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The 70s: Movers and Shakers

The 1970s witnessed the emergence of Black consciousness. SNAC became the Association of Black Collegians (ABC). This industrious group began several African-American celebrations including Black History Month and the Black Ball. Dan Wimberly created the Ebony Affairs program which was aired on the campus radio station. Steve Clay wrote for the Capaha Arrow, the campus newspaper. Black Greek organizations began with the founding of Alpha Phi Alpha (Xi Gamma chapter) in 1979.

African-American students began participating in more campus wide organizations i.e., hall councils, Student Activities Council, student government and academic clubs. Sandra Hendricks began a tradition of African-Americans performing with Terpschorie. African-American students became cheerleaders were on the pom-pom squad, Linda Branion, and played in the Golden Eagles marching band.

African-American faculty and staff were hired towards the end of this decade. Mr. William Thompson, was one of the first African-American faculty hired in 1977. Charles Taylor was the first African-American graduate teaching assistant, with the department of History. Dr. Edward Spicer hired as special assistant to the president, emerged as a significant role model and advocate for equality and diversity. His efforts and support of the students and brought forth many changes on campus. Jackie Ayers and Peter Daniels both Southeast graduates began their careers in student services here. Rochell Smith was on the staff in the Nursing Department.

The African-American student enrollment was approximately 200-300 students during this time. Eighty (80) students graduated in 1972. This was the largest graduating class of African-American students in Southeast’s history. Herbert Daniels of Cape Girardeau (class of 1975) was of of the first African-American students to make the deans list. Beverly Logan of St. Louis (class of 1978) also made the deans list.

I Remember...

The hill…hanging out at circle in front of Towers…the jock house on sprig…parties at the white house…Sylvester, and the dance at memorial…Bid Whist at the UC between classes…the home run that Joe Williams hit at Capaha Park…Dr. Spicer…how the Black of Cape took us in people…our basketball team going to the national championships…Herman Williams speech after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King…Alpha parties…Cedric (Kyles) before he became the entertainer…kickin’ it in the Graystone with the Phi Beta Sigmas…making the Deans Honor Roll…meeting Alex Haley at President Stacy’s home…working in the cafeteria…singing in the choir…dormitory life…the Black Ball…Biology…the campus Million Man March…Greek Step Shows…going to an 8:00 after partying all night…meeting my future wife…making the adjustment to being on my own…graduation day…our ABC meetings…the Alpha death march…classes in Academic in the winter…basketball in old Houck…the way our campus looked as the seasons changed…the friends I made…cramming for finals…homecoming and the parade…Michael Davis…


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Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity
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Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701