From 1937 to 2021, “Decades of Southern Spirit” will be on full display during Fall 2021 Homecoming festivities at Missouri Southern.

Among the highlights of the week’s activities are theme days, the annual picnic on the Oval, the coronation of this year’s king and queen, and a Homecoming parade – which will take place in downtown Joplin.

Spirit Week

This year, all of campus – employees and students – are invited to take part in the themed Spirit Week activities. Each day during the week of Homecoming, there will be a decade-specific theme. Everyone is invited to dress according to the theme and share their photos on Instagram for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

“We’re excited to be able to invite the entire campus community to participate in the themed activities,” said Mike Opfer, president of Staff Senate. “We especially want to thank the members of President’s Council for approving the idea.”

Decorating contests

The Student Activities office is also encouraging all departments to take part in the Department Decorating/Door Decorating contest to show your Lion pride!

The deadline to register for the decorating contests is 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16. All decorating must be complete by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, with judging set for noon the following day. Decorations must remain in place through Friday, Sept. 24.

Department prizes will be $400 in Fresh Ideas food credit (one-time use) for first place; $250 in food credit for second place, and $100 for third. The Door contest will feature a $150 Amazon gift card for first, $100 for second and $75 for third.

Click here to fill out the online registration form.

Schedule of events

Monday, Sept. 20

Theme Day: ‘30s-‘50s, Dressed to the Nines – During the early days of Joplin Junior College, students dressed their best when on campus. Wear your best suit or dress to celebrate the first era of MSSU. Post your photo on Instagram with the #mosospirit21 hashtag to be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card.

Online voting begins for Homecoming royalty.

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Theme Day: ’60-‘70s, Groovy Days – Break out the bellbottoms and tie-dye shirts, and don’t forget to post your spirit photo on Instagram to be entered into a drawing.

Homecoming Bingo – 12:20 p.m., Lions Den. The Campus Activities Board will host the game, with more than $150 in prizes.

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Theme Day: ‘80s Neon Day – The 1980s were a bright time to MSSU and fashion. Wear your neon colors and celebrate, and be sure to use the hashtag on Instagram for a chance in the daily drawing.

Homecoming Photo Booth – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Billingsly Student Center.

“Back to the Future” – 8 p.m., on the Oval. Bring a blanket and enjoy this ‘80s classic.

Thursday, Sept. 23

Theme Day: ‘90s-’00, Y2K Fashion. Bold print plaids and grunge wear will be back in fashion. Be sure to enter for the Instagram drawing!

Friday, Sept. 24

Theme Day: MOSO Spirit Day – Show your school spirit, wear the latest MOSO gear and don’t forget to enter the drawing on Instagram

Homecoming Picnic – 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Oval. Come celebrate Homecoming during the 43rd annual picnic. There will be free T-shirts, and Homecoming royalty will be announced at noon.

Alumni Awards Dinner – 5:30 p.m., North End Zone. The event, which will begin with a mix and mingle before the dinner and awards ceremony, will recognize our 2020 and 2021 Distinguished Alums, Outstanding Alums and Outstanding Families.

2021 Distinguished Alum

  • Ron Mitchell, ‘71

2021 Outstanding Alum

  • Nathan Bemo, ‘98

2021 Outstanding Family

  • The Chad, ‘96 and Jennifer, ‘97 Wagoner Family

2020 Distinguished Alum

  • Andy Thomas, ‘80

2020 Outstanding Alum

  • Noppadol Paothong, ‘02

2020 Outstanding Family

  • The David and Laura Weaver Family, ‘89

Glow Party – 8 to 10 p.m., on the Oval. A DJ will spin the latest tunes, and there will be glow paint and glow sticks to help liven up the party.

Saturday, Sept. 25

Homecoming Parade – 10 a.m. in downtown Joplin. The route will begin at Sixth and Main streets and continue north before turning west on Third Street and then south along Joplin Avenue. Entries should be lined up by 9:30 a.m. To sign up, visit

Football game: 2 p.m., Fred Hughes Stadium. The Lions will take on Fort Hays State.