June Academic Camps Designed for High School Students
Southern is hosting 10 academic camps June 5-7, bringing high school students to the university for an opportunity to explore or sharpen their vocational focus. Approximately 80 students participated last year, coming from as far away as Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
Topics for 2017 include chemistry, Civil War history, computing, creative writing, filmmaking, graphic design, photography, physics/engineering, social work/missions, and an honors institute.
Registration, including all food, materials, and activity expenses, is $150 for day students or $200 for those requiring housing. Campers coming from outside the Chattanooga area may take advantage of transportation assistance both to and from Southern at centralized pick-up locations in Asheville, Atlanta, Nashville, and Knoxville on June 4 and 7.
For more information, call 423.236.2781 or visit southern.edu/camps.
Student Missionaries, Evangelists, and Religion Graduates Dedicated at Special Vespers
On Friday evening, April 28, Southern’s service in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists provided an even more contemplative and joyful start to Sabbath than normal. This special program, jointly planned by the Chaplain’s Office and School of Religion, featured the dedication of three groups of students: those preparing to leave as student missionaries; those preaching an evangelistic series this summer; and seniors graduating with a religion degree in 2017.
One particular program highlight included the candle ceremony during which all of those going out to serve were given a light, symbolizing what God calls them to be and to do in the world. The group then formed a large circle that surrounded the pews inside the church with light. It was thrilling to see our young people dedicating themselves in service to the Lord and to have Bill Knott, editor of Adventist Review and Adventist World, as guest speaker for the evening.
-Greg King, ’81, PhD, dean for the School of Religion
SonRise Brings 11,000 Guests to Campus
More than two decades after its debut, Southern’s annual resurrection pageant remains a highlight of the Easter season each year for those on campus and residents in the greater Chattanooga area. Nearly 700 volunteers helped make the event a success in 2017 as 11,000 guests enjoyed SonRise. An online photo album helps bring the experience to life for those not able to attend.
Online Graduate Program Recognized for Affordability
Southern’s MBA degree (accounting emphasis) has been named a top 20 choice for affordability by OnlineU, a free web resource dedicated to promoting academic and financial transparency. The ranking company’s goal is to increase college enrollment by decreasing financial barriers. It collected data used to measure programs from official websites of the accreditation agencies and the National Center for Education Statistics.
Southern enrolls approximately 500 graduate students in several different areas of
study, three of which—business, education, and nursing—have online degree options.
For more information visit southern.edu/graduatestudies or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WSMC Event Explores the Intersection of History, Politics, and Arts
Southern’s radio station, WSMC Classical 90.5, teamed up with Opera Tennessee on April 10 in the Hulsey Wellness Center amphitheater to host a panel discussion exploring the intersection of politics, literary criticism, history, and music in relation to the worldwide refugee crisis. Approximately 70 people—a mixture of students, professors, guest panelists, and community members—attended the event.
More will soon have the same opportunity. A similar discussion is scheduled for May 11 at 6 p.m. in Chattanooga’s First Christian Church prior to a performance of The Consul, an opera about a refugee family attempting to escape Eastern Europe during World War II.
The discussion may appear outside the realm of WSMC’s traditional programming efforts, but changes in both world politics and station personnel have influenced the decision to cast a wider net in advocating for the relevancy of classical music in modern society. WSMC recently hired Tyler Rand, ’16, who graduated with a music degree, as its social innovation manager. His experience performing with Southern’s Symphony Orchestra, in addition to several years as a student employee at WSMC, mean that building bridges with other arts organizations in Chattanooga comes naturally to him.
“I reached out to another Southern alum, Sara Snider Schone, ’07, artistic director of Opera Tennessee, regarding her upcoming production of The Consul,” Rand said. “Often music, especially classical, can seem superfluous when so much tragedy is going on in the world. We want our listeners and supporters to see that music can be used to start important conversations and reach people in unique ways.”
Abigail Hunt, a junior global policy and service studies major, invited a student from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to join her for the program and was proud of the intelligent and passionate discussions taking place.
“Interdisciplinary events such as this foster a more inviting atmosphere and provide an opportunity to meet people outside one’s normal sphere of interaction,” Hunt said. “More importantly, I think they really reinforce the well roundedness of a liberal arts education.”
Networking was another bonus for students. During the event, Hunt, an officer in Southern’s local chapter of the Adventist Peace Fellowship organization, was introduced to Chattanooga-area nonprofit leaders. They shared with her specific opportunities for the campus club to assist refugees.
Several similar ideas for giving WSMC more of a physical presence in Chattanooga are in the works. In collaboration with Southern’s Advancement office, Rand recently submitted a $10,000 grant application that would allow the station to coordinate a series of classical music concerts that promote dialogue, growth, and social change among the groups they aspire to work with—Chattanooga’s refugee community, immigrant populations, and impoverished neighborhoods—using shared community spaces. He is also strategizing with established professional musicians in the area regarding how to best help with an initiative that involves getting classical music education and performance into prisons.
Contributions to WSMC help with both the day-to-day operating costs and exciting new
programs like these. Gifts may be made online or by calling 423.236.2829.
Legacy Society Dinner Showcases Impact of Gifts
On March 26, nearly 100 guests attended Southern’s 2017 Legacy Society Recognition Dinner at Garden Plaza of Greenbriar Cove in Ooltewah. The annual event served as an opportunity to thank Legacy Society members for their planned gifts and contributions during the current fiscal year, while introducing them to current scholarship recipients benefiting from this generosity.
Junior psychology major Julia Jedamski was one of the student speakers who shared her story. She planned to enroll in a different university that offered her more scholarships, but she felt called to Southern. Although Jedamski was enjoying her time on campus, she often spent summer and Christmas breaks preoccupied with worries about how to pay for the next semester.
“When I received an email explaining that I was awarded funding from the Legacy Society, I was very grateful, because I did not feel like I was going to be able to come back to Southern,” Jedamski said.
After she graduates, Jedamski plans to attend Adventist University of Health Sciences to study occupational therapy and pursue a career working specifically with autistic children. Having been blessed by the financial gifts of others, she is determined to be intentional about giving back to the community using her time and talents.
“I might not be able to give back to you, but I am going to give back to somebody,” Jedamski said to the donors.
Junior social work major Annissa Monteso has similar plans for helping others. She hopes her knowledge of sign language, combined with social work training, will translate to advocacy work on behalf of the deaf community. But getting to the educational finish line is challenging. Monteso said that more than once she has called her mother in tears, saying, “I don’t know how Southern will let me come back. My finances are too much.”
Each time this happens her mother replies, “I don’t know how, but Southern is going to get you back. God is going to get you back!”
The solution came by way of a Legacy Society scholarship.
“I felt so blessed by the gift,” Monteso said. “I hope to be in a position someday where I can give back and make an impact like Legacy Society did for me.”
Scholarships weren’t the only topic of discussion at the dinner. Attendees also heard about Joyce L. Ford, a former Legacy Society member who recently passed away and gifted part of her estate to Southern Missions Operations, an endowed fund open to contributions from anyone. Brennon Kirstein, ’94, DMin, campus chaplain, shared his excitement for how these monies could make global volunteer work increasingly accessible to Southern students.
“Our hope is that as this fund grows we can eliminate more and more expenses that current students now must fundraise before they can go out—things like airfare, visas, and insurance,” Kirstein said.
For more information about the Legacy Society and planned giving—including real estate, stocks and bonds, retirement assets, insurance, and other options—email Carolyn Liers or call 423.236.2818.
-by Erica King, senior public relations and international studies double major
Nursing Students Get Creative in Helping Community
Through a newly restructured approach to community health training, students pursuing their bachelor’s degree in nursing at Southern take a required series of courses that start in the classroom and end up in the community, putting theory into practice. Groups of two to four students partner with local organizations, identify a need, and get to work. The goal is to create and implement a fully-functioning resource that the organization can continue using after the students are gone.
“We want students to get out there, representing not only Southern but also Christ to our neighbors,” said Beckie Retzer, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. “We hope these class projects will have a lasting impact both on them and community members.”
Mark Childress, senior nursing major, and two classmates identified a need in a local emergency department’s secure room for psychiatric patients. To protect occupants from harming themselves, the room was bare and utilitarian, with nothing for them to do.
“We witnessed physical outbursts and mental breakdowns,” Childress said. “One man commented that he felt like a caged animal and had nothing else to do besides act out.”
Childress’ group researched ideas and settled on a simple but effective solution—the team painted one wall with nontoxic chalkboard paint in a soothing blue and found a dustless, nontoxic chalk that wouldn’t cause harm, even if it was swallowed. This provided patients with an outlet, a way to occupy themselves safely. It was a hit!
“One lady even wrote a thank-you note on the wall before she was transferred,” Childress said.
Through the team’s initiative, the hospital became the first in Tennessee to offer this therapy to its psych patients.
Another group of nursing students collaborated with the Standifer Gap Seventh-day Adventist Church to share better nutrition with the community. Students prepared a recipe booklet that included original recipes, shopping lists, and easy instructions. Then they worked with church members to hold a cooking school where the students demonstrated the recipes.
Other groups took on projects such as translating health pamphlets for non-English speakers at a clinic, providing diabetes awareness and training in local elementary schools, and working with Muslim refugees in the area to get proper nutrition in their new environment.
“This class helped me to think outside the box,” said Shannon DeRogatis, senior nursing major. “I have been a registered nurse for several years, but this really put me outside of my comfort zone. Being able to share the knowledge that I have learned over the past several years was extremely rewarding.”
Southern’s School of Nursing is fully accredited and enrolls more than 1,200 students pursuing degrees ranging from associate to doctorate.
-by Janell Hullquist, editorial manager
72-Hour Campaign Assists with Residence Hall Renovations
Nearly 100 dorm rooms in Talge and Thatcher halls will receive a makeover paid for, in part, by Southern’s Fixer Upper campaign held April 24-27. The 72-hour fundraising push resulted in 264 donors contributing more than $42,000 toward renovations.
On Monday evening, a group of students gathered in one of the demolished rooms of Talge to kick off the event with a Facebook Live video. Students remained engaged with the campaign via the Best Dressed Challenge by submitting pictures of their rooms on Facebook. Students, alumni, and donors alike used the popular social media platform to choose their favorite dorm room based on decorations. The roommates with the most votes received a $100 gift card to Southern’s Campus Shop.
“I loved being able to share my room decor and to see all of the other rooms’ designs,” said Alexis Jones, sophomore English major. “Honestly, some people really do make their dorms a home away from home.”
Anyone who made a gift to Southern’s Fixer Upper campaign had the option of voting for either Talge or Thatcher Hall in a friendly competition to see which residence hall would host a party for the students with free food provided by Papa John’s Pizza (Chattanooga) and Bruster’s Ice Cream (Chattanooga). Thatcher won by a total of eight votes.
The Fixer Upper event was part of Southern’s Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning, a multi-year, multifaceted effort to raise $50 million for improving the physical structures on campus, as well as increasing student scholarship opportunities. More than $36 million of that goal has been raised to date in cash and pledges.
“I think it’s important for students to realize that we have nearly 4,000 alumni and friends who make a financial gift to Southern every year,” said Ashley (Noonan) Fox, ’15, annual giving officer. “These funds go to support scholarships, keep tuition below the true cost to attend Southern, and impact many other areas on campus.”
-by Sierra Emilaire, junior English major
Professor Writes Special Message for Students Just Before His Passing
What would you say if you were a teacher and were given one last opportunity of addressing your students before passing to your rest? For Ben McArthur, a history professor at Southern, the opportunity came when he was given news that his long battle with cancer was nearing its end.
In a special letter addressed to his students, McArthur called on them not to get discouraged but to keep striving toward their dreams, with the assurance that God will bless their endeavors. He also advised his students to keep reading, traveling and making friends, as they strive to serve God and fellow human beings wherever they are. “Locate an Adventist church to which you can contribute,” he told them.
Above all, McArthur asked his students to be intentional about nurturing their relationship with God. He credited his faith in God as the source of the peace of mind he enjoyed, even during his illness. “This is a great gift that I wish for every one of you,” he said.
Life of a Teacher
McArthur was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and received a BA degree in history from Andrews University in 1973. He went on to receive his PhD in American history from the University of Chicago in 1979.
McArthur was a beloved teacher and an active scholar. He taught in the History and Political Studies Department of Southern from 1979, except for a three-year period from 2009-2012 during which he served as the Academic Dean of Southwestern Adventist University. He published three books and numerous articles during his long academic career.
McArthur sent his last message to his students in an email to his colleague, Jamie Thompson, about three weeks before his passing, asking her to “hold on to it until the appropriate moment.” As the sad news of his death reached Southern’s campus, another colleague, Kris Erskine, PhD, emailed the letter to McArthur’s students.
“[McArthur] was one of the wisest, most intellectual, and knowledgeable people I have known,” wrote Erskine in an email addressed to students where he shared the news of his passing.
Below is the full text of McArthur’s letter.
By the time you receive this note, I will be gone. My departure wasn’t of my choosing. But I find myself at complete peace with God’s will.
Some of you I know relatively well; others I haven't gotten acquainted with, which I regret. I always have great hopes for our history students. I want each of you to create a future for yourself that will be personally rewarding and of service to your community. Discouragements will come, for sure, but you can find resilience in the knowledge that you have aptitudes and acquired skills that will carry you through.
I’m not one who believes that God has only one plan for each person’s life. I believe He can bless your endeavors in a number of areas you might attempt (and don’t be afraid to try different things in your life.)
You won't be surprised to hear me advise you to continue to read. That's the mark of a history student. It's one path to understanding the human experience. Travel. Make friends. Locate an Adventist church to which you can contribute.
Most important, nurture your relationship with God. This can be done in multiple ways, but there must always be intentionality in the endeavor. The peace of mind I enjoyed during my illness came only through an utter confidence in God’s leading and salvific ends. This is a great gift that I wish for every one of you.
Your friend, Ben McArthur
-by Marcos Paseggi, originally published by Adventist Review
McArthur’s memorial service is planned for May 20, at the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day
Adventists. Contributions in his memory may be made to the History Department Affinity Fund at Southern.
Graduation Commencement. May 7 at 9:30 a.m. in the Chattanooga Convention Center. The program may be viewed online as well. For a PDF of the program and more information, visit southern.edu/graduation.
Carolina Camp Meeting Lunch. June 2 at noon in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Complimentary tickets for the alumni lunch, held under the tents between Stuart Auditorium and Harrell Center, will be available for pickup on site at Southern’s booth. RSVP no later than May 31 by emailing email@example.com or calling 423.236.2829.
Academic Summer Camps. June 5-7 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Southern is hosting camps for high school students on a variety of topics in the arts, sciences, and even missions. Overnight housing and transportation assistance available. For more information visit southern.edu/camps.
WELLkids Day Camps. June 5-9, July 17-21, or July 24-28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Keep the kids moving and exploring the outdoors this summer. The week-long sessions for students age 10-16 offer outdoor adventures such as rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, ropes course, rafting, and caving. For more information visit southern.edu/wellkids.
Onward and Forward Convention. June 22-24. This three-day Southern Union event held on Southern’s campus is for those age 55+ who are currently employed by or are retired from the Seventh-day Adventist Church or an Adventist hospital. For more information, visit southernunion.com/55convention.
Southern Union Retiree Alumni Event. June 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Lynn Wood Hall. Alumni on campus during the Onward and Forward Convention are invited to stop by for a welcome reception that includes refreshments and a small gift.
Michigan Camp Meeting Lunch. June 24 at 12:30 p.m. in the Cedar Lake Fellowship Hall. Tickets are not required, but RSVPs are requested. RSVP no later than June 21 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 423.236.2829.
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