2023 was a big one for Southeast Missouri State University. Anniversaries, celebrations, and a push toward the future of campus brought life to the academic year. In case you didn't hear, we had a few special events. Relive the excitement with us as we take you through 2023 at SEMO!

Big Events

When SEMO puts on a celebration, it lasts all year long! SEMO celebrated 150 years and, of course, that excitement spread to each event across campus. Giving Day, Move-In, and more were ramped up creating bigger and better memorable moments.

Aside from throwing a year-long party. Southeast Missouri State made some huge changes this year. We created policy changes to welcome more students. We met with outside partners to make sure our programs take students to the next level with greater hands-on experience. Faculty, staff, organizations, and teams were recognized on the national stage. We'll say it again, 2023 has been nothing short of awesome at SEMO.

Transforming Southeast

  • SEMO Turns 150

    The SEMO community came together to create a very special 150th birthday celebration. Students, faculty and staff, alumni, and community members filled the University Center on March 22 to celebrate 150 years of SEMO history. 
  • SEMO Announces Transformational Plan

    Southeast Missouri State University President Dr. Carlos Vargas celebrated the University’s history and 150th anniversary with the Redhawk community while laying out a plan for the University’s future with a Transforming Lives campaign.
  • Giving Day Raises $307,367

    Southeast Missouri State University set out with a goal to raise $150,000 on SEMO Giving Day to celebrate the sesquicentennial. The Southeast community went above and beyond, helping the University raise a record amount on Giving Day 2023.
  • One Rate Tuition

    The Southeast Missouri State Board of Governors approved restructuring tuition to streamline the cost of college and increase transparency. Tuition was reduced to one cost for domestic, U.S. students and one for non-domestic students. The same pricing model applies to graduate students. Regional campus rates for lower division courses remain separate.
  • Dual Enrollment Numbers Increase

    Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success, reported the University saw an eight percent increase in both graduate and international headcount and a one percent increase in online enrollment.
  • Graduation Rate 13% higher than national average

    According to the National Student Clearinghouse, the average completion rate for college is 30%. Southeast Missouri State University is proud of our graduation rate of 43% which is 13% higher than the national average.
  • Holigans Named Friends of the University

    SEMO alumni Harold and Hermena (Parks) Holigan were named the 2023 Friends of the University by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. This award is the highest honor bestowed by Southeast. The Holigan’s selection honors their long-time commitment to education in Southeast Missouri and their generosity to Southeast Missouri State.
  • New Programs

    SEMO began the fall 2023 semester with three new business majors for students to choose from. We also created a new master’s degree in exceptional child education for students looking to work with special needs students or for educators seeking to focus their work.
  • Partnerships

    New partnerships were formed with Family Counseling Center, Big Brothers Big SistersMissouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, Mid-America Transplant, and an agreement with Saint Francis Healthcare System. A renewed sponsorship was also signed with Lift for Life Academy in St. Louis that will run through 2028.
  • Winter Guard Play is Published

    The winner of Southeast's 2022 Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival, The Winter Guard Play by Avery Deutsch, was chosen for publication by Concord Theatricals. Concord Theatricals is the largest and most prestigious publisher of plays and musicals in the nation.
  • Marching Band Performs at Bands of America Super Regional

    Southeast Marching Band was invited to perform at the Bands of America Super Regional in Indianapolis on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Two college bands are selected every year. This year Southeast was chosen alongside Purdue University.
  • SEMO Goes Dancing

    SEMO basketball experienced the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history and the first in 23 years. The Redhawks, who put together their first winning season in nine years, won four games in four days to claim the OVC Tournament Championship and become the first team to punch its ticket to this season's tournament.
  • Redhawks Win Second OVC Commissioner's Cup in Three Years

    The OVC Commissioner's Cup is a symbol of overall athletic excellence in Conference-sponsored championships and is awarded annually to one member institution. The Redhawks won the OVC Commissioner's Cup for the first time in their athletics history in 2020-21. SEMO won a staggering six OVC titles per season over the last four years alone.
  • Skinner Named Campus Advisor of the Year, Four Greek Organizations Win National Honors

    Associate Vice President of Student Life-Campus Life Dr. Bruce Skinner received the Campus Advisor of the Year recognition and student Elliot Siekmann was named the Man of the Year by the Sigma Nu Fraternity during their national 2023 Merit Awards in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Greek Life had four chapters take home the highest national honor this summer, three of them for the second consecutive year.

  • Admissions Establishes Transfer Center

    The Office of Admissions launched a Transfer Center to help incoming students with the transfer process. The new center will serve as a one-stop resource for students transferring to Southeast, from recruitment to enrollment. 
  • Houck reopening

    Houck Stadium reopened for the 2023 season! From exciting events to shared victories, the refreshed facility continues to bring smiles to families and fans, creating lasting memories in the heart of our SEMO community.

One Big Celebration

In March we broke out the birthday cake and confetti to celebrate SEMO's 150th birthday. All the achievements we have enjoyed and challenges we have faced wouldn't be possible without the Third District Normal School in 1873. That's a long time to be committed to education and we've enjoyed every minute of it. To commemorate the event, we captured as much as possible on video.

2023 has been an incredible year for SEMO but it doesn't stop here. We hope you'll join us in keeping the celebration going as we look toward the total solar eclipse in April 2024. Until then, let's soar into the new year.