For more than 10 years Southeast Missouri State University has benefited from the advice and counsel of Don Dickerson, a Cape Girardeau lawyer who was appointed to the board of regents in 1993 and has served as the board's president since 1996.
During that time, Dickerson has encouraged and supported the push to increase enrollment, to expand opportunities at off-campus learning centers around Southeast Missouri and to construct state-of-the-art facilities.
Dickerson's leadership proved to be valuable in many ways, including his friendship and access to two Missouri governors, Mel Carnahan and Bob Holden. With so much of the university's funding hinging on the political process in Jefferson City, Dickerson provided a political astuteness that proved to be crucial to many major projects.
Although he has given up his leadership post on the board of regents, Dickerson has expressed a desire to stay on the board after his current term expires next January. That decision will be up to Missouri's new governor, Matt Blunt.
The university, the community and all of Southeast Missouri owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Dickerson for all he has done for Southeast Missouri State. He has been the university's cheerleader and advocate in ways that will last for decades to come.