For 150 years, making connections has been a mainstay of the Southeast experience.

Throughout its history, the institution has connected students with faculty and staff members, challenging academics, global experiences, athletic competitions, extracurricular activities, service, cultural, real-world and diverse learning opportunities, and future job prospects.

Southeast also has long been a place where people matter, and strong relationships are a staple of the fabric. Making connections while building lifelong friendships is a tradition transcending generations of students and alumni. Friends, roommates, classmates, teammates, faculty mentors, fraternity brothers and sorority sisters forever share a common bond woven during their years at Southeast.  Whether then or now, the human connection at SEMO remains a forever bond.

Connecting To Future Success

Making connections has propelled many Southeast alumni to greatness. Did you know Southeast alumni have been honored with multiple Emmy awards for their work with Turner Sports, the “Judge Mathis Show”, ESPN “Gameday,” CBS’ “60 Minutes” and the “Masked Singer”? And Southeast alumnus Cedric the Entertainer has been awarded BET’s Richard Pryor Comic of the Year, is enshrined on the St. Louis Walk of Fame and hosted the 2021 Emmys. It doesn’t end there. Southeast alumni have connected to success with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NASA space missions, professional sporting careers, Broadway performances, world-class scholarship and scientific and medical discoveries.


  • Faculty Mentors and Students.

    Many alumni are quick to credit a faculty or staff member for sharing their knowledge, personally caring about both their personal and professional success, serving as a role model, encouraging them to remain committed to their educational goals and staying in touch with them long after their days on campus.

    Read about Dr. Danielle Riordan and Jacob McCleland

  • Sisters and brothers.

    Sigma Sigma Sigma became the first Greek social chapter to arrive at Southeast in 1951, making it the first National Panhellenic Council sorority on campus. It was followed by Sigma Tau Gamma becoming the first Interfraternity Council fraternity on campus in 1952. Today, Southeast has 22 recognized Greek chapters offering students opportunities to grow their leadership and academic skills and their desire to serve, while connecting them with friendships that often last a lifetime.

    Read about Jason LeGrand

  • Lifelong Friends.

    The friends students make at Southeast are often friends for life. After all, they’ve shared residence hall rooms, clothes, meals, nights out and the best and worst of times. They’ve studied together, stressed together, laughed together, cried together, and there’s simply not much they don’t know about the other. Life moves on, but the bonds last a lifetime.

    Read about Audrey Stanfield

  • Students and employers.

    Southeast connects career-ready students with employers around the world that value their skillsets and appreciate that no matter the career field, they are driven to do, prepared to excel and empowered to become extraordinary.

    Read about Chris Foeste

Dr. Danielle Riordan

A 2005 Southeast graduate, a dentist with Family Dentistry of St. Peters (Missouri) and president of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society, was honored in 2019 as an American Dental Association 10 Under 10 Award recipient. At Southeast, she built strong relationships with faculty, including Dr. Steven Trautwein, associate professor emeritus of biology, who helped her pursue academic and professional success. Faculty “truly do care about your ultimate success and will hold you accountable for your academics,” she said. “Ultimately, no matter what career path you choose, this will be one of the greatest benefits.”  

Jacob McCleland

Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and 2000 Southeast graduate with a double major in anthropology and Spanish, said, “My anthropology professor, Dr. Warren Anderson, was my favorite professor at Southeast, and he opened my eyes to a world beyond our borders and to the fascinating dynamics that culture plays in our lives. He was warm and funny, and cared about his students’ success.”

Jason LeGrand

A 1997 Southeast graduate of Auburn, Alabama, was the Lambda Chi Alpha “big brother” of the late Neal E. Boyd, a well-known performer and recording artist and a 2001 alumnus formerly of Sikeston Missouri. LeGrand said he and Boyd seemed like “two very different people on the outside” when they first met – “a reserved, skinny kid with glasses, and a big guy with a big presence and a disarming sense of humor. Through the fraternity, we discovered we were two people with very similar values and ideals. We both placed a very high value on loyalty and honesty in our friends, and those simple things became the foundation of a lifelong friendship.” In 2019, LeGrand established the Jason J. LeGrand and Neal E. Boyd Endowment through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation to honor Boyd and celebrate their friendship, and to support character and leadership development for students who are members of their fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha.

Audrey Stanfield

New York City based actor, comedian and writer Audrey Stanfield is a Southeast alumna with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting, who cherishes the friends she found at Southeast. “I had a strong group of friends in college I can still call some of my closest friends on earth. It really helps to have a support system outside of school you can just be ridiculous around,” she says.

Chris Foeste

Circle Fiber vice president and a 2003 Southeast graduate, said “Southeast’s technology-focused majors bring great talent to this area — talent that wouldn’t be here without those programs, and as a company we benefit from that talent coming to southeast Missouri. Southeast alumni and students are successful in our company because they have the skills and the experience to tackle any project that comes before them. We don’t expect them to know the industry top to bottom on day one. That’s unrealistic, but they do have the ability to learn, to discover, to research and find the answer on their own, or work within a team to solve the issue. That will to do, that will to learn and succeed is why we hire Southeast alumni and undergraduates.”