What were the best moments of 2021? We've gathered a few of our favorites here!

70% Vaccination Rate on Campus

After going fully online in March of 2020, Southeast allowed students back on campus in August 2020. Following this return to the nest, we kept looking for ways to protect it. On August 26, 2021 Southeast launched The Great SEMO Vaccine Give Away Get Away incentive program to encourage vaccination. Our goal was to achieve a 70% vaccination rate on campus for students, faculty, and staff by November 1, 2021. Not only did we meet that goal, we surpassed it. The Redhawk community exceeded this goal on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. This led to our weeklong Thanksgiving holiday break. Way to go, Redhawks!

Greeks Give Back

During the spring 2021 semester, Greek Week activities returned, and our students used the opportunity to make a statement and show the impact they have in our community. Throughout the week, Greek organizations participated in different events focused on supporting campus and the local community.

Blood Drive

The Greek Week blood drive is an established tradition on our campus that continues to grow with the support of our campus and local communityWith 1,011 units of blood donated to the American Red Cross, the 2021 Greek Week blood drive finished as one of the largest in Greek Week history. It was also recognized by the American Red Cross as the second-largest collegiate blood drive in the Midwest region. This means that through donations, around 3,033 hospital patients will receive lifesaving transfusions.


By hosting different philanthropic events throughout the week, Greek organizations raised $45,166 to benefit local organizations. Some of the organizations that were impacted include United Way of Southeast Missouri, One City, Hope for One More, Honorable Young Men Club, SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence, Voices for Children/CASA, Community Partnership of Southeast MO, and Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Missouri. 

Food Drive 

Southeast Greeks participated in a food drive during Greek Week to support the Redhawk Food Pantry and New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. In 2021, more than 16,000 canned goods and other food items were collected. Because of this success and strong student support, the Redhawk Food Pantry is expected to be well-stocked for an entire year. 

Clothing Drive

As a newer Greek Week tradition, the clothing drive proved to be a success. Through the drive, over 8,000 mens, womens, and childrens clothing items were collected and donated to benefit the Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau.

Homecoming 2021

Homecoming is always special, but this year was made all the better by having a homecoming parade for the first time in two years! In 2019 the parade was rained out, and in 2020, well we all know what happened there. Fans got to enjoy the full Homecoming experience starting with the alumni breakfast, the parade, tailgating and other activities throughout the day. It was so exciting to welcome the Southeast community back to Homecoming and celebrate a win for the Redhawks against Eastern Illinois.

OVC Champs

It would not be a stretch to say our athletes put their blood, sweat, and tears into their sports. Their efforts were recognized when Southeast won the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Cup. SEMO accumulated a total of 119 points, 7.5 points ahead of second-place Belmont (111.5). That’s no easy feat in the middle of a pandemic. We could not have done it without the hard work of our coaches and athletes.

Southeast Designated with Statewide Mission

Southeast was designated as an institution of higher education with a statewide mission in the areas of computer sciencecybersecurity, and visual and performing arts. The designation was signed into law under House Bill 297 by Missouri Governor Mike Parson on Tuesday, July 13. President Dr. Carlos Vargas was at the ceremony in Jefferson City when Gov. Parson signed the legislation.


I want to thank Gov. Parson for recognizing our unique strength and public service to the state in the areas computer science, cybersecurity, and visual and performing arts education. I would also like to thank Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development Commissioner, Ms. Zora Mulligan, and her staff for their guidance during this process, and Representative Wayne Wallingford and Senator Holly Rehder for their leadership in getting this bill through the legislative process and onto the governors desk.

Dr. Carlos Vargas, Southeast Missouri State University President

Record Breaking Donations

The Southeast Missouri University Foundation raised close to $8 million in the 2021 fiscal year, which is the highest yearly total since their last major campaign in 2015. This is more than $3 million more than fiscal year 2020! The majority of the money raised, $4.3 million, was donated as outright gifts to the Foundation from alumni and community members. Included in this total are:

  • 22 new endowed scholarships established ranging from $10,000 to $800,000.
  • 8 major gifts over $100,000, including 3 gifts of $500,000 each.
  • Funding for all 12 Giving Day Projects for Giving Day 2021.