This year Southern Adventist University hosted Acrofest, an event that brings gymnastic clinicians with different areas of expertise together in one setting with students from all across the country and world. Just like its previous years, Acrofest was a successful event with 32 schools representing from 18 different states and 3 countries. The Saturday night program was sold out with more than 2,300 in attendance (both athletes and the audience).






Springtime in Europe

Join Bill Wohlers, tour leader and vice president emeritus for Student Services, on an exciting adventure traveling across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. This tour, sponsored by the Alumni Association, will occur April 20 through May 3, 2015. For more information and to reserve spaces, contact Alumni Relations by email or call 423.236.2830.



Year-End Giving

December 31 will be here sooner than you expect; it always happens that way, doesn't it? As you consider your year-end gifts, please remember Southern Adventist University. There are three ways you can invest in every student, every day:

Online Giving:

Phone: 423.236.2829

Mail: Advancement, P.O. Box 370, Collegedale, TN 37315




Homecoming Weekend 2014 Photos

From the Kick-Off Banquet on Thursday night to the Classic Car Show on Sunday morning, you can find a variety of pictures from each event. There were more than 1,000 attendees and hundreds of priceless memories. Look through the photos and see if you can spot a familiar face!






Wellness Coalition

~ Leah Newmyer, Employee Wellness Student Intern


Southern Adventist University’s School of P.E., Health & Wellness (PEHW) welcomed the Chattanooga Wellness Coalition on December 14 to share information about Southern’s wellness programs and opportunities offered to faculty, staff, and students.

The Wellness Coalition was formed in 2012 with Phil Garver retired dean for PEHW, as one of its founding members. It works to combine community resources and present a forum where local companies come together to share ideas and success stories concerning wellness.

The meeting began with a healthy breakfast provided by the Southern's vegetarian culinary arts students. Crystal Whitten, professor, then told attendees more about this new program. During the gathering two of Southern's students also shared what the wellness program has done for them.

"Hosting the Chattanooga Wellness Coalition here at Southern gives us, as Seventh-day Adventist Christians, the opportunity to show that faith, health, and wellness are highly connected and inseparable,” said corporate community wellness major and student presenter Paul-Anthony Turner.

Other speakers included Harold Mayer, professor and director of Human Performance Lab; Marline Geren, RN; and Ruthie Gulley, from Bwell4ever, LLC.

The wellness coalition meets every quarter at a designated host site. A wide range of topics is discussed at these meetings and alumni and community members are welcome to come. Anyone with a passion for wellness, either in the work place, church, or community, would be a great fit.



Colorado Chapter Meeting

~ Geovanny Ragsdale, Associate Vice President, Development


Collaborating with alumni and donors is one of the joys in my service here at Southern. On November 8 we had more than 80 alumni and their families come together at the Estes Park Seventh-day Adventist Church.

"Having the opportunity to visit with alumni in their home church or geographic area gives me a good picture of the quality ministry that our alumni are providing in many parts of the country," said Gordon Bietz, president of Southern.

The Sabbath School program was presented by Bill Hay, ’75. He led the group in a lively discussion on salvation by faith or works. Devon Howard, ‘03 brought us amazing music throughout the day. He invited fellow alumni Kevin Mattson, ’07, Natalie (Issa) Barton, ’05, and Andrea (Issa) Orrison, ’08 to join him in the music. While Gordon Bietz shared a message on love for the main service.

After a haystack lunch, alumni stayed and built relationships throughout the afternoon. By 3 p.m. Dan Turk, ’85, had the group out in God’s amazing nature for a hike around a lake. One of the neatest experiences for us all was to see Sarah Cushing, ‘44, and her husband Arthur, join us on the hike.

"It's the fresh air, exercise, and finding things to laugh about in life that keeps me young," Sarah Said. "You have to always be active!"

Along with the fun of reconnecting with people, participants also enjoyed getting to know new faces."There is something about having Southern as a common theme in our lives that binds us together even if we attended years apart,"said Carol Hurley Turk, '85.

I heard incredible stories about God's leading in the alumni life to attend Southern, the impact professors had during their time on campus, and how our graduates credit God with the ability to work and pay off their student loans because of the wonderful training and education they received here. It is truly humbling to be part of such a great institution!

Another special treat was to meet current non-alumni parents that came for the day. They entrusted their children to Southern and were excited to meet Bietz and connect with others who impact the Southern experience through their gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

The day was full of activity and positive interactions, so much so that a group is already working on its next gathering for next summer.

If you are wondering how to develop a similar concept in your area, reach out to Alumni Relations and your regional relationship manager for assistance in putting plans in motion. After all, when we come together we are a stronger community. As alumni you can still have a positive impact on the Southern Experience; I invite you to become engaged.




~ Scott Kornblum, WSMC General Manager


Have you tuned to Oasis yet?

Oasis, “Pointing You to the Living Water,” is WSMC’s brand-new counterpart and broadcasts religious programming 24/7.

The station launched in October during Homecoming Weekend and features syndicated content alongside original programming such as Jack Blanco reading passages from The Clear Word, Gordon Bietz reading Fenton Forest stories, prayer requests with student station manager, Robby Raney (pictured), music, and much more! Oasis is only available online right now while fundraising is underway to purchase the FM broadcasting equipment. Listen online at, or through the station’s free apps for iPhone, iPad, and Droid.

Students are performing new jobs at WSMC, and the learning experience is truly transformational! Two students were promoted to station manager positions (WSMC and Oasis), while others are performing roles in member services, social media, and of course, announcing and producing. In fact, Tyler Rand (pictured), was the first student to attend a professional conference on behalf of WSMC in as long as anyone can remember. Rand went to the Public Radio Program Director’s conference in Portland, Oregon, and heard from public radio leaders about best practices.

“Attending PRPD opened my eyes to the excellence of the product we are able to produce despite a limited staff with a high turnover rate,” Rand said.

As a result of subsequent conversations, Rand is determined to help WSMC announcers be more relatable in their presentation of the music.

Meanwhile, WSMC is conducting its year-end member drive in a slightly different way. Rob Raney, WSMC’s relationship manager, suggested breaking from the conventional methodology of five-minute appeals.

“Let’s just put the message out there in one-minute messages; we can get back to the music quickly and still raise the $75,000 needed to bring great classical music to the community," Raney said. "I know people will respond.”

Raney crafted a comprehensive plan, including on-air announcements, email messages, and printed letters, to help accomplish the feat. During the holidays, contributions can be made at, or by calling the Advancement office at 423.236.2828.



$42,000 Grant Secured for Christian Service Learning

~ John Shoemaker, Corporate and Foundation Relations Officer


Southern's Christian Service Program recently secured a two-year grant from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a national network of independent colleges and universities that supports the intellectual and theological exploration of vocational learning for undergraduate students. NetVUE is part of the Council Of Independent Colleges (CIC). The funded activities for this grant are supported by CIC and Lilly Endowment Inc.

Beginning May 1, 2015, 50 percent of the $42,350 grant money will be awarded to the university, with the latter half awarded on June 1, 2016—dependent on a satisfactory interim progress and financial report.

The grant aims to develop faculty training on integrating vocation and service, as well as add a vocational service learning class to the first year experience course for freshmen.

An ad hoc advising committee composed of professors across 19 university disciplines will be created to research best practices and develop class curriculum along with a two-week immersion program on the integration of vocation and a life of service led by the university’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Biblical Foundations for Faith and Learning.

“Inspiring a passion for service has long been one of Southern's strategic goals,” said Gordon Bietz, president.

To learn more about the Christian Service Program, visit



E.A. Anderson Lecture Series

The E.A. Anderson Lecture Series is an annual feature of the School of Business and Management. The series is made possible by the generosity of the late E.A. Anderson of Atlanta, Georgia, for the purpose of giving the listener a broader understanding of the business world. The public is invited to attend the lectures free of charge. The lectures last approximately 75 minutes and are followed by a question and answer period.

All lectures are presented at 7 p.m. on the third floor of Brock Hall in the E.A. Anderson Business Seminar Room (BH 3205).  Videos of last year's presentations are available online. To view the 2015 schedule, please check back online in the coming year.


E.O. Grundset Lecture Series


The E.O. Grundset Lecture Series is named in honor of Southern’s beloved biology professor of 35 years. This once a month event hosts research presentations by biologists and other scholars. One lecture is presented each month of the fall and winter semesters with two lectures in April.

A list of the speakers for the Winter 2015 semester is available online.





Christmas Tree Lighting Pictures

Southern's annual Christmas tree lighting took place December 4. Many students, employees, and community members joined together and walked on the promenade, enjoying hot drinks and donuts while listening to a variety of holiday songs played by various live ensembles.

Here are some pictures from the evening. Vote for your favorite by liking it on our Facebook page!