Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Native Takes Southeast Experience to Both Coasts


Jason LeGrand, a 1997 Graduate of Southeast says, “I had great mentors among the University faculty and staff, including Jay Goff, Juan Crites, Loren Rullman, Debbie Fulton, Joe Low and Ferrell Ervin.  Each affected my experience and outlook, and contributed to my professional career choice and success.”

LeGrand grew up in Cape Girardeau and attended Cape Central High School.  He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication (public relations) and a psychology minor. Since graduating from Southeast, he has lived in upstate New York; Denver, Col.; and Las Vegas, Nev.  He is currently living in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area where he works for the University of Maryland.

“Since I grew up in Cape Girardeau, I had many experiences at Southeast before I was ever a student.  I took swimming lessons in the pool that used to be in the basement of Academic Hall as part of an American Lung Association program.  I remember special events with my grade school at the University Center.  I was tutored for high school algebra in Towers. I watched the Show Me Center rise from the ground and come to life and then attended some of the first big events there, including President Ronald Reagan’s visit.”

“I have had the opportunity to live in some of the most exciting cities in the United States, but my roots are in the midwest and at Southeast Missouri State University.  My parents met at the Newman Center on the Southeast campus when both were students.  My father and his family grew up on a farm in Chaffee, and my mother’s family came from St Louis where my grandfather spent his career with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation.  Southeast became a family tradition. Today, I am among at least eight Harbisons and LeGrands who have attended the University.”

“As a first-semester freshman, I joined a fraternity and found friendship, role models and mentors.  My family was supportive, and even more excited when it led directly to my first ‘real job’ out of college.  After graduation, I traveled for two years as an educational leadership consultant for the fraternity’s international headquarters.”

“Southeast's internship opportunities provided me with a unique opportunity to spend a semester living in Jefferson City and working in the Missouri House of Representatives.  I went to work every day at the Capitol Building and worked with the people that were shaping Missouri’s future.  That internship gave me practical, real-world experience that has been valuable throughout my career.”

Today Legrand works as the director of the west region for the University of Maryland’s $1 Billion “Great Expectations” capital campaign.

“My office is on the College Park campus in Maryland, but my job is to travel to the west coast once a month to visit with University of Maryland alumni and friends in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Las Vegas.  Through my job, I meet with movie producers, business leaders, attorneys who represent actors and models, and leaders in the engineering field in Silicon Valley.”