Southeast has evolved on the backs of “giants” who’ve left indelible marks here. Revered faculty, staff and administrators across generations have played enormous roles, and their impacts are long treasured by graduates.

Additionally, thousands of Southeast alumni are making marks in their communities, across the globe and in their professions, rising to heights, solving problems and achieving excellence.

Collectively, Southeast is an enormous change maker in this region, the people’s institution at the center of ground-level community engagement. The University is shaping policy, driving economic development, fostering entrepreneurial growth, creating solutions and educating future leaders to serve and better communities in southeast Missouri and across the globe. Southeast is invested in innovating, leveraging its resources, preparing the workforce, boosting the economy and making a mark on all it touches.

In FY2019-2020, Southeast added $904.1 million in income to the Missouri economy.

  • $107.9


    in University operations spending

  • $4.4


    in Southeast construction spending

  • $6.8


    in visitor spending

  • $14.5


    in student spending

  • $770.6


    in added income by alumni employed in the state workforce

  • $2.10

    Cumulative Value

    For every public dollar invested in Southeast taxpayers receive a cumulative value of $2.10 over students’ working lives

  • $2.3


    Social benefits in Missouri from SEMO

Southeast is a community partner working to improve lives and believes in the communities it serves. In 2010, Southeast and other community organizations created Bootheel Babies and Families, a grass roots initiative to help save babies in this region. What resulted was a strong network of resources for future parents and a classroom's worth of children alive today. From 2000-2010, the infant mortality rate in Scott, Stoddard, Mississippi, New Madrid, Dunklin and Pemiscot counties was 9%. Thanks to Bootheel Babies and Families, since 2013, the infant mortality rate is less than 7% and since 2019, it is less than 3.4%.

Hundreds of faculty and staff have made their mark at Southeast. Among them are Professor of English and Drama Dr. H.O. Grauel; Registrar Alton Bray; Speech Professors Dr. Forrest H. Rose, Dr. M.G. Lorberg and Dr. Fred Goodwin; Men’s Basketball Coach Ron Shumate; Professor of Art Jake Wells; Golden Eagles Marching Band Director Leroy Mason; Football Coach Kenneth Knox; women’s physical education Professors Rosina Koetting and Billie O’Neal; Southeast President Mark Scully; Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins; and the list goes on. 

Military veterans have made their mark at Southeast for centuries. A Student Army Training Corps was launched at the Normal School in September 1918 with men drilling two to three times a week on the plaza in front of Academic Hall. Later, Southeast Missouri State Teachers’ College’s Civilian Pilot Training Program and its Navy V-1, Navy V-5 and Navy V-12 aviation training programs became significant contributors to the World War II effort.

Student veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War and other conflicts have found a home at Southeast. Today, the Air Force Officers’ Training Corps and the Show-Me-Gold Officer Leadership Development Program are preparing students to become Air Force and Missouri National Guard officers respectively. Dedicated September 25, 2020, the Veterans’ Plaza between Academic Hall and Memorial Hall stands as a reminder, marking the University's gratitude for veterans of all eras. 

The institution has made its mark with contributions during war time and other global crises:

  • In 1942, the nation faced a rationing of rubber tires. W.W. Parker, president of Southeast Missouri State Teachers’ College, was the first Cape Girardeau citizen to sell his excess tires to the government.
  • In 1942, the Home Economics Department, the Industrial Arts Club and the Art Department contributed to constructing model airplanes for the Bureau of Aeronautics to train military air and ground personnel in recognizing different types of aircraft.
  • In 2020, faculty and staff produced hundreds of face shields to safeguard the region’s healthcare community on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.