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Almost Yesterday is a glimpse into the rich history of our region. Dr. Frank Nickell takes listeners on a journey to specific moments in time, such as the first radio broadcast on KFVS, the history of Farmington’s Carleton College, and the short-lived safari on a Mississippi River island. A gifted storyteller and local historian, Dr. Nickell’s wit and love for the past are combined with sounds and music that augment his narrative.On Saturday, June 7, 2008, Almost Yesterday received First Place in the "Special Programs" category at the Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards Banquet in Kansas City, Missouri.Almost Yesterday airs every Wednesday at 5:42 and 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m.

Almost Yesterday: Mark Scully Retires

Dr. Mark Scully served as President of Southeast Missouri State University for 19 years.
Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like Almost Yesterday that Dr. Mark Scully retired as president of Southeast Missouri State University.

At precisely 5:00pm on June 30, 1975, Dr. Scully and Mr. Jack Wimp, treasurer of the university, gathered their personal belongings and walked out of Academic Hall. Their departure brought an end to the greatest period of change in the history of the university.

Consider:

When Dr. Mark Finney Scully became president of Southeast Missouri State University on July 1, 1956, there were 1,662 students on a campus of ten buildings.
When he retired in 1975 there were 7,632 students in 22 buildings.
The number of faculty in that time increased from 67 to 331.
In his 19 year presidency, Dr. Scully erected 12 new buildings, added 15 new degree programs to the curriculum, created a nursing program, a graduate school and added Pre-Law, Pre-Med, and Pre-Dentistry to student options.

Soon there were special projects in law enforcement, a crime lab, and a large migrant education program.

When Dr. Scully left an Academic Hall that had been substantially renovated, the university had computers, air conditioning, a new copper dome, the Golden Eagles Marching Band, and the college had become a university.

By any measure the years 1956 to 1975 were years of dramatic change.

Reflecting upon his presidency, Dr. Scully would say that the greatest achievement of his administration had been the increase in the physical campus from 10 to 22 buildings, and the increase in student enrollment while maintaining low student fees.

“No one,” he said, “ever loved an institution or a job as I did this one. I am proud of our accomplishments. I was looking for the opportunity to do something for the school and for the people of this region, and I think we did.”

Frank Nickell is a retired history professor at Southeast Missouri State University.
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