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Sesquicentennial Moments
Fridays at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m.

Dr. Joel Rhodes shares highlights and historical moments from Southeast Missouri State University's history during its sesquicentennial year.

  • In the midst of the Great Depression, the federal Public Works Administration or PWA – part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s alphabet soup of New Deal agencies – funded construction of Southeast’s new library. Completed in 1939 between Albert and Leming halls, directly across from Academic Hall.
  • A magnificent, new multi-million-dollar, 10,000 seat Houck Stadium highlights our sesquicentennial festivities. And its completion comes almost a century after the original facility was dedicated to honor Louis Houck with a football game between Southeast and SIU on October 3, 1930.
  • Like the adjacent stadium, Houck Field House honors Regent Louis Houck, but the original structure owed its existence to the most renowned evangelist of the 1920s: a major league baseball player-turned-preacher, Billy Sunday.
  • We celebrated our centennial in 1973 with quite a bit of buzz on campus. Enrollments were approaching a record 8,000. The college had officially become Southeast Missouri State University the year before in 1972. And the last major construction project of the first hundred years was underway; a vast, new student union to replace the outgrown Memorial Hall.
  • In 1950, Southeast opened its first multiple-purpose student union, a student-centered recreation hall and lounge, dedicated to students who served in World War II, and all branches of the armed forces since the institution’s founding.
  • As part of the post-war building boom under President Mark Scully, Southeast added a new facility in 1960 named for Dr. Arthur Clay Magill, long-time Professor of Chemistry, and Chair of the Science Department.
  • Nineteen sixties-style “student power” protests finally arrived on the Southeast campus in September 1977, when activists set up a tent encampment on the terraces to draw attention to their discontent with student housing curfews and regulations handed down from the 1920s and 1950s.
  • Campus protests are commonly associated with the Vietnam era and the 1960s, and while Southeast had one of those too, our university’s most spectacular disturbance unfolded years earlier on June 8, 1921, affectionally known as “Dearmont Day.”
  • To meet the massive - and urgent - demand for military servicemen in World War II, Southeast joined hundreds of other colleges as temporary training centers, supplying manpower for the nation’s total war effort.
  • With Southeast enrollments expected to reach 5,000 by 1970, President Mark Scully and the Regents kept pace with mounting demand for student housing by constructing four high-rise dormitories down in a wooded ravine north of campus, known to generations of students as the "Home of the Birds."