"Due to the School's growth, the state approved $20,000 to build a science hall."


The original science hall classroom


April 7
Third District Normal School Building is destroyed by fire.

"College President Washington Dearmont and Board of Regents President Louis Houck announce the school would continue to hold classes in several community buildings, churches, schools and the courthouse. Students missed only one day of class."

April 8, 1902

An image of one of the chapels


Fall 1903
A training school building opens in what is now known as "Art Building". Cost was $19,032.

Science Hall is completed in what is now "A.S.J Carnahan Hall".

Construction on Academic Hall begins.


October 19
Long-time Board of Regents member Louis Houck purchases 60 art pieces by August Gerber of Germany while at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and donates them to the Third District Normal School for display in Academic Hall. Created in the late 1800s, most of the reproductions were installed as part of the German exhibit at the World’s Fair. Today, the sculptures can be found in “Statuary Hall” in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center. The Louis Houck Statuary Collection includes casts representing the finest examples of Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern sculpture housed in European museums.

Louis Houck purchases a formal table at the 1904 World’s Fair, and it became the Board of Regents’ original table. Later it became the dining table for Wildwood.

Normal School leases two dormitories on the south side of Normal Avenue from the Normal Dormitory Association.

Caps and gowns are approved for students to wear during commencement exercises.

Southeast fields its first football team.


All students are required to take one year of physical training (two hours a week without credit).

A watchman hired to safeguard the construction of Academic Hall strikes President Washington Strother Dearmont, breaking his jaw, as Dearmont gave friends a tour of the Academic Hall construction site. The watchman twice asked the individuals to leave, informing them no one was allowed in the building after 6 p.m. With no response both times, he struck Dearmont, whose injuries kept him home several weeks. The watchman was acquitted on assault charges.

"Construction of Academic Hall is completed to replace the Normal School."


Academic hall from kent

Pacific Street between Broadway and Normal is graveled, making access to the school easier. 

"Academic Hall is officially accepted by the State of Missouri with a formal ceremony and speeches by Louis Houck, president of the Board of Regents, and Dr. Washington Strother Dearmont, president of the Normal School. When dedicated, it is the largest public building in the state of Missouri – larger even than the state capitol at the time, until the current state capitol was completed in 1917."

Jan. 24, 1906

People inside Academic hall library

Southeast's first Lyceum is held. The entertainment series consisted of lectures, dramatic interpretations, singing, dancing and music.

A book exchange is instituted.


Students were required to complete eighth grade to be admitted. Students could obtain an elementary certificate, an elementary diploma or bachelor’s degrees in pedagogy, arts, education, science or home economics.

The Southeast Marching Band is formed with Earl G. Beck serving as the director from 1907-1917.


October 26
William Howard Taft is the first U.S. President to visit Cape Girardeau.  Taft’s riverboat stopped along the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, and a parade led him and other dignitaries via automobiles to Academic Hall at Southeast where he spoke and planted a tree in the lawn.

WOrld Events

Hawaii becomes a U.S. territory

First Nobel prizes are awarded.

The first electric air conditioning unit is invented

The first flight of the Wright Brothers.

Construction of the Panama Canal begins

Albert Einstein formulates the special theory of relativity.

A 7.9 earthquake in San Francisco kills 3,000.

Ford Motor Co. invents the Model T.

William Howard Taft is inaugurated as president of the United States