The ’70s ushered in new thinking, and the ban on kissing from the ’60s went unheeded. Students held hands and kissed in public, wore bell-bottom pants and tube tops.
Many male students had served in Vietnam and more women were outspoken women’s rights advocates.
Enrollment grows to 8,000 by the mid-1970s.
Faculty evaluations by students begin.
An education-psychology building is completed. It is now known as Scully Building in honor of former president Mark F. Scully.
The Board of Regents approves plans for a new student union to replace Memorial Hall and to be located west of Kent Library. This construction required the removal of Leming Hall. The $4 million student union building was paid for entirely by student fees.
President Scully announces graduation will be held before final exams.
A unit of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps is established on campus.
Winter commencement begins.
State College begins a major institutional study analyzing where the College was and where it was going over the next decade.
The Board of Regents, acting under authority from the Missouri Legislature, approves the name Southeast Missouri State University to better reflect the changing curricula and educational mission of the school.
Southeast is selected for an Air Force Reserve Officers Training Program established on campus in fall 1972.
A two-day orientation is launched on campus for new students.
The school spends more than $1 million renovating Academic Hall, including recovering the dome with copper.
The Coordinating Board for Higher Education is established.
The Potboiler student literary magazine is renamed Journey.
The Jake Wells mural is completed on the west wall entrance inside Kent Library. The mural depicts life throughout the history of the southeast Missouri region.
The University observes its 100th anniversary with a celebrative Centennial Year during 1973-1974.
The University begins to restructure to include six colleges.
Fall enrollment is 7,632
Dr. Scully completes his 17-year term as president. His presidency encompassed the greatest period of change in the history of the university. When Dr. Scully became president of Southeast Missouri State University on July 1, 1956, there were 1,662 students on a campus and 10 buildings. When he retired in 1975, there were 7,632 students and 22 buildings. Faculty increased from 67 to 331. In his 19-year presidency, 12 new buildings were constructed, 15 new degree programs added to the curriculum, and a nursing program, a graduate school and Pre-Law, Pre-Med, and Pre-Dentistry were added to student options. Special projects in law enforcement, a crime lab, and a large migrant education program also were added. Academic Hall was substantially renovated, the university had computers, air conditioning, a new copper dome, the Golden Eagles Marching Band, and the college had become a university.
A new 100,000-square-foot University Center is completed.
Dr. Robert Leestamper is appointed the 11th president of Southeast. He served until 1979. During his tenure, he was faced with a period of change, ranging from housing and parking shortages, and student protests to immense campus improvements.
The University leases three local hotels to accommodate students the first week of classes, and they are filled to capacity with three students to a room.
A general parking fee of $25 is assessed to all students to help improve and pay for additional parking lots.
Southeast adds women’s basketball.
KRCU begins broadcasting from the dome of Academic Hall.
The baseball team advances to the College World Series, finishing third in the Division II tournament.
The University purchases the old St. Francis Hospital building for additional student housing.
Southeast holds Parents’ Weekend, which would eventually become Family Weekend.
The press box is constructed above the south grandstand of Houck Field.
Fall enrollment is 8,659, down 145 from the previous fall.
President Leestamper agrees to step aside.
Dr. Bill Stacy is named interim president.
The Blizzard of ’79 brought 24 inches of snow to Cape Girardeau over 15 hours. The wind gusted to 50 miles per hour and the snow was piled into 10-foot drifts. Thousands were without electricity and I-55 was closed for five days from Sikeston to Perryville, Missouri. The National Guard brought in helicopters that served as emergency vehicles. The blizzard forced the cancellation of classes at Southeast for four straight days.
The first flight of a Boeing 747 takes place.
The Beatles break up.
Four students die and nine are injured in the Kent State massacre.
Musician Jimi Hendrix dies.
American rock, soul and blues singer-songwriter Janis Joplin dies.
Jim Morrison, the lead vocalist for the band, “The Doors”, dies.
American jazz musician Louis Armstrong dies.
“The Godfather” premieres.
The first commercially successful video game, Pong, is released.
The U.S. Supreme Court issues its Roe v. Wade decision.
The oil crisis begins.
Mariner 10 captures the first close-up images of Mercury.
The world population reaches four billion.
The first commercially successful personal computer, Altair 8800, is released.
Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
The Vietnam War ends with the Fall of Saigon.
Apple Computer is founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to sell Woznick’s Apple I computer.
VHS is released in Japan.
The first outbreak of the Ebola virus occurs in Zaire.
Jimmy Carter is inaugurated as president of the United States.
Star Wars is released and becomes the highest-grossing film of all time.
Musician Elvis Presley dies.
Voyager I and II are launched by NASA.
The video game Atari 2600 is released in North America.
Personal computers are first mass-produced.
Insulin is invented
John Paul becomes pope but dies the following month, becoming the shortest papacy in history. Pope John Paul II succeeds him as pope.
Jim Jones’ religious movement ends with a mass suicide of 920 in Jonestown.
The Shah of Iran is overthrown.
The Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurs.
Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Pope John Paul II visits Poland.
The Iran hostage crisis begins.
The 1979 oil crisis begins following the Iranian Revolution.