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Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University, is a public, accredited university located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States, near the banks of the Mississippi River.


One University Plaza, MS4675
Cape Girardeau
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Rowdy The Redhawk
Red And Black
Ohio Valley

College History


Southeast Missouri State University was founded in 1873 when a group of prominent businessmen and politicians successfully lobbied the State of Missouri to designate Cape Girardeau as the home of the Third District Normal School. Originally known as Southeast Missouri State Normal School, the first classes were originally taught at the nearby Lorimier School until April 1875 when the first normal school building was completed. Old Normal, 1898 The Normal building was described by Mark Twain in "Life on the Mississippi": "There was another college higher up on an airy summit�a bright new edifice, picturesquely and peculiarly towered and pinnacled�a sort of gigantic casters, with the cruets all complete." The Original Normal School Building burned down on April 8, 1902, and was replaced in 1906 by Academic Hall, the school's domed landmark building. It was designed by Jerome Bibb Legg, who also designed the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall, and includes light fixtures from the 1904 World's Fair. Academic hall, ca. 1906 In the 1950s Southeast Missouri State College had an enrollment of approximately 1,600 students and steadily increased to more than 7,000 students in the 1970s due to low tuition costs, aggressive recruiting, and the construction of Interstate 55 between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. The College also moved away from its focus on only training teachers and began to offer courses of study in business, nursing, and the liberal arts. Due to this expansion of curriculum and student body population, the college officially became Southeast Missouri State University in 1972. The physical size of the campus also grew in this same period. In 1956, the institution had ten buildings on campus. By 1975, the number had increased to twenty-two buildings. In 1998, the university acquired the former St. Vincent's Seminary on the Mississippi river. This property has been redeveloped as the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts, which opened in Fall 2007. Missouri State Normal School�Third District President John Sephus McGhee established the University Schools on June 15, 1896. This allowed prospective teachers to gain real world teaching experience while earning their degrees. As the university expanded its curriculum and extra-curricular activities so did the University Schools. In 1903, as recent construction allowed for more space for university classes, the training school was able to expand its class sizes as well. The University Schools consisted of an elementary, junior high, and high school. The University Schools closed at the end of the 1986�1987 school year, due to increasing costs. University presidents Lucius H. Cheney (1873�76) Alfred Kirk (1876�77) Charles Henry Dutcher (1877�81) Richard Chapman Norton (1881�93) Willard Duncan Vandiver (1893�97) John Sephus McGhee (1897�99) Washington Strother Dearmont (1899�1921) Joseph Archibald Serena (1921�33) Walter Winfield Parker (1933�56) Mark F. Scully (1956�75) Robert E. Leestamper (1975�79) Bill Stacy (1979�89) Robert W. Foster (1989�90) Kala Stroup (1990�95) Bill Atchley (1995�96) Dale F. Nitzchke (1996�99) Kenneth W. Dobbins (1999�present)

College Specialty


The Missouri Rice and Merchandising Council is composed of elected representatives from counties in Missouri that produce rice. The rice producers of Missouri elect the council members for two year memberships. The new Missouri Rice Research Farm is a 110 acre facility featuring emerging technologies in irrigated rice production. The Missouri Rice Research Farm is located on Highway J in northern Dunklin County, Missouri. Annual research activities include rice breeding and variety evaluation, rice culture management, soil fertility, entomology, plant pathology, weed science, water quality and management, avian management, and soil stewardship.



1941 Velmer A. Fassel, scientist Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University 1954 Conlan Carter, actor and airline pilot, attended two years 1960 Dick Hantak, NFL referee 1960 Ken Iman, center with NFL's Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams 1961 Roy Thomas, Comic Book Writer and Former Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics 1968 Clyde A. Vaughn, United States Army Lieutenant General and Director of the Army National Guard 1969 James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps 1970 Rush Limbaugh, radio talk show host, attended Southeast Missouri for a year but did not graduate 1974 Linda Godwin, NASA astronaut 1976 Peter Kinder, politician 1979 Steve Tappmeyer, basketball coach 1987 Cedric Kyles, aka Cedric the Entertainer 1994 Steven Tilley, Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives 1994 Kerry Robinson, Former Major League Outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals 2000 Jason Witczak, kicker with the AFL's Nashville Kats 2001 Neal E. Boyd, 2008 winner of America's Got Talent 2003 Willie Ponder, wide receiver with NFL's St. Louis Rams 2004 Eugene Amano, center with the NFL's Tennessee Titans 2005 Dan Connolly, center/offensive guard with the NFL's New England Patriots 2006 Edgar Jones, outside linebacker with NFL's Baltimore Ravens 2007 Joe Tuineau, lock with Southland Rugby in the Air New Zealand Cup



Rural, 400 Acres (161.9�Ha)