Kala Stroup becomes Southeast’s 14th president and is the institution’s first woman president. Some of the most recognizable changes made under Stroup were the additions of three new fraternities: Sigma Nu, Phi Delta Theta, and Lambda Chi Alpha; and one new sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. She employed the first two African American deans in the history of the institution. Stroup also oversaw the University's first-ever capital fund-raising campaign, which produced $28.5 million in gifts and pledges.

Southeast begins offering online courses.


The women’s basketball team advances to the NCAA Division II finals with a 31-4 record.

The softball team advances to the Final Four.

The gymnastics team earned the U.S. Gymnastics Federation Division II title. This helped Southeast become the first Division II gymnastics program to qualify for the NCAA Division I Central Regional. The team included six All-Americans led by Cheri Peterson, the national vault and all-around champion.

The Athletics program makes the move to NCAA Division I.

Southeast joins the Ohio Valley Conference and the football program makes the jump to Division I-AA, now known as the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Southeast alumna and NASA astronaut Linda Godwin operated her first space shuttle mission. The flight lasted nearly six days as the crew conducted a space walk to deploy equipment to detect gamma rays in the universe. Godwin's second trip to space was in April 1994 in which she helped launch equipment to better observe the effects of carbon monoxide on earth's surface and atmosphere. Her third flight was in March 1996 and was the third docking mission to the Russian Space Station.


Academic quality of students improves with the addition of 80 National Merit Scholars.

Approximately 400 chairback seats are added to a center section on the south side of Houck Field.


SMSTS begins shuttle service for the campus.  


The University honors Donald L. Harrison for the gift of an endowment totaling $2 million, and the College of Business was named in his honor.

KRCU raises more than $22,000 during its first on-air campaign.


An $11 million Towers residence hall renovation project is completed.

June 22
President Kala Stroup announces she is resigning to become Missouri’s commissioner of higher education.

Dr. Bill Atchley becomes interim president of Southeast for one year. Intent on bringing the faculty and administration closer together, he started his "traveling office," setting up “office” at various locations on campus. Atchley also is credited with starting Common Hour .


The Board of Regents approves a strategic plan.

April 30
The Board of Regents selects Ohio education consultant Dr. Dale Nitzschke as Southeast's new president. Nitzschke was former president of the University of New Hampshire.

Southeast awards is first honorary doctorate to Rush H. Limbaugh Sr. He receives an honorary Doctor of Law.

May 11
Dr. Dale Nitzschke signs a contract to become Southeast’s next president.

July 1
Dr. Dale Nitzschke takes the reins as Southeast’s 16th president.

Robert A. Dempster Hall opens with a ribbon cutting becoming home to the Donald L. Harrison College of Business.

August 26
The first classes are held in Robert A. Dempster Hall.

August 31
President Bill Clinton made a stop during a four-state campaign bus tour. He spoke to a crowd of thousands at Capaha Park, addressing his second term agenda.


Polytechnic Institute with a Center of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology established at Southeast.

Southeast Missouri Educational Consortium, a partnership among five higher education institutions serving southeast Missouri, meets for first time on the Southeast campus.

The Southeast Missouri University Foundation launches its “125 Years: Prologue to the 21st Century” campaign to coincide with the University’s 125th anniversary.

In honor of her father, Lynn S. Bollinger, Nan Adams donated more than $375,000 in land and cash to create an endowment for the Friend Family Farm, which supports the University’s Center for Regional History and Cultural Heritage.

In honor of his wife, Hazel Huhn Harrison, B.W. Harrison provides a gift to purchase St. Vincent’s Seminary, beginning the planning for a future River Campus and School of Visual and Performing Arts.


Sikeston Area Higher Education Center opens in a temporary facility as a joint effort of the University, the Sikeston Public Schools and Three Rivers Community College.

Southeast Missouri University Foundation Executive Committee approves a request from the Board of Regents to purchase the buildings and grounds of St. Vincent’s College and Seminary for Southeast’s programs in art, dance, music and theatre, and the University Museum to come together in a School of Visual and Performing Arts. The University also develops preliminary plans and a conceptual model of the new campus.

August 22
The University kicks off its 125th anniversary year-long celebration with the Welcome Back Picnic in Capaha Park.

September 3
Board of Regents renames the renovated Social Science Building as A.S.J. Carnahan Hall for former Missouri Eighth Congressional District representative and U.S. Ambassador Albert Carnahan, a Southeast alumnus and father to the late Gov. Mel Carnahan.  Albert served seven terms until his retirement in January 1961. The building was originally constructed in 1901-1902 as the “Science Hall”.

October 14
A.S.J. Carnahan Hall is dedicated.

November 1998
The citizens of Cape Girardeau vote to help fund the River Campus project by approving the contribution of $8.9 million in restaurant and motel taxes to support the project in return for some public use of the facility.

Monument boundary signs are installed at Normal and Henderson, Normal and Pacific, and Bertling and Sprigg. Informational kiosks also were installed.

The Athletic Training Education Program at Southeast Missouri State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Southeast launches the first Clark Terry Jazz Festival.


January 18
Gov. Mel Carnahan releases $5.6 million in state funding for the construction of the new Polytechnic Building.

March 6
The Southeast softball Redhawks play Northern Iowa in their first game at the new Southeast Softball Complex. The complex contains three regulation softball fields, all of which have lights. The facility includes batting cages, an air-conditioned press box large enough to accommodate print and broadcast media, and bleacher seating for 600. In addition, there is a hill beyond the right field fence that provides fans with a unique view of the action.

The University’s 125th Anniversary Celebration culminates with a Showcase Month.

May 14
The Board of Regents approves establishment of the Regional Public Service Institute to coordinate the University’s many public service activities and programs in the region, regional economic development, social service needs, faculty scholarship and student learning, while connecting federal and state dollars.

Southeast awards an honorary Doctor of Laws to former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois.

Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, formerly executive vice president, becomes 17 th president of Southeast.

Dr. Dale F. Nitzschke, 16th president of Southeast, accepts the newly-created position of chancellor for development of the River Campus and Polytechnic Institute effective July 1, 1999.

June 25
Groundbreaking held for the Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building with Gov. Mel Carnahan as keynote speaker.  The building will house the Polytechnic Institute, including the Department of Industrial Technology, and will provide space for customized training for industries and the latest advanced manufacturing technology for students. The building is named for the Seabaughs who donated more than $1 million for construction of the building.

The North Campus Recreation/Sports Complex is completed and features three intramural soccer fields, two intramural softball fields, an intercollegiate softball field, concession stand, picnic shelters and an intercollegiate soccer field.

July 1
Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins becomes the 17th president of Southeast.

Southeast and the University of Missouri-Rolla enter into a cooperative agreement whereby the University of Missouri-Rolla will offer a master’s degree in engineering management for engineers in the Southeast region of Missouri beginning in fall 1999.

The Golden Eagles Marching Band performs at the 1999 Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland.

September 20
The Southeast Missouri University Foundation announces total giving at $3.85 million for FY99.

October 6
Kala M. Stroup Fountain on the Plaza is dedicated in front of Kent Library. Stroup was former Southeast president and former Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education. She donated more than $35,000 for its placement on campus.

October 10
Southeast hosted its first home soccer game at Houck Field vs. Tennessee Tech.

October 11
Ribbon cutting and grand opening of the $4.5 million addition to the Student Recreation Center, including a weight room, new entry, multipurpose room, aerobic studio, and new gym.

The Show Me Center and Student Recreation Center receive a complete renovation and expansion.

Southeast announces it has received approval from the Missouri Development Finance Board to obtain $5 million in state tax credits over four years for corporations and individuals making significant contributions to the River Campus.

A ribbon cutting marks the launch of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Educator Resource Center (ERC) at Southeast that will provide expertise and educational materials in science, math and technology for Missouri teachers and students. The ERC will operate under the auspices of the Linda M. Godwin Center for Science and Mathematics Education and share space with the University's Math Resource Center at 222 N. Pacific.

Fall 1999
River Campus Board of Managers is formed and begins meeting regularly to discuss development of the River Campus.

A series of strategic planning open forums are held throughout the region.

December 10
Investiture of the 17th President of Southeast, Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins.

Kennett, Missouri, native Sheryl Crow performs benefit concerts raising nearly $75,000 for the Kennett Area Higher Education Center. 

World Events

The Hubble Telescope is launched.

Windows 3.0 is released.

The Gulf War begins.

Nelson Mandela is released from jail.

The Gulf War ends in U.S. withdrawal and a failed uprising.

President H.W. Bush nominates Clarence Thomas for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Boris Yeltsin becomes the first president of Russia.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System is released in North America.

British singer and songwriter Freddy Mercury dies.

Disney releases “Beauty and the Beast”.

Riots break out in Los Angeles over the acquittal of those involved in the beating of Rodney King.

Hurricane Andrew causes $26.5 billion in damage in the Bahamas and the United States.

Disney releases “Aladdin”.

Bill Clinton is inaugurated as president of the United States.

The Waco siege on the compound of the Branch Davidians resulted in 86 deaths.

Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” is released.

Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist of Nirvana, commits suicide.

Apartheid ends in South Africa and Nelson Mandela is elected president.

Disney’s “The Lion King” is released.

“Forrest Gump” is released.

Jeff Bezos founds Amazon in Bellevue, Washington.

The PlayStation is released in Japan.

The World Trade Organization is established.

Timothy McVeigh bombs the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Windows 95 is released.

PlayStation is released in North America.

O.J. Simpson is found not guilty of double murder for the deaths of his former wife Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

“Toy Story” premieres. It is the first computer-animated feature film and the first Pixar Animation Studios film.

The Taliban takes control of Afghanistan.

The DVD is released in Japan.

J.K. Rowling publishes “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”.

Diana, Princess of Wales, is killed in a car accident in Paris.

The film “Titanic” is released.

The sound barrier is broken on land.

Disney’s “Mulan” is released.

Windows 98 is released.

Google is founded.

Nintendo’s Game Boy Color is released in North America.

Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” is released.

The first International Space Station component is launched.

The impeachment of President Bill Clinton begins following the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

The Columbine High School shooting in Colorado leaves 15 dead.

SpongeBob SquarePants debuts on Nickelodeon.

John F. Kennedy Jr. dies in a plane crash.

Sega releases the Dreamcast video game console in North America.

ExxonMobil is founded.

Vladimir Putin becomes president of Russia.