Southeast Missouri State University Homecoming parade sets tone for game

Sunday, October 26, 2008
"Shrek" won first place for large floats in the homecoming parade Saturday. It was entered by Alpha Xi Delta and Pi Kappa Alpha.

William and Martha Stewart of Columbia, Mo., had their first date at a Homecoming dance at Southeast Missouri State University 55 years ago, in 1953. They married three years later, and ever since, they try not to miss a chance to return to Southeast for Homecoming weekend.

"We've had many Homecomings together," William Stewart said.

Crowds of students, residents, parents and alumni lined Broadway by 10 a.m. Saturday to watch the Homecoming parade as Southeast's marching band, cheerleaders, dance team, Greek organizations and some local groups raised spirit for the game against Tennessee State.

The grand marshal for the parade was Jane Stacy, who is retiring as director of alumni services, a post she has held at Southeast for 35 years.

Stacy received an Almuni Merit Award earlier Saturday at the All Alumni Breakfast, held at the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center.

The theme for this year's Homecoming was "imagine the possibility," and many of the floats reflected colorful, larger-than-life interpretations of the phrase, as did various store windows on Broadway that were decorated for the parade.

Standouts included the "Nurses of the Future" float, sponsored by the Student Nurse Association, which featured glittery stars and a giant four-foot-long needle, and Delta Delta Delta's "A Bug's Life" themed float, awash with color and moving papier-mache characters from the children's movie.

"I enjoyed it. It was wonderful," Mark Anderson said of the parade.

Anderson and his family traveled to Cape Girardeau from Belleville, Ill., for Homecoming weekend and saw the parade for the first time because his daughter, a sophomore at Southeast, is on the dance team and performed in the parade.

Anderson said he thought the hourlong parade, beginning at Capaha Park and heading east on Broadway, was "full of life and energy."


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