The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 23, 2012

Missouri Southern gears up for 75th anniversary homecoming

JOPLIN, Mo. — Excitement and anticipation prevail among students who will attend Missouri Southern State University’s 75th anniversary homecoming that it might be the best one yet.

“Of course I’m excited,” said Cory Garr, a freshman political science major. “It’s the 75th anniversary homecoming. It’s my first year here, so why wouldn’t I be?”

This year’s theme is “75 Years of Lion Pride.” Homecoming events begin on Monday, Oct. 1, with homecoming royalty voting in Billingsly Student Center. Students may cast their votes for the homecoming king and queen on Monday and Tuesday.

Also on Oct. 1, the Student Activities Office puts on the third annual Casino Night in Billingsly Student Center.

“Casino Night has become a homecoming tradition,” said Craig Gullett, director of student activities. “We want to invite students out to have a good time.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the 61Syx Tech Break Dance Crew will perform from 7 to 8 p.m. at Phelps Theatre in Billingsly Student Center.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, the Campus Activities Board will be the host for an outdoor movie and bonfire beginning at 7 p.m. “The Avengers” will be shown.

On Thursday, Oct. 4, students may take old-time photos, stuff a lion and enjoy root beer floats on the campus oval. “I will definitely be there; I love root beer floats,” said Johnny Boyer, a junior at the university. The events are free for students.

Also on Thursday will be the president’s fifth annual Gala Concert. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor Performing Arts Center. Admission is $5.

On Friday, Oct. 5, students and faculty may attend the homecoming picnic. The Campus Activities Board is sponsoring the event featuring custom silicone wristbands, feather hair extensions, caricature drawings and free lunch.

The parade float party will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 5 in the MSSU pit parking lot. Clubs and organizations will show off their floats and get a chance to see other float designs.

The Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center will have its awards reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 5. The Outstanding Alumnus 2012 Awards will go to Carol Parker, class of 1954; Michael S. Moore, class of 1987; and Bryan Vowels, class of 1992.

The Lion Hearted Award will honor Brad Belk, director of the Joplin Museum Complex. Other honorees include members of the Athletics Hall of Fame and The Chart Hall of Fame, outstanding professors, the Governors Award recipient, superior service award recipients, and a special recognition for Conrad Gubera, class of 1960, who has taught at Southern for 45 years.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, the homecoming parade begins at 11 a.m. on campus.

“We are excited to be part of the homecoming parade,” said Johnathan Saunders, a senior and president of the student senate.

“Student senate is the oldest registered student organization on campus,” he said. “Not a lot of clubs can say that.”

Members of Southern’s band also are excited to be in the parade.

“I feel honored to march in the 75th anniversary homecoming parade,” said Kay Cypret, a senior music major. “This will be my fourth parade, and I think that it will be exciting because the music department has changed and grown so much.”

Missouri Southern’s football Lions will play the South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers at 2 p.m. Oct. 6, after the parade.

“We’re always excited to play the homecoming game, especially this year,” said Bradyn Prough, a defensive tackle.

Homecoming often is a time for students, staff members and alumni to reunite.

“The events are all-encompassing,” said Lee Elliff Pound, alumni director. “Celebrating 75 years of Lion Pride is recognizing everyone.”

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