Year-End Giving Reminder
Your year-end gift can provide peace of mind for many students who, without your help, would not be able to continue their studies at Southern. Learn more about how you can share the joys of the holiday season and enjoy tax benefits at the same time.

To make your gift count toward 2016 taxes, give online by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 31, 2016 (the transaction must be completed by this time).

Checks must be postmarked on or before December 31, 2016, and mailed to:

Southern Adventist University
P.O. Box 370
Collegedale, TN 37315

Celebrating Winter Graduation
On December 15, more than 200 students received their diplomas from Southern during Winter Commencement in Iles P.E. Center. The 151 undergraduate students and 68 graduate students sitting anxiously at the front of a packed gymnasium heard Florida Conference president Mike Cauley, ’75, give a keynote address titled “Seize the Moment.” Business administration major Jaren Humphreys, ’16, provided the class response.

Winter Graduation 2016The evening was filled with energy and excitement, as well as tears of happiness at the conclusion of a growth-filled season in life. In his printed message to graduates, President David Smith, PhD, addressed how to deal with the certainty of changes that still lie ahead.

“We all face surprises,” Smith wrote. “Your education has prepared you for many things, but nothing can prepare you for everything. Nothing, that is, except faith in God. Just as He has gotten you through your life to this point, He will see you through any and all circumstances in your future.”

Those unable to attend may read the 2016 Winter Commencement program, scroll through a collection of pictures from graduation, or view the entire ceremony online.

Holiday Concert Archived
Christmas is over, but that doesn’t mean the holiday sights and sounds have to be packed away just yet! Those unable to attend the School of Music’s Christmas Concert may view the entire performance online. Southern’s Symphony Orchestra and Choral Ensembles, led by Laurie Redmer Minner and Gennevieve Brown-Kibble, respectively, performed in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists on December 10 with featured selections including Gloria (Antonio Vivaldi) and Fantasia on "Greensleeves" (Ralph Vaughan Williams).

Community Connections
Thatcher Farm Participates in Seed Exchange, Seed Trials
Thatcher Farm, Southern’s agricultural initiative, keeps growing under the guidance of manager Seth Shaffer, ’13.

This year marks the program’s first as part of Seed Savers Exchange, a collaborative organization in which farms nationwide sell or exchange heirloom seeds and supplies to other growers. As part of Seed Savers Exchange's Community Seed Resource Program, Thatcher Farm has been designated as a seed bank, only the fourth in Tennessee. A seed bank is a place where seeds are stored and used to reproduce the crops, while providing the opportunity to research the seed production in specific regions. The research results can serve as a resource for regional growers. Thatcher Farm will also provide community members with the resources to cultivate and collect their own heirloom seeds.

Thatcher Farm“It’s like a dream come true, the opportunity to get all of these varieties of seed for free,” Shaffer said.

In another first for Thatcher Farm, the farm is carrying out seed trails for Seedway, an international seed company. Shaffer has involved his student workers, as well as students enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture course, in recording and preforming the research for these seed trials. 

In addition to these new ventures, Thatcher Farm is expanding, having received five acres of additional land to be cultivated in the upcoming year. Although mostly self-sufficient, the farm also benefited from a recent donation that will aid in paying for a new high tunnel—a greenhouse-like structure—for the land. Shaffer is excited about the new acreage set aside for the farm by Southern and the encouragement of the surrounding community.

“Their support means the survival of the farm, so it means to world to me,” Shaffer said. “Maintaining relationships with the community and the school helps keep us going, and I am extremely thankful.”

-by Tierra Hayes, sophomore mass communication major

Clothing Donations Needed for Community Service Day

As part of Southern’s 24th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Day, students from the university will partner with the Salvation Army to create “Street Store” on the sidewalks of downtown Chattanooga. The one-day project on January 16 provides well-organized and displayed clothing for the homeless to choose from, deciding for themselves what they want instead of blindly accepting handouts.

2017 will mark the third year that Southern has put on Street Store and donations are running low; alumni participation is encouraged. Critical needs include gently-used winter clothing, new adult socks, and new adult underwear.

Street Store News Coverage“This is a wonderful initiative that gives homeless individuals a dignified shopping experience,” said Annette (Alfonso) Heck, ’01, DSW, associate professor for the School of Social Work. “If you are cleaning out your closets over the holidays, setting aside those warm clothes for Street Store will be a huge blessing!”

Donations are accepted until January 9 and can be dropped off at boxes in Daniells Hall lobby and the student center. For more information on dropping off clothing, email Dora Desamour, Christian Service Program director.

Street Store isn’t the only activity students are involved with on Community Service Day. More than 1,000 volunteers from Southern will serve Chattanooga by helping in areas including animal welfare, children’s education, and assisting the elderly, among others. Additionally, the week leading up to Community Service Day includes an emphasis of service with on-campus opportunities for students to make an immediate difference in the lives of others.

Southern’s mission statement describes how the university nurtures “a lifelong pursuit of truth, wholeness, and service.” To that end, Desamour is calling on alumni and other Southern family to remember these virtues and perform a service activity in their own community on January 16.

Campus Life Title
Called to Southern: “Pray Without Ceasing”
by Sylvia (Davidson) Mayer, ’75
School of Nursing associate professor

We could see the writing on the wall. After 13 years, it was clear that the mobile Stress EKG testing company my husband, Harold, and I ran could not continue to support our family of six. The medical climate was changing as HMOs moved into the Northern California area. Our physician base was dwindling as hospitals purchased medical groups who could then no longer use the services we provided.

As we searched together for meaningful work, the text “Pray without ceasing” became more important than it ever had previously.

In bed one night, surrounded by darkness and quiet, I prayed in my heart over our children, home, daily concerns, and need for work. Somewhere in the prayer I said, “God, what are we supposed to do?”  Immediately a large voice said, “Look in the Recorder” (Pacific Union Conference’s monthly magazine). “Okay,” I thought. “I need to do that.”

After getting up later that night to tend to one of our sons, I was once again praying and pleading, “God, what are we supposed to do?” Immediately, the same large voice said, “Look in the Recorder.” I again thought, “Yes, I need to remember to do that in the morning.”

After I spent the morning scurrying around making four sack lunches, serving a big breakfast, and successfully scooting everyone out the door, I made a planned phone call to check out an advertised exercise physiology work opportunity at Duke University. It was not a good fit. Frustrated, I hung up the phone and cried to the Lord, “What are we supposed to do?” This time the voice said, “LOOK IN THE RECORDER!” with such emphasis that I replied out loud, “So where is it?”

Harold and Sylvia MayerI quickly shuffled through a stack of office papers before locating the magazine. I couldn’t believe it. There it was—an ad for an exercise physiologist at Southern Adventist University! Shaking, praying, and staring at the ad, I knew God had a plan for us.

Harold applied to Southern with no response. In the meantime, through providence, he took an out-of-state position where we met and made lifetime friends. But we still encountered difficulty. I was assaulted, promises were not kept, and the situation remained difficult. Still, in our hearts we believed we would be moving to Southern. It gave us hope and courage. “The voice” was indelibly imprinted on my mind.

Eight years later, Harold was invited to teach at Southern, and I took a position in the School of Nursing. During those years in waiting, Harold finished his doctorate, taught classes every day, worked on a research study, and became acquainted with Phil Garver, longtime professor and dean for Southern’s School of Physical Education, Health, and Wellness. God’s timing is not our timing, but it is perfect, and it shows me just how much He cares for me.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

"Called to Southern” is a series for QuickNotes that highlights the path our faculty and staff have taken to end up on campus. There is a definite pattern that show’s God’s leading, and we look forward to sharing these stories with you.

Career Counseling Available for Alumni
Job changes and career shifts are the new normal for an entire generation of college graduates over the past 20 years. Experts suggest this trend points more to increased opportunities for upward mobility than it does to job dissatisfaction. Either way, there is a bigger need than ever for continued career advice. Southern has the staff in place to help guide not only current students, but also alumni going through an employment transition period.

Daniel Olson“Anyone who comes by my office with this kind of scenario gets a first-hand account of what it’s like to completely switch careers, since I went from communication work to counseling,” said Career Services Coordinator Daniel Olson, ’02 and ’11. “Southern provides an excellent opportunity for alumni to receive vocational guidance. I meet with one or two graduates each month and help them through the career assessment process.”

Specific services available to alumni include career counseling, resumé and cover letter tips, job interview techniques, and a variety of assessments that measure skills, interests, personality, and values. Career Services is part of the Student Success Center on the third floor of Lynn Wood Hall. Appointments can be made by calling 423.236.2069 or emailing drolson@southern.edu. For more information, visit southern.edu/careers.

Alumni Highlights Title
Former Professor Starts Men’s Ministry Nonprofit
It’s not unusual that a hobby or restoration project takes you into the garage. But how often is this man space filled with a dozen guys in their 20s looking for a mentor to help shape (and reshape) them into better husbands, fathers, and grown men during weekly gatherings? Welcome to Marty Miller’s garage. People have always been his favorite projects.

Before Miller, ’83 and ’01, even began thinking about leaving his job as a professor at Southern to start this nonprofit in 2014, his life was one of service to others. Teachers just have it in their DNA. After graduating from Southern, Miller spent the next 25 years working for Adventist middle schools and academies before completing his master’s and returning to Southern as the Outdoor Leadership Program coordinator. Many of his former students were in the area and on his radar because Miller had taught at the Bowman Hills Seventh-day Adventist School (Cleveland, Tennessee) and Collegedale Academy prior to returning to Southern. He could only provide so much instruction in the classroom, but his heart broke each time a young man fell into the age-old traps of bad decisions and isolation—patterns he recognized when examining struggles from his own past.

Blueprint for Men VideoThe helplessness he felt in those situations led to a light bulb moment: at their heart, teaching outdoor education and teaching men the life skills necessary for manhood had a lot in common. It was from that spark that the 2013 “Man Up!” meetings in his garage began—a precursor to the wide range of activities Blueprint for Men, his new nonprofit, is providing to the Chattanooga area.

“Most men enjoy the outdoors and learning about the natural world, so my background as a science teacher and outdoor educator provides an open door for meaningful experiences and relationships,” Miller said. “I particularly find that the ‘wild at heart’ outdoor experiences such as camping, hiking, climbing, canoeing, and biking—activities which are not overtly spiritual—provide a safe environment for men to open up and experience fellowship with each other in a safe community.”

These meaningful relationships with other men are critical if several negative trends among Christian men are to be reversed. According to maninthemirror.org, for every 10 men in the church:

10 will struggle with work/family balance
9 will have kids leave the church
6 will have significant pornography problems
4 will get divorced

Tackling those issues means Blueprint for Men is much more than a social club for nature enthusiasts. Miller’s framework for building better men uses tools such as addiction support groups, leadership training, father/son and father/daughter retreats, original videos, and even a vocal ensemble, Adelphos, that builds brotherhood while serving the community through music.

The Georgia-Cumberland Conference took notice of Miller’s Blueprint for Men work and partnered with the new nonprofit for programming help. Their first joint event—the Chainsaws and Butter Knives Rally at Collegedale Community Church last August—had 330 participants and spawned eight men's Sabbath School classes in Chattanooga-area churches that utilize video-based manhood education curricula. 

“Small groups are at the heart of men's ministry, so we pray for more and more men to join us in this journey,” Miller said. 

To begin activities for 2017, Blueprint for Men is hosting Fire + Ice, its winter symposium, at Hamilton Community Church on January 14 from 3-6 p.m. Presentations will focus on topics such as leadership, discipleship, adventure, work, marriage, and addictions. To learn more or register for the event, visit blueprintformen.org.

Tell Us What's Happening!
Southern would love to feature you in our Beyond the Columns alumni update section of the university magazine! Please email us any family or professional news you'd like to share with classmates!


Upcoming Events
John Bradshaw Convocation. January 12 at 11 a.m. in the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church. Pastor Bradshaw is the speaker and director for It Is Written and has held more than 100 evangelistic series on six continents. His convocation message for students is free, open to the public, and may be viewed live online as well.

Voices of Lee Concert. January 16 at 7 p.m. in in Iles PE Center. This 16-member group has appeared on Good Morning America, in Bill Gaither’s video series, and in some of America’s most noted churches. The performance is free for students and staff. The public is invited for $5 per person or $12 per family.

E.O. Grundset Biology Lecture Series. January 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Lynn Wood Hall Chapel. Loma Linda University Professor William K. Hayes, PhD, will share “Amazing Insights on Rattlesnake Venom.” The E.O. Grundset Biology Lecture Series is free and open to the public.

Loma Linda Biology/Allied Health Alumni Gathering. January 20. Time and location TBA at facebook.com/SAUalumni and southern.edu/alumni.

Sexual Assault Prevention Program. January 26 at 11 a.m. in Iles PE Center. Oklahoma State University Professor John D. Foubert, a prolific author and legal consultant, will discuss sexual assault and the impact of pornography on bystander intervention. This convocation is free and open to the public.

Tuvan Mongolian Instruments Concert. January 26 at 7 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium (Wood Hall). This Alash Ensemble throat singing performance is free for students and staff. The public is invited for $5 per person or $12 per family.

Symphony Orchestra Concerto Concert. January 29 at 4 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists. The performance is free, open to the public, and may be viewed live online as well.

Reformation Tour to Europe. You are invited to join the Alumni Association tour “Martin Luther and the Reformation: Celebrating 500 Years” scheduled for June 13-25, 2017. Visit major sites of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and Switzerland during this historic, milestone anniversary. Immerse yourself in European culture and breathtaking scenery with experienced tour leader, Bill Wohlers. The cost is $3,950 per person and includes air fare, ground transportation by motor coach, lodging, breakfasts and dinners, as well as an estimated 20 sightseeing activities. Email Alumni Relations or call 423.236.2830 to learn more and to reserve your space before January 1.

Join Us Online. Each week during the school year we invite you to join us online for Vespers on Friday at 8 p.m. and the student-led Renewal church service on Sabbath at 11:35 a.m. (Eastern Time).

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