Southern Hospitality in Scandinavia


"Have you never heard of southern hospitality?" said Wilbert Schneider, former president of Southern Missionary College, when he refused to take Hans Lofgren's hard-earned money for a two-day guest stay at the university.

In 1968, Lofgren worked his way from Stockholm, Sweden, to Peru as the unofficial doctor on a ship. Before leaving, he cut entries out of the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook so he would have an idea of where he might be able to stay when he arrived. When the boat landed in Peru he traveled to Mexico and hitchhiked from there to Collegedale.

Upon arriving at Southern, Hans went to the office of the president, asking if he could stay in the dorm for a few days. Schneider warmly invited him to not only sleep, but also eat for free, citing Southern hospitality.
Fast-forward 45 years to May 2013. Southern's touring choir, I Cantori, is on its Scandinavian tour staying at Ekebyholm, its Scandinavian sister school. The students were given a tour of the grounds and a 17th-century castle. The guide for this tour was none other than Lofgren, who is now the husband of the principal of Ekebyholm.

Thanks, in part, to the generosity and southern hospitality of Schneider, I Cantori was able stay for four nights in a beautiful, historic campus where their gracious hosts refused to accept payment for housing or meals. The group had access to the grounds, the laundry facility, places to practice and perform, and a knowledgeable, friendly, and caring tour guide!


~by Robby Raney





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One Degree Organic Foods


Danny Houghton, 98, continues to live out the mission of his alma mater, which prepared him to pursue "truth, wholeness, and a life of service." Houghton has served as a Board of Trustees member at Southern Adventist University since 2006. He has also become a leader beyond the university as he took on the opportunity with TAGnet to develop a mobile app, InPrayer, which was recently mentioned in the 2013 spring issue of Columns. He is actively involved with Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) where he previously served as Vice President for Communication. Today, Houghton has embarked on a new business venture. He and his wife Sondra co-founded a family business called One Degree Organic Foods, where he also serves as Vice President for Marketing and Sales.


One Degree is creating a new movement in the natural food channel, with a focus on 100 percent ingredient transparency and veganic ingredient cultivation. Every One Degree product features a QR (quick response) code that can be scanned by any consumer with a smartphone in the grocery store aisle, allowing them to meet the farmer/supplier of every single ingredient in that product via video and photo essay. All One Degree ingredients are grown veganically, simply meaning that no animal by-products are used in the crop cultivation process, eliminating potential heavy metal, hormone and antibiotic soil and ingredient contamination.


 “It is exciting to hear about the business development and the commitment that One Degree Organic Foods has to those seeking better, healthier products,” said Geovanny Ragsdale, Director of Development at Southern.



The excitement is palpable as Houghton shares the direction the company is taking to ensure that every consumer can be informed of all ingredients within their products. As they say, "every ingredient has a story.”
Although the company is based out of Abbotsford, Canada, One Degree products can be purchased across the United States as well. You can order their breads, flour, and seeds on and other retailers.
“Starting in August, One Degree Organic Foods will offer a new line of breakfast cereals nationally through Whole Foods Market,” Houghton said.
The health message is one that has been entrusted to us as members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Houghton is proud to be a part of a family business that allows him to share these values with the world. Taste the difference and support a business developed by one of Southern's very own alums










Spring Break Trip Motivates Gym-Masters Member to Become Missionary

One of the biggest challenges we experience as humans is trying to understand God’s will for our lives. Brooke Bernhardt, sophomore pre-physical therapy major, experienced this firsthand as she started her freshman year at Southern Adventist University.

From the beginning, Brooke was interested in being a student missionary. But she was not sure if it was right for her. She prayed diligently that God would show her what He wanted her to do. Little did she know that it would take a mission trip for her to hear God’s voice.

As a member of Gym-Masters, Southern's gymnastics team, Brooke got the unique opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic over the 2013 Spring Break for a mission trip. Though the trip’s main purpose was to perform for local children, the team also had a chance to visit an area hospital. Brooke was horrified by what she found there. The children were sick and hopeless; many of them had been abandoned there to die. Again and again she kept thinking, “somebody has to help these kids.”

With a new passion and mission, Brooke began praying even harder for a sign from God that would tell her what to do. She was not disappointed. Brooke will be joining the AMOR Projects in Peru this coming August to work in a clinic. God blew her out of the water with the affirmation that this was His will. Though she is nervous, she is ready to see what God has in store for her.

Her goal for the year is, “to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” sharing His passion with as many people as she can. She is still waiting on funds, but is certain that God will provide. He has given her a mission and she is sure that He will create a way for her to get there.

God uses the strangest things to speak to our hearts. For Brooke, He knew that a hospital in the Dominican Republic was just what she needed to light the fire. Opportunities like this are vital for students who are interested in mission work. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He will stop at nothing to put us in the places that will bring us closer to Him.


~by Lyndsay Wood


Southern Six Trail Race


Southern Adventist University, Wild Trails and Rock/Creek present the Southern Six Trail Race. This is a short (6 km = 3.7 miles), family-friendly event taking place on Southern's beautiful Biology Trail on Sunday, September 15, 2013. Everyone ages 12 and above is invited to participate in the 6k trail race and compete for prizes. Children ages 12 and under are encouraged to participate in the Kid K! Door prizes will also be available. Proceeds from the event will go directly to the University's Outdoor Leadership program and will help with development and maintenance of the Biology Trail system. 

For more information and to register, click HERE





Which Would YOU Rather?

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Employee Giving Increases for Fifth Consecutive Year, Reaches All-Time High

In the 2012-2013 academic year employee giving at Southern reached an all-time high of 76.5 percent, a figure more than twice the national average. That number was made possible, in part, thanks to the university’s Building Relationships in Department Giving Everyday (BRIDGE) program, an initiative that encourages employees to contribute by increasing their awareness of both the needs of the school and the benefits of investing.

Faculty and staff donations have increased an average of four percent every year since the BRIDGE program began in 2007. This year 18 departments achieved 100 percent participation, with a total of 369 of the 482 full-time employees giving to Southern.

"I think it says a lot about Southern that the employees are willing and eager to turn around and give a part of their paycheck to support it," said Cheryl Torres, annual giving officer. "The people who work on campus are not just here for a job, they are here because they believe in the school, the mission, and the students."

Employees are able to direct their gift to any area of the university. In the past many have chosen the Southern Annual Fund, which assists with general expenses and keeps tuition costs down, individual department affinity funds, which help departments meet their goals and provide scholarships, and other capital projects such as the building of new facilities.

The donors’ age and tenure at Southern covers a broad spectrum. Despite the fact that he has only been an employee for two semesters, Aaron Corbit, assistant professor in the Biology Department, made a financial gift this year.

"Even though I am new to the university, giving was the right thing to do," Corbit said. "I believe in Southern's mission and want to help support it."

For more information on employee giving, or to make a donation, visit

To view the President’s 2012-2013 online annual report, visit


~by Luke Evans


Dave Cress Memorial Golf Tournament

Learn more about the tournament and the Dave Cress Memorial scholarship by clicking HERE