President Gordon Bietz Announces Plan to Retire in 2016

Gordon Bietz

On April 21 Gordon Bietz announced to the Board of Trustees that he plans to retire in May 2016 at the conclusion of his 19th year as Southern Adventist University president. The board has a committee dedicated to the nationwide search for Bietz's successor and expects that process to be completed before he retires in 2016. To read the full story on Campus News please click here


Alumni Highlights Title

Launch of Southern Community Online
~Geovanny Ragsdale, associate vice president for Development

On May 1 the university will launch Southern Community Online, a networking and information hub geared toward alumni and donor constituents.

Southern Community Girl and ManSouthern's alumni will have access to the alumni directory and be able to search for former friends or get to know new Southern alumni living in their area. The interactive search engine allows users to search by name, city, state, field of study, or graduation year. Alumni may update contact information and preferences from a single, secure location.

Donors will have access to view their giving history and make future gifts. All members will also have the ability to RSVP to special invitations they receive.

Another benefit to constituents is the ability to select which forms of communication they wish to receive from Southern. Users can opt into a number of academic and non-academic newsletters, as well as Columns magazine.Southern Community with Girls

The goal is to have 1,000 active members by May 31, so plan now to join the Southern Community Online.

Contact Advancement with any questions via email or by calling 423.236.2829.


Recent Events Title

Legacy Society Members Begin New Scholarship
~Ashley Noonan, Advancement intern

Each member of Southern's Legacy Society represents a commitment of generosity and future resources through a planned gift in support of Christian education. On March 22, more than 90 guests attended the annual Legacy Society Recognition Supper.

At this year's event, $5,430 was received in gifts and pledges to initiate the Legacy Society Scholarship Fund. This new scholarship will benefit current students who present a financial need.

Legacy Banquet Red CoatSouthern Hospitality, the theme for this year's event, was chosen to honor several local residents who provide or have provided off-campus housing to students at little or no cost. Forrest, '45, and Norma, '45, Fuller, Ralph M. Hendershot, '62, and Roy and Martha "Jo" Edwards are among those who have opened their hearts and homes so students can continue their Christ-centered education at Southern.

Derling Pizarro, senior nonprofit management major, Marcella Archilla, senior fine arts major, Otilila Schimbischi, social work graduate student, and Anton Demenchuk, '11, have been blessed by this unique housing opportunity (see article in Columns magazine). They were eager to share their experiences and express their gratitude.

Legacy Banquet Marcella"Southern has been a real blessing for me," Schimbischi said. "Many wonderful people have done what they can do to help me financially and when it seems that it is not enough, God does amazing things."

The Planned Giving team is pleased to announce that 12 new members have joined the Legacy Society since last year's event. If you are not a current member, we invite you to join now. If you would like to make a gift to the Legacy Society Scholarship Fund or have any questions, please email plangiving@southern.edu or call 423.236.2832.


Community Connections Title

Alumnus Reaches Out to Hamilton County Teachers and Staff
~Moriah Arterberry, Advancement intern

On April 1, a group of six teachers and staff members from Ooltewah High School and Ooltewah Middle School—along with the program director for the Hamilton County Bible History program—toured Southern's campus. The visit was no coincidence.

Origins TourWhile attending a Bible Donors luncheon, Rusty McKee, '87, approached Grey Briggs, Bible History teacher at Ooltewah High School. He offered to set up a tour of the Archaeology Museum, located in Hackman Hall, and the Origins Exhibit, located in Hickman Science Center, for a few of the Hamilton County educators.

Martin Klingbeil, professor in the School of Religion, served as the museum tour guide. He spoke with the group about different stories and historical artifacts that existed during biblical time periods.

"I was so impressed by the professor that I honestly considered auditing one of his classes!" Briggs said. "I will definitely be looking into taking my Bible History class on a field trip to the museum."

Heritage MuseumThe teachers were then led through the Origins Exhibit, guided by Carol Raney, '89, the Origins Curriculum coordinator. The teachers' reactions were positive to the information and artwork displayed throughout the halls. Briggs shared that their art teachers are considering bringing students to learn more about how the wall graphics were designed.

The visitors enjoyed their time on campus and appreciated both McKee's invitation and his interaction with them that day.

"He was so gracious to accompany us there, and he truly has a heart for people and his community." Briggs said.


Campus Life Title

Giving to Change Lives: The Daphne Alyse Knecht Gym-Masters Spirit Endowed Scholarship
~Cheryl Torres, Annual Giving Officer

When tragedy struck the Knecht family, they chose to look to the future. Daphne Alyse Knecht was a student at Southern and a second-generation member of Gym-Masters, as well. She had a passion for gymnastics and was nearing her graduation from Southern when a brain tumor took her life on January 28, 2012.
Knecht Scholarship
Her family chose to honor her memory by supporting future students with a passion for gymnastics, and they created the Daphne Alyse Knecht Gym-Masters Spirit Endowed Scholarship. This spring the endowment reached its fully-funded level of $50,000 which allows it to provide a $2,000 scholarship to a gymnast every year in perpetuity.

Daphne's grandparents attended the Gym-Masters Home Show on April 11 to honor their granddaughter's memory by personally presenting a scholarship to Kenzie Trupp, an art-therapy and psychology major on the team.

Over the three years of building this endowment, a total of 106 people contributed in Daphne's memory to help current and future students at Southern.


Upcoming Events

1960s Alumni Reunion Potluck Brunch

Legacy Society BanquetAlumni who attended Southern during the 1960s are invited to attend a potluck brunch meeting on Sunday, May 31. This event is hosted by Lamar Phillips, '63, Damaris Crittenden Robinson, '63, and Bill Wood, '66, from 10 a.m. until noon in the Activity Room at Garden Plaza of Greenbriar Cove (4586 Forsythia Way, Ooltewah, Tennessee).

Come for the weekend to enjoy the Georgia-Cumberland Conference Camp Meeting activities and stay over for the brunch. Drink and dessert will be provided by the Alumni Association.

For more information, or to RSVP, email alumni@southern.edu or call 423.236.2830.