army Lieutenant General and Director of the Army National Guard
- 1969 James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps
- 1970 Rush Limbaugh, radio talk show host, attended Southeast Missouri for a year but did not graduate
- 1974 Linda Godwin, NASA astronaut
- 1976 Peter Kinder, politician
- 1979 Steve Tappmeyer, basketball coach
- 1987 Cedric Kyles, aka Cedric the Entertainer
- 1994 Steven Tilley, Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives
- 2000 Jason Witczak, kicker with the AFL's Nashville Kats
- 2001 Neal E. Boyd, 2008 winner of America's Got Talent
- 2003 Willie Ponder, wide receiver with NFL's St. Louis Rams
- 2004 Eugene Amano, center with the NFL's Tennessee Titans
- 2005 Dan Connolly, center/offensive guard with the NFL's New England Patriots
- 2006 Edgar Jones, outside linebacker with NFL's Baltimore Ravens
- 2007 Joe Tuineau, lock with Southland Rugby in the Air New Zealand Cup
- "Southeast Missouri State University History and Traditions".
- "2005 NACUBO Endowment Study". National Association of College and University Business Officers.
- "Why Southeast?, Southeast Missouri State University". www.semo.edu. http://www.semo.edu/whyse/index.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- Art Mattingly, Normal to University: A Century of Service (Cape Girardeau: Southeast Missouri State University, 1979), 67, 110, 122.
- "Life on the Mississippi
- Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University, University Schools Collection, Descriptive Overview. 
- Special Collections and Archives, Guide to the University Schools Collection. 
- "Presidential History (SEMO)". http://www.semo.edu/president/history/index.htm.
- "seMissourian.com: Story: Southeast severs ties to Poplar Bluff community college". www.semissourian.com. http://www.semissourian.com/story/157524.html. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- "seMissourian.com: News : TRCC vs. SEMO dispute". www.semissourian.com. http://www.semissourian.com/topic/trcc/. Retrieved 2009-05-11.[dead link]
- "Missouri colleges collaborate on program - Missouri". bnd.com. http://www.bnd.com/336/story/753393.html. Retrieved 2009-05-11.[dead link]
- "Satellite Campuses, Southeast Missouri State University". www.semo.edu. http://www.semo.edu/extlearn/satellite.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- Southeast Missouri State University Website
- Southeast Missouri State University Athletics Website
- The Capaha Arrow
- Show Me Center
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