“Southern Is The Type of School I’d Recommend Others Emulate”


~by Cheryl Torres, Staff Writer

Dr. John Ratey is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, research synthesizer, speaker, and best selling author. He traveled to Southern on March 13 for Brain Awareness Week to speak for morning and evening convocations.

As one of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection, Ratey appreciated Southern’s focus on wellness, remarking that at Harvard, they’re working to replicate the type opportunities and encouragement that we have to exercise here at our university.

His recent book, Spark, highlights the connection between exercise and the brain, and his research has revealed some valuable information.

Aerobic exercise, particularly, helps prevent chronic sickness and cognitive disease, increases resistance to stress, produces brain cells, and helps fight depression.

“Exercise is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin, but without the side effects,” Ratey said.

He also highlighted several studies among elementary and high school students linking exercise to improved scholastic achievement and reduced disciplinary issues.

With all of the benefits of exercise, Ratey encouraged his listeners by adding, “It’s never too late to start.” Regardless of age, a daily exercise program of getting the heart up to at least 75 percent of its maximum rate for thirty minutes will lead to improvements in mental, physical, and emotional well-being.


Alumni Profile: Kenneth W. Bradley, Winter Park Mayor

~Taken from 50 Plus FYI Magazine

“My most joyous moments as a public servant have been to be the face of Winter Park,” states Winter Park, Florida, mayor Kenneth W. Bradley. “I realize what an honor it is to represent this city and it’s an honor that I take very seriously.”

Bradley is not only Mayor of Winter Park, but also is the Campus CEO of Winter park Memorial Hospital – a branch of Florida Hospital – a job he took on 13 years ago. He has worked for Florida Hospital in Celebration and other positions since 1985. He has spent his professional career at Florida Hospital.


Bradley graduated from Forest Lake Academy in Apopka, Florida in 1979. That’s where he won his first political race for student body president. He subsequently won nine of ten races he entered. “I enjoyed the 57- or 58-day campaign journey,” he states. “It was better than any civics class I’ve ever taken.”

As busy as he has been at Florida Hospital and as Mayor, he has also taken on roles at his alma mater, the University of Central Florida, where he received a Masters in Business Administration. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Southern Adventist University in 1983.

The mayor has wonderful stories to tell about his family. He talks about his parents and his grandparents and their zest for life – their devotion to cause. They were very committed and dedicated.

“They all made sacrifices for me – my entire family did, and I feel grateful for that today,” Ken says.
“When I was selling my family home in Orwin Manor after my parents’ deaths, I found my mother had saved every love letter my father wrote. She had saved every note that I had sent to her, every note my brother had sent to her. She was my personal clipping service. I’m grateful she kept things.” 

“I’ve always been blessed to be in multigenerational relationships,” Bradley said. "They are the same issues if you are 13 or 51. You want to feel welcomed. You want to feel part of something bigger. You want to make sure that your basic needs are met. You want to make sure what you are doing is worthwhile.”

“Life’s too short to be sad. Life’s too short to be depressed. It’s not about me. If what I do makes a difference for others, my life would be worth it.”

Service at Southern: Westside for Jesus

We hope you enjoy this video about Service at Southern. We've also sent the video to 1,381 churches in the Southern Union for Southern Sabbath (March 29). Please ask your local church to play it and consider how you can get involved and share Jesus' love in your local community.


Adopt-a-Student, One Student's Account


~by MacKenzie Ogan, Nursing Student

Freedom, homesickness, and crazy schedules are staples in the life of a typical college student. It was for this reason that the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists recently chose to start a student adoption program at Southern.

Kaitlyn Verrill, senior pastoral care major and director of Renewal student worship services, was involved in creating the adoption program.

“We found it was very important for Renewal to highlight elements of family and community relationships,” Kaitlyn said. “We don't want the service to just be a service. We want the students and the church members to begin getting more connected to each other as a church family (since we are supposed to be one body in Christ). Adopt-a-student was born through a discussion where we contemplated small ways in which we could make this change!”

Over 300 students, including myself, decided to participate in the adoption program. Families willing to participate in the program were given cards with student names on them. They were passed out at random.

For a few suspense-filled weeks, students wondered where they might be placed. I was excited to be contacted by the Dodd family who chose to adopt two students, Daniel Hamilton and me. I am grateful for this program. I would never have met this amazing family without it. They have provided several enjoyable Sabbaths for us at their home and they always encourage us to bring other friends along who would also enjoy a relaxing afternoon and a home-cooked meal.

I have valued the time spent getting to know the Dodds. As I have found my place in this family, I've realized that it's almost like having another set of grandparents and a big brother. This ministry is a wonderful opportunity for meaningful bonds to form and join together students and church members through family-like interaction.




The Big 70

Southern Adventist University president Gordon Bietz is celebrating 70 years of life with a 70-mile bike ride on May 1. The ride will go from Southern to Graysville, the original site of the Southern campus until it was relocated to Collegedale in 1916. After eating lunch on former Southern grounds, the riders will come back to Southern for a birthday celebration. The Big 70 bike ride is free and open to anyone who would like to ride with Gordon, but all who join the ride must register.

Ten years ago, Gordon and a small group rode 60 miles to celebrate his 60th birthday and raise funds and awareness for Wellness at Southern. This time, he's out to enjoy the ride with all who'd like to be a part of the celebration. And those who aren't prepared for 70 miles can volunteer or join the festivities at the end of the ride! Learn More.

Enrollment Services Stays Open Later on Tuesdays Due to Student Feedback


Enrollment Services, which includes Student Finance and Admissions/Recruitment, is now open until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays in response to student feedback.

One-hundred surveys were received from students and parents in January, 12 of which indicated that participants were not “completely satisfied” with Enrollment Services; while 88 students and parents indicated that they were “completely satisfied.”


One of the reasons students and parents were not completely satisfied in these and past surveys has to do with the hours of operation not fully accomodating the needs of students and parents who don’t have the ability to meet during the day.

“We are happy to provide this additional opportunity for those that have schedules that need an evening option,” said Marc Grundy, vice president for Enrollment Services. “Depending on usage and feedback, we may also look at other evenings as well.”

Students say the later hours will help make their lives easier.
“It helps because I have a hectic schedule most days out of the week,” said Brittany Owens, sophomore social work major. “I work at 5 a.m. and don’t get done with classes until 5 p.m. and hardly have any time to talk to Student Finances. If they can stay [open] until a later time it, it would definitely be helpful to other students like me.”

At this point, four Enrollment Services staff members will be available on Tuesday evenings. This includes Grundy, Christian Patino, assistant director of student finance, and two student workers. Grundy and Patino will be handling any questions or situations while the student workers will be covering the reception desk and incoming calls.