Southern Launches New Alumni and Donor Networking Hub

Southern Community Online is a networking and information hub geared toward alumni and donor constituents. As an alum, you will have access to the online directory allowing you to reconnect with forever classmates or get to know Southern alumni in your area. As a donor you may update contact information and preferences from a single, safe location. You will also be able to view your giving history and RSVP for special invitations you receive.

Visit southern.edu/community to access your online account.

WSMC Presents Oasis at ASI Southern Union Spring Conference

Oasis, an online broadcast ministry from WSMC radio, was presented at the ASI Southern Union Spring Conference earlier this month. Learn more about its mission by watching a 5-minute video of the presentation produced by Network 7 Media Center.

The WSMC team can't wait to get Oasis on the radio alongside its classical station. Click here to see what you can look forward to in terms of sound quality as you walk through their tech tour. To help reach this goal, you can make a gift for the digital transition or support the current operating budget.

Facebook Group Connects Alumni Athletes

A new Facebook group has been created to connect Southern alumni (and future alumni) who enjoy participating in athletic activities such as triathlons, marathons, and Ironman events around the world. Join the group to inform, encourage, and celebrate the accomplishments of those who have similar interests in athletic activities. Whether you are driven to achieve personal goals or simply hoping to experience the thrill of crossing the finish line, share your challenges and triumphs with fellow Southern alumni.

Alumni Highlights Title
LEAPing for Success
By: MacKenzie Ogan, senior nursing major

It began with driving lessons on a golf course—cart driving lessons! Nursing alumnus Mike Wyckoff, ’81, ’83, and ’84, and I met during my freshman year at an alumni golf tournament. It was my first event helping as a student worker, and Mike was assisting as a Southern Lights volunteer. It was a very memorable day filled with much laughter, due to Mike’s great sense of humor and my horrible sense of direction.

We bumped into each other around campus a few times later that year and had opportunities to talk about all sorts of topics like personal finances, retirement options, and careers. During one of these conversations, I discovered that Mike was a nurse by profession, which led to even more discussions, since nursing was my major.

When my sophomore year rolled around, and I began classes in the nursing program, I was excited to see Mike at the golf tournament again and update him on what I had been learning. He gave me advice whenever we saw each other on campus, and I valued his input very much. When Evonne Crook, my work supervisor in Alumni Relations, told me about the LEAP (Leadership Education through Alumni Partnerships) program and explained how it matches alumni mentors to current students, I asked if I could be part of the program and requested that Mike become my official mentor. She agreed, and Mike accepted this new volunteer role.

Mike has been a terrific mentor! He recommended that I read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. This exercise taught me how to better relate to and work with the doctors, nurses, and patients with whom I will spend many hours during my career. He also suggested that I make a budget, not as a means of managing the money I currently make, but rather to discover how much money I will need to earn to stay out of debt and save for retirement once I graduate.

One of the most meaningful mentoring experiences with Mike happened during the week before my first major test in a difficult nursing class. I was worried about the test and felt unprepared. When he realized how stressed I was about it, Mike came to campus and studied with me in the library for three hours.

As he put it, “This was more to clear your mind and to help you take a step back so you aren’t so overwhelmed.”

When I took the test, it went very well, and I texted Mike immediately to tell him the results. He has helped me study for every major test since then.

In celebration of my graduation in May, Mike gave me a beautiful cross-stitched needlework piece that he made and had framed. I will treasure it always. Until Mike became my mentor and friend, I didn’t truly understand how much of a positive difference a knowledgeable and experienced mentor can make to a student’s educational success and transition into life after college.

To become a mentor or mentee, please visit the LEAP page on the Alumni Relations website.

Community Connections Title
Growing A Farm
By: Leslie Ann Schwarzer, Conference Services and Events/Lights Volunteers coordinator

On any given day, as you travel to and from campus along University Drive, you will see a high tunnel or “hoop house” behind Alabama, one of Southern’s lower state-side apartment buildings. Recently, the area has become known as “Thatcher Farm”—a seasonal row-crop garden. For this season, farm manager Seth Shaffer is transitioning spring crops of lettuce, kale, arugula, and Swiss chard, to a summer produce of tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplants, cabbage, beets, garlic, snap peas, and strawberries. In the fall, offerings will include greens, as well as radishes, turnips, and carrots.

Currently, Thatcher Farm sells its produce to The Farmer’s Daughter, a downtown Chattanooga restaurant; to the Bald Headed Bistro in Northeast Cleveland; and at the Chattanooga Market (Red Clay Farm’s booth). It also sells to the Food Service department at Southern, and the response has been excellent.

One of Shaffer’s year-end goals is to see the farm providing produce to two additional restaurants in the Chattanooga area and to the campus Community Tree Food Pantry.

“I think this is a realistic goal—especially for summer and fallwhen we have tons of squash, pepper, tomato, and cucumber plants,” Shaffer shared.

Next year’s plan includes doubling the growing area. And although Thatcher Farm isn’t certified organic, all of its seeds and any amendments incorporated into the soil are approved for organic use. Shaffer’s dream is to witness Thatcher Farm become certified organic within the next few years. His long-term goal envisions Southern offering an agriculture major.

Interested in getting some hands-on experience as a volunteer gardener? Contact volunteer@southern.edu or 423.236.2832. To purchase produce or plants on a first-come, first-serve basis, email Shaffer at sshaffer@southern.edu and ask to be put on his local distribution list. 

 Recent Events Title
John Wagner Joins the A-Team
By: Moriah Arterberry, May 2015 alumna

Dr. John Wagner is no stranger to the campus of Southern Adventist University. Prior to his retirement, he spent three years, 1983-1986, as president of the university. Though his time here was short, he never lost his connection to the institution.

During Wagner’s time as president, Gordon Bietz was pastoring at the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church, which gave them the opportunity to build a connection and a friendship that has lasted all of these years.

In mid-January, the Advancement staff said goodbye to its previous vice president, Chris Carey, who played a vital role both within the department and across campus. Seeing the need for a temporary replacement, Bietz asked Wagner to become the interim vice president for Advancement.

Wagner, who admits that he’s flunked retirement four times, graciously accepted the opportunity to join the “A-Team.” He agreed to return to Southern because he says, “I like the challenge of working with people who have developed a pattern of success.”

Bietz also asked Wagner to take on a major role as liaison between Advancement and Administration. This was another large contributing factor to Wagner accepting the temporary position; it allowed him to work closely with his friend and colleague.

Wagner began as the interim vice president in late March and says he feels very welcomed and is excited to be working with the team on the Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning.

“It’s a huge goal,” Wagner said. “If God blesses us with success, it will transform this campus.”

Barbara James: Mission Trip Profile
By: Natalia Perez, mass communications major

Barbara James, dean of the School of Nursing, spent five weeks volunteering in Africa this year. Her nursing expertise helped revitalize the nursing programs in the Rwanda and Kenya Universities in Central and East Africa. The African government wanted to establish a more solid program for its schools of nursing and medicine. It determined majors with the goal of producing more graduate students.

During her time in Africa, James was part of a group that aimed to establish a program elevating the standards of the country, and then was part of the board of education that approved it. She founded hospitals in which students could practice nursing and conducted numerous interviews to write reports for teachers and librarians. James expressed that there is a need for nursing programs around the world and said she wanted to offer her services.

James said she enjoyed every bit of her trip and was very touched by the people with whom she worked.

“I have a huge respect for all the young nurses,” James said. “They were inspiring. It was so special for me, even for a short time.”

James also mentioned the genocide epidemic in Africa. The area she had been in was hit hard.

“They have been trying to rebuild and are doing an excellent job at it,” James said. “The Lord has done so much through Adventist education. Since new people and new skills are needed in the country, so many people are working together. There’s a beacon of life in their country. It’s heartwarming.”

When asked if James recommended that others go on mission trips, she responded, “Absolutely.”

Campus Life Title
Southern Shortcuts the Wait to Enter Nursing Program
By: Sylvia Mayer, associate professor of nursing

An extra class of eager nursing students just started a new “summer semester.” As a result of this interdepartmental endeavor, the campus is busy with students—dorms, cafeteria, wellness center, academic departments, and student services.

The great need for nurses and a reciprocal demand for entry into nursing programs has created a nationwide backlog of qualified students waiting for acceptance into a nursing program. The new university initiative to accept winter, summer, and fall cohorts allows qualified students to shortcut the wait to enter nursing.

Starting in 2015, the university admitted three nursing classes by utilizing a 12-week summer term that is the academic equivalent of a third semester. It is anticipated that this will be an every-other-year opportunity.

The School of Nursing at Southern Adventist University provides a baccalaureate degree (BS) in nursing with an embedded associate degree completed at the end of the junior year. These cohorts—groups of students who work through the curriculum simultaneously and graduate together with the same academic degree—study for two consecutive terms and then take one term off. So while some students enjoy “summer break” in the actual summer, other cohorts are taking their three-month break during fall and winter seasons. Those taking classes in the summer will enjoy many of the same co-curricular opportunities available to those in fall and winter terms.

Senior BS classes may be completed in two additional semesters on campus, four continuous semesters online, or two years in the Consortium Off-campus BS Completion Program.

For more information about this program or MSN and DNP nursing programs, contact Sylvia Mayer, director of nursing admissions, via email.

Upcoming Events
Carolina Camp Meeting Picnic Lunch this Friday

Alumni and friends of Southern Adventist University attending the Carolina Camp Meeting are invited to attend a complimentary picnic lunch gathering on Friday, May 29, at noon at Lake Junaluska, NC.

To ensure that we provide the most comfortable experience possible, a maximum of 200 reserved tickets are available from Alumni Relations on a first-to-respond basis. Guests with tickets will be served first with others being served as long as food and chairs are available.

Join university staff hosts for great fellowship and delicious food as you learn more about what’s happening at Southern. To RSVP contact Alumni Relations by emailing alumni@southern.edu or call 423.236.2830.

60’s Alumni Reunion Potluck Brunch this Sunday

Alumni who attended Southern Adventist University (formerly Southern Missionary College) during the 1960’s are invited to attend a potluck brunch on Sunday, May 31.This event will be hosted by Lamar Phillips, ’63, Damaris Crittenden Robinson, ’63, and Bill Wood, ’66, from 10 a.m. to12 p.m. in the Activity Room at Garden Plaza of Greenbriar Cove, located at 4586 Forsythia Way, Ooltewah, Tennessee 37363.

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

For more information or to RSVP, contact Alumni Relations by emailing alumni@southern.edu or by calling 423.236.2830.

Michigan Conference Camp Meeting Lunch

Alumni and friends of Southern Adventist University attending the Michigan Camp Meeting or who live in the Cedar Lake area are invited to attend a complimentary haystack lunch following the main worship service on Sabbath, June 20, in the Cedar Lake SDA Church downstairs fellowship hall. Join us for a great meal and to learn more Southern news.

RSVP on Facebook or contact Alumni Relations via email or by calling 423.236.2830.

General Conference Session 2015 – Southern Dinner

Alumni and friends of Southern attending the General Conference Session 2015 or who live in the San Antonio, Texas area are invited to attend a complimentary dinner meeting on Thursday, July 9, starting at 5 p.m. at the Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant, which overlooks the beautiful and historic Riverwalk.

You are welcome to bring your family or a guest, but seating is limited to a maximum of 100 attendees. We look forward to visiting with you and sharing the recent updates on Southern’s campus!

To RSVP or for more information, contact Alumni Relations by email or by calling 423.236.2830.