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Columns Magazine

Columns is the official magazine of Southern Adventist University, produced by Marketing and University Relations to provide information to alumni and other friends. Your feedback is always welcome: columns@southern.eduClick here to update your contact information and submit a personal update to be included in the next Columns.

Current Issue

Spring 2023
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Featured in This Issue

Changing the World, One School Day at a Time
Early childhood education lays a foundation for young minds, making a lifelong impact on students who will grow into the next generation of leaders. Graduates from Southern’s School of Education, Psychology, and Counseling are on the frontlines of this work, nurturing their students with a caring, Christ-like approach that goes beyond book learning. 

To learn more about the alumni-run schools mentioned in this feature, visit freehavenfs.com (Free Haven Forest School) and leapfrogmontessori.org (Leap FROG Montessori Forest School).

Getting Down to Business
Many Southern students get a jump on their futures through small-business endeavors while in college. Whether snapping cap-and-gown pictures, searching for vintage tees, or sharpening scissors, these three savvy entrepreneurs are embracing lessons in administration, marketing, and client satisfaction in preparation for careers in the working world.

Hands and Feet: Christianity in Action
Southern’s commitment to serving others is highlighted in its mission statement, which notes the university’s aim to equip students to “pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.” A variety of opportunities exist for students, often joined by employees, as they cultivate the habit of being the hands and feet of Jesus.

Fur, Feathers, and Frogs
Members of the animal kingdom lend support and foster joy in the lives of students and employees at Southern. Representing the variety in creation, these creatures also provide a different kind of education not common to classrooms. Here is a sampling of student and employee pets who are instructing, protecting, and spreading humor across the campus and beyond. Enjoy three bonus pet stories below.

Faithfully Continuing a Legacy of Mission
As a student missionary in Bolivia, Zachery Kirstein, senior finance major, helped nurture a group of 15 boys, ages 2 to 10, alongside a local married couple.

Bonus Pet Stories

Ellen Hostetler, VP for Advancement is seen here with her pet Bentley, the English Mastiff.

Ellen Hostetler, VP for Advancement

Click to read about Ellen and her Englilsh Mastiff, Bentley.

Named after the automobile, Bentley is a grumpy English Mastiff that Ellen Hostetler says was “the answer to my prayers.” She had studied dog breeds for months while seeking a unique combination of intimidating protectiveness and docility, and adopted Bentley when he was less than 8 weeks old. Now at age 11, he enjoys his own couch and a king-sized bed, eat four cups of food a day (half Kibble and half home-cooked lentils and rice), snores loudly, snacks on all fruits and vegetables except lettuce and celery, and naps in the sun. While shy to new people and other dogs, he loves to join Ellen on outdoor hikes around lakes.
Jack, Jessica Spears' 15-year old son, and his bearded dragon are pictured here

Jessica Spears, Research Services Librarian

Click to read about Jack, Jessica Spears' 15-year old son, and his bearded dragon.

Jack, 15-year-old son of Jessica Spears, originally wanted a bearded dragon, but a pet store employee steered him toward Groot, a crested gecko. These vulnerable, nocturnal reptiles, which can live up to 20 years, are named for hair-like projections found above their eyes and continuing as two rows of spines to the tail base. The entire family enjoys watching Groot in his habitat, but only Jack appreciates more familiar companionship––specifically doing homework with his crested buddy on his shoulder.
Charlie, the Blond Rat Terrier and Maltese mix is pictured alongside Harold Mayer on a snowy day.

Harold Mayer, Retired

Click to read about Harold Mayer and his dog Charlie's active lifestyle/

Charlie, a blond rat terrier and Maltese mix that’s affectionately known as a “ratese,” was a gift from Harold Mayer to his wife, Sylvia, ’75, eight years ago, but the puppy soon began running alongside Harold during his regular mountain bike rides. Whether temperatures are hot or cold, Charlie logs six miles most days. She enjoys cooling off in water found along the university’s White Oak Mountain trails, where the duo has become quite well known, and wears a coat during winter months. At home, man’s best friend waits for Harold to stretch out his legs on the ottoman, so she can jump up and lay on his lap. Sylvia says, “Someday, I’d like to have a dog.”