Alumni Homecoming Weekend 2014 - October 23-26

Southern Naturally...Finding Our Mission in God's Creation

Homecoming Weekend brings alumni back to campus for reminiscence and reconnection. It is also an opportunity to be caught up with the great things happening at your alma mater. All graduates, attendees, faculty, staff, and students are invited and encouraged to participate in the various activities planned.


Visit the Alumni Relations website or click here for a list of honor class years and detailed schedule of events.

To register, or for more information, email or call 423.236.2830.



Much more than an Internship

~ Staff Report


By the end of last semester, Southern had already sparked a fire in junior marketing major, Monnize Sobrinho. She was determined to make a difference during the summer of 2014!

Last year Sobrinho had the chance to meet the director of ADRA Philippines and was able to ask about the possibility of going overseas in the summer. All the doors were opened for this exact possibility by the last day of school and she spent the majority of her summer in Asia.

"Little did I know what great impact this trip would make in my life," she said.

Sobrinho was sent to Tacloban City, an area once filled with riches and beauty that had been completely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan only seven short months ago. The recovery has been slow and people have been living under tarps provided by nonprofit organizations.

“This broke my heart, but at the same time it brought me so much hope and love for my brothers and sisters," Sobrinho said. "They have such incredible faith and joy, even when they’ve lost almost everything."

Sobrinho helped with a project that provided shelter for 1,000 households (4,000 beneficiaries). While preparing video stories for the donors supporting the project, she was able to have precious interviews with individuals in the community and could see their gratitude gleaming through their smiles.

“Transferring to Southern a year ago has changed my life," Sobrinho said. "I continue to encounter opportunities that help me become more Christ-like each and every day."



Computer Crusaders for Christ

~ Staff Report


This past May, computer science students and faculty from Southern ventured out of their comfort zones and traveled to Peru for a short-term mission project, organized by the Computer Science Club through uQuest. By the time they returned from the trip, the group had taught English, shared Week of Prayer meetings, conducted four evangelistic campaigns (including one at the local prison), staffed medical and computer repair clinics at each of the campaign sites, preached at area churches, and gave computer science presentations at three local public colleges.

"It was great to see the smiles on the faces of those who saw new life come back into their old and outdated computers," said Michael Dant, professor in the School of Computing. "For many of these people, their computer represented a major investment and to see that investment break down or become unusable due to age or malware caused them distress."

The students reveled in these activities. People who study and work with computers are often stereotyped as reserved and lacking in "people" skills, but the students on this trip provided outstanding leadership in their respective areas related easily and naturally with the children. This was never more evident than when they were leaving, and one of the local pastors informed Southern's team that, as a direct result of their efforts, more than 120 public school students had expressed a desire to study the Bible with him.

“Could computer ministry be a modern-day outreach opportunity to show people that we care, to help them in need, to win their confidence, and to lead them to Christ?" Dant asked. "Perhaps one day, in the not-too-distant future, computer science students and their skill-specific ministries will become a standard and integral part of the short and long-term mission projects all around the world."



Does Jesus love trucks as much as your kids do?

~ Ashley Noonan, Student Intern


David Haluska, ’03, authored “Jesus Loves Trucks,” a new picture book published by the Review and Herald. David, son of retired English department chair, Jan Haluska, found it difficult to find appropriate Sabbath books that engaged with his two young sons’ interests.

"Why can't their favorite books combine the things they love with a spiritual application?" David wondered.

Throughout the book, there is a clear connection for how missionaries use different machinery all over the world to further God's word.

"My prayer is that this book will be a stone in the foundation of each toddler's foundation with God," David said.

For more information on how to purchase his book, visit the Review and Herald or Adventist Book Center websites.



Southern Launching Faith Based Radio Station

~ Staff Report


In the more than 50 years since Southern Adventist University’s classical music radio station first came on the air with the goal of friendship evangelism—a mission that remains in place and effective—there have always been those who offered a polite push for this powerful outreach tool to become more overtly Christian in its programming. During Alumni Homecoming Weekend, October 23-26, these desires will be realized as WSMC launches Oasis, an online radio station.

"Community members, donors, students, and many other groups approached us with their pledge to help make this happen,” said WSMC General Manager Scott Kornblum. “We believe listeners will be excited to hear broadcasts that feature programming from LifeTalk Radio, Amazing Facts, and Voice of Prophecy, as well as original content produced right here at Southern!”

Exactly what the Southern-specific content looks like is still being finalized, but initial plans include a weekday devotional by Clear Word author and retired School of Religion Dean Jack Blanco, along with the recording and broadcasting of some of Southern's more popular lecture classes, such as Life and Teachings of Jesus. Students and professors have also expressed interest in sharing testimonies over the air and there will be health tips and nature nuggets as well, demonstrating the university’s dedication to holistic health.

Though the station is starting off online, there are plans to grow Oasis' broadcast footprint. After its launch in October the project will enter Phase 2, which includes work on generating a digital (HD) signal. Once completed, those with an HD radio will find the faith station at 90.5 HD2. Phase 3 involves additional fundraising that will allow Southern to take that HD broadcast and repeat it on an analog FM band where traditional car and home stereos in the greater Chattanooga area will be able to receive the signal.

While Kornblum oversees the entire WSMC station, this new move to create a separate, faith-based outreach has generated opportunities for student leaders to flex their creative, managerial, and spiritual muscles. For example, WSMC classical music host Robby Raney, a senior music education major who has worked at the station since 2010, was promoted to student manager of Oasis and will play a leading role in all facets of its growth: marketing, operations, and even some fundraising.

"I'm still learning a few of the tasks laid before me but have confidence that God's strength can be made perfect through my weakness,” Raney said. “At this point the biggest challenge will be remembering that God is in control, and asking Him to always lead and guide. It is His station, and we are doing his bidding.”


Paddling and Portaging in Canada

~ Xenia Figueroa, Alumni Relations Assistant


Outdoor Leadership staff and students recently returned safely from their annual trip to the Boundary Waters, a region of wilderness straddling the border between Canada and Minnesota, where they spent time in nature gaining knowledge by learning, having fun, and reflecting on God's creation.

“Our wilderness learning experience included paddling, portaging, waiting out a wind storm on an island and finally sailing away using a hammock for a sail”, said Doug Tilstra, director of Outdoor Leadership and Education. “We spent time journaling and listening to ecology presentations, lectures, and discussions on wilderness stewardship, outdoor ministry, leadership, and spiritual growth.”

2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act that set aside the Boundary Waters as a protected area. For that reason, trip leaders gave additional focus this year to the heritage and ecology of the region and to those who shaped it. At the conclusion of the trip, Tilstra reflected, “We’re grateful for this rich experience each year and what it provides for our graduate students.”

Click on Outdoor Leadership and Education to learn more about the trip and the program.