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After decades of organizing Southeast's Homecoming, Jane Stacy gets her due
The tables have turned for Jane Stacy. After 35 years of helping organize Southeast Missouri State University's Homecoming, Stacy is being honored herself. On Friday, she received an Alumni Merit Award. Today she will serve as grand marshal during the Homecoming parade.
As director of alumni services until retiring this year, Stacy helped expand the Alumni Merit Award program. During Homecoming, it was always her responsibility to make sure the recipients were taken care of.
"Instead of taking care of them this year, I am being honored," she said.
Stacy graduated in 1972 and assumed the director position the next year. Throughout her tenure, Stacy developed lasting relationships with alumni and secured countless donations, a colleague said.
"She has personally raised millions of dollars for the university," said Shad Burner, the current director of alumni services. "She was integral in obtaining the money to build the Rhodes Hall of Science. She raised money for countless scholarships all across the university, which really happened because of those relationships with alums."
Stacy is modest about her contributions. She said she simply tried to be the one to answer alumni's questions when they called or wrote for assistance.
"I think the main thing that I look at as I review or reflect on my career is that I was just a person who went to work every day. Some days I did it well. Some days I slumped off. Most of the time, I was very ordinary in the work," she said.
One thing she tried to do, she said, was be the "arms" of the university to alumni. Stacy still works part time as director of development for special projects.
Growing up as a preacher's daughter in Charleston, Mo., she said she was taught to reach out to people and to believe that nothing was an imposition.
Stacy began classwork at Southeast in 1956, but stopped to get married and raise children. Sixteen years later, she graduated with a degree in history. She also earned a graduate degree in religious education from a theological seminary in Kansas City, Mo.
Stacy's three children traveled from Durham, N.C.; Cincinnati and Madison, Wis., to attend a dinner and program honoring Merit Award recipients Friday evening. The family is staying at Wildwood, the university's historical presidential home. From 1979 to 1989, the family lived in Wildwood while Stacy's now ex-husband, Bill Stacy, was university president.
Burner said Stacy was chosen as parade marshal because "when she announced her retirement, we knew we had to do something to honor her. ... She is so well-liked and respected."
The Homecoming parade begins at 9:30 a.m. A reception for Stacy will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Wehking Alumni Center.