Celebrating 150 years of Southeast Missouri State University called for extra celebrating for Homecoming 2023. Relive the entire weekend with us.

Celebrating Alumni

Thursday night, the Alumni Merit Awards took place. Alumni Merit Awards have been presented annually since 1958 to Southeast alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and the University.

This year’s Alumni Merit Award recipients are:

  • Karl Mueller, former senior vice president and chief financial officer of Old Republic International Corporation
  • Kenneth Stricker, CEO of The Jones Company
  • Lisa Page, judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District

This year’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award recipient is:

  • Derrion Henderson, morning anchor at WMBF News

This year’s Faculty Merit Award recipient presented for excellence in teaching is:

  • Jim McGill, professor in Southeast’s Department of Chemistry and Physics, associate dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

The November issue of the Dome will feature detailed bios and information on all five of this year's recipients. 

Homecoming Kick Off

To celebrate a sesquicentennial Homecoming weekend, Southeast kicked things off on Friday afternoon with a Homecoming Kick Off Block Party along Normal Avenue. 

At the base of Academic Hall on Friday evening, President Dr. Carlos Vargas simultaneously celebrated the University’s history and 150th anniversary with a crowd of students, alumni, community members, faculty, and staff, while laying out a plan for the University’s future.

“SEMO has always been the destination for driven, hard-working students to discover their path. The world around us is changing, and as we’ve done so many times in our history, it is time to maximize this moment to focus on key strategic initiatives that will propel the University toward a modern campus and a modern model for what higher education should be,” said Vargas.

Vargas announced the launch of the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in the University’s history. The Transforming Lives campaign has a goal of $60 million. Vargas said the University has been raising money in the “silent phase” of the campaign and is already 64 percent on the way to its goal.


Transforming Lives Campaign

Southeast Missouri University Foundation

Southeast officially launched the largest comprehensive capital campaign in University history, entitled Transforming Lives. Learn more about the campaign and how the investments will shape Southeast's next 150 years.

Homeoming Saturday

After the Homecoming Kick Off Block Party, the weekend festivities turned to Saturday. 

First came the annual Homecoming Parade. The parade kicked off at Capaha Park and made it's way down Broadway, passing campus and gracing downtown Cape Girardeau. Southeast student groups, Greek life, alumni, Cape community members, area high school bands, and more marched to celebrate the weekend. 

After that, fans enjoyed tailgating across campus. 

Finally, the day wrapped up with a Homecoming win! The Redhawks took down Eastern Illinois on the new Houck Field 35-28. 

Geno Hess ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns, had 53 receiving yards and broke his own program's career all-purpose yardage record .
SEMO, which ended a three-game losing skid (three losses by a combined nine points), outlasted EIU in front of a Homecoming crowd of 7,263

Man and Woman of the Year


Grace Barlage is from Murphysboro, IL. She is a member of Delta Delta Delta - Phi Mu Chapter and is pursuing a degree in Agribusiness: Animal Science / Pre-Veterinary Medicine. Grace says that her favorite memory from her time at SEMO is, "When an older couple caught a shirt at my sophomore year Family Weekend football game and gave it to my 8-year-old little brother. I was able to get it signed by the football team and gave it to him for Christmas. It’s something very special to us that we still talk about to this day."

Brandon Vogt is from St. Peters, Missouri. He is a member of Sigma Nu and is pursuing a degree in Secondary Social Studies Education. Brandon's favorite memory during his time at SEMO was Homecoming in 2021.

He says, "It was my first Homecoming that was free of COVID restrictions, and it was great to see the traditions and community of Southeast in full force for the first time!"


Addison McMahan is from Petersburg, Illinois. She is a member of Rho Lambda and is pursuing a degree in Agribusiness: Agriculture Communications. Addison says that her favorite memory from her time at SEMO is, "All of my favorite memories here at Southeast come from the University Farm. The David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center provides students with hands-on learning experiences and memories that last a lifetime!"

Nolan Briegel is from Wentzville, Missouri. He is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and is pursuing a degree in Corporate Communication. Nolan's favorite memory during his time at SEMO is competing in the 2023 Student Research Conference.

"The Student Research Conference pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I was able to learn so much! My faculty sponsor, Dr. Fluegge, really encouraged me to work hard, despite the fact that I had never done research like this before!"

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