Southeast Missouri State University: Wikis


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Southeast Missouri State University
Se dome.png
Established 1873[1]
Type Public
Endowment $28 million[2]
President Dr. Kenneth Dobbins
Faculty 400
Students 10,477 (Fall 2006)[3]
Undergraduates 8,977
Postgraduates 1,500
Location Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA
Campus Urban, 400 acres (1.6 km2)
Nickname Redhawks, SEMO
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 Ph.D. program with the University of Missouri.[4]


Student body and diversity

In Fall 2006, the University had over 10,000 students for the first time. 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[5]:

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."[6]

The Original Normal School Building burned down on April 8, 1902, [3] 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 Seminaryon 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.[7] 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.[8]



Historic core

Academic Hall

Academic Hall is the oldest building on campus, and houses many administrative departments, as well as classrooms. Its copper dome is visible throughout the surrounding area, and serves as a symbol of the institution.

Kent Library was built in 1939. In 1968 the old building was greatly expanded and given a new facade. The current building has recently undergone considerable interior renovation, with the addition of an information commons providing extensive access to computer and audiovisual facilities for students.[9]

River Campus

Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall

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.

Regional Campuses

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.[10][11] The lawsuit was subsequently dropped, and Southeast and Three Rivers recently announced plans to develop a joint bachelor’s degree program in social work.[12] Southeast now operates four regional campuses, at Kennett, Malden, Sikeston, and Perryville.[13]

List of Residence Halls

  • Cheney
  • Dearmont
  • Henderson Hall
  • Myers
  • Vandiver Hall
  • New Hall (waiting to be named)
  • Towers East
  • Towers North
  • Towers South
  • Towers West
  • Greek Housing


Southeast 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 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association and joined the Division I Ohio Valley Conference. Though having struggled in the two major college sports (football and men's basketball) since moving up, they have had a few successes over the 15 year run in Division I. The men's basketball team won a share of the regular season OVC title in 2000, and won the conference's tournament as well that year to earn an automatic bid to the 2000 NCAA Tournament. In the team's only appearance in "The Big Dance" to date, the Indians were seeded #13 in the West Region and set to face off against Louisiana State University in the opening round of the tournament. In an exciting game, 4th-seeded LSU narrowly escaped the upset as they held off the Indians 64–61. The football team has also had its struggles since moving up to Division I-AA (now FCS), having only 2 winning seasons (1994 and 2002) since moving up in 1991. The football program finally had some redemption during the 2002 season as the team made it into the I-AA polls for the first time, finishing the season ranked #23 in the ESPN/USA Today I-AA poll and #24 in the Sports Network I-AA poll. That season also produced the school's only win over a I-A opponent since moving to I-AA, as the Redhawks topped Middle Tennessee 24-14 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Until January 2005, the athletic team nicknames were the "Indians" (men's teams) and "Otahkians" (women's teams). After a movement by Student Government, the Booster Club and the National Alumni Council, those names were officially retired in a ceremony on October 22, 2004 and replaced with "Redhawks."[14] The current mascot is a stylized hawk known as Rowdy Redhawk. The University's original mascot was known as Chief Sagamore and was represented by a student dressed in Native American regalia. Chief Sagamore was retired as mascot in the mid 1980s due to a growing cultural sensitivity to Native American mascots though the team names lasted for nearly twenty more years. The school's athletic teams compete in the Ohio Valley Conference.

List of Fraternities and Sororities

Among the fraternities and sororities affiliated with the school are:

Interfraternal Council Fraternities
Delta Chi
Lambda Chi Alpha
Pi Kappa Alpha
Sigma Chi
Sigma Nu
Sigma Phi Epsilon
Sigma Tau Gamma
Theta Xi

National Panhellenic Conference Sororities
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Xi Delta
Delta Delta Delta
Gamma Phi Beta
Sigma Sigma Sigma

National Pan-Hellenic Conference Fraternities and Sororities
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity

Non Pan-Hellenic Fraternities
Phi Mu Alpha
Sigma Alpha Iota

Capaha Arrow

The Capaha Arrow is the University's student newspaper. Established in 1911, it is currently one of the oldest college newspapers still in publication.[citation needed] 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 Communications and publishes a weekly newspaper distributed throughout campus. Sam Blackwell, instructor of journalism, serves as adviser. The current Editor-in-Chief is Donny Cheatham. Co-Managing Editors are Erin Easton and Christina Fox. A&E editor is Andrew Mangan. 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.


External links


  1. ^ "Southeast Missouri State University History and Traditions".
  2. ^ "2005 NACUBO Endowment Study". National Association of College and University Business Officers.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Why Southeast?, Southeast Missouri State University". Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  5. ^ Art Mattingly, Normal to University: A Century of Service (Cape Girardeau: Southeast Missouri State University, 1979), 67, 110, 122.
  6. ^ "Life on the Mississippi
  7. ^ Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University, University Schools Collection, Descriptive Overview. [1]
  8. ^ Special Collections and Archives, Guide to the University Schools Collection. [2]
  9. ^ "About Kent Library". Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  10. ^ " Story: Southeast severs ties to Poplar Bluff community college". Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  11. ^ " News : TRCC vs. SEMO dispute". Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  12. ^ "Missouri colleges collaborate on program - Missouri". Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  13. ^ "Satellite Campuses, Southeast Missouri State University". Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  14. ^ Story: SEMO to retire Indian, Otahkian nicknames Oct. 22

Coordinates: 37°18′54.45″N 89°31′45.81″W / 37.315125°N 89.5293917°W / 37.315125; -89.5293917


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