Be a Part of the Community

Southern Community

Southern Community Online is a networking and information hub geared toward alumni and friends of the university. Access the alumni online directory to reconnect with former classmates or get to know Southern alumni in your area. You can now update your contact information, choose your communication preferences, and view your giving history. 

Are you planning to attend Homecoming 2016? Create your account today to make your registration process seamless. Visit southern.edu/community to get started.


Goodbye, Herin Hall!

On July 19, the university razed Herin Hall to make way for the future Bietz Center for Student Life. Watch part of the demolition by clicking on the video below. Watch the progress on our webcam at southern.edu/webelieve. 

Campus Life Title 

Traveling with Southern

Students, faculty, and alumni alike encountered different cultures and experienced once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities on several study trips across the globe this summer. Groups from Southern visited the following 15 countries: Israel, Jordan, England, France, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovokia, Hungary, Scotland, Belgium, Indonesia, and Singapore. 

For information on other opportunities to travel with Southern, check out the Upcoming Events section in this newsletter.

trips collage

Called to Serve
by Ashley Fox, '15, Annual Giving officer

Student Missions

Each year 60-70 Southern students choose to serve as full-time student missionaries, making a difference in people’s lives and spreading God’s love around the world.

Darian Seals, junior education major, served at an orphanage in Bolivia last year. This is her story.

Darian Seals“I was thinking the other day about how, as a student missionary, you're asked to ‘give up a year of your life.’ You lose a year of school, a year in America, a year of normalcy. But I don't feel I've lost anything at all.

Instead, I've gained so many precious stories and memories. I've gained friendship. I've gained perspective. There's a lot of people in this world, and they all need and want love just as much as you and I do.

I've been the teacher of kids who do a whole lot better job of teaching me. I've had moments when I am truly so in awe of God that I cry.

In giving up comfort, I've received the best year of my life. And I wonder if blessings always await me in places where I give of myself and lose nothing at all.”

Nearly 70 students have accepted the call to serve as full-time student missionaries this year. They will travel to the unknown to share God’s love. Thank you to the many donors who make these life-changing experiences possible.

Visit southern.edu/missions to learn how you can help make a difference in the lives of others.

Stories, videos, and photos from our student missionaries will be posted on Student Missions’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles throughout the school year.


Hello, Sunshine State Alumni


Southern and Florida Hospital share a long history of working together. In 1934, when Southern Junior College began to offer a pre-nursing curriculum, its nursing program qualified students to continue a diploma program in nursing at Florida Sanitarium and Hospital. In 2011, Southern celebrated the grand opening of a beautiful, state-of-the-art nursing building named Florida Hospital Hall. Today, hundreds of alumni work at Florida Hospital as nurses and administrators and also provide internship opportunities for students through its Leadership Development program.

Nearly 30 alumni at Adventist Health System held a special reception for Gordon Bietz, recently retired president of Southern, on July 13 in Orlando. Bietz served on the Adventist Health System board for many years.

The following week in the Orlando area, the Alumni Relations office organized a meet-and-greet event with Dave Smith, our new university president. Smith had a wonderful time engaging and connecting with over 50 alumni and friends in attendance. He had recently accepted an invitation to serve on the Adventist Health System board.  

Campus Adding Electric Car Rental and Charging Stations
by Lucas Patterson, editorial manager

electric car

Southern Adventist University is partnering with outside transportation and power agencies to host electric car rental and charging stations on campus beginning this fall. Green Commuter, a new California-based company, will provide one or two cars to rent and charging stations with the capacity to handle at least eight vehicles so students with their own electric vehicles can charge them.

Southern was approached to be a part of this project because of its proximity to Chattanooga—a city whose reputation as a technology hub with eco-minded residents continues to rise—and its concentration of students.

“You’ve got a lot of people here on campus who have licenses, they just don’t have a car,” said Marty Hamilton, associate vice president for Financial Administration.

Approximately 20 charging and rental stations are being constructed throughout the Chattanooga area, with each station containing two to six vehicles. A trip from Southern to downtown Chattanooga is estimated at $8. Sierra Emilaire, junior English major, has been without a car during her three years at Southern and sees great value in the independence this new setup brings.

“Knowing that students will be able to rent cars puts my heart at ease,” Emilaire said. “Now I won't have to shuffle through my contact list when I need something!”

Along with accomplishing the immediate and primary goal of helping students, this electric car program also aids in Southern’s attempt to become better environmental stewards—one of several bold initiatives outlined in the university’s Vision 20/20 strategic plan. Similar steps toward that goal in recent years have included increased recycling efforts, a large solar panel installation, forest trail expansion, and the growth of Southern’s campus farm. 

Alumni Highlights Title

The Sound of Chattanooga with Southern Flare
Excerpted from July 1, 2016, article in Chattanooga Times Free Press


Stratton Tingle, ’06, is the executive director of SoundCorps, a nonprofit Chattanooga organization that pays roughly 50 performers $25 each time they “busk,” or play music, for two hours at spots with high foot traffic, such as on Frazier Avenue, at the Tennessee Aquarium, and near the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge. Called Sidewalk Stages, the program that launched in April subsidizes performers—who still get tips—and brings more live music to Chattanooga’s streets.

“Our mission is to build Chattanooga’s music community," says Tingle. "Our goal is to reach 250,000 people with live, local music.”

On any given weekend, 15 to 25 performers are working as hundreds of pedestrians pass by.

SoundCorps, which gets its funding from foundations instead of tax dollars, will spend $40,000 annually on its Sidewalk Stages program. Along with performers, the program pays for a manager and for “busker bosses” who check on the buskers and take photos of live performances to share on social media.

Bob Doak, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Visitors and Convention Bureau, calls Sidewalk Stages “an exciting, new way to animate our streets, weaving the diverse sounds of our city throughout public space.”


Upcoming Events

Alumni Golf Tournament 2016


Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 11, and plan to join Southern Adventist University alumni, employees, students, and friends to play in the annual alumni tournament. This year’s event is being hosted at the Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course. Cash and pro shop gift certificates are among the prizes that will be awarded to winners.

The cost is $65 per player. Proceeds assist students through the Dave Cress Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund.  

For more information and to register, visit southern.edu/golf or call 423.236.2829.

Southern at ASI Convention


Alumni and friends who plan to attend the ASI Convention or who live in the Phoenix, AZ, area are invited to join us on August 6 for a come-and-go dessert social between 2-3 p.m. in the North Building, Room 229B. 

Be sure to stop by Southern's booth in the exhibit area to pick up your free ticket and alumni gift. RSVP by emailing rsvp@southern.edu or join the Facebook event by August 4.

Homecoming Weekend 2016


October 27-30
 – Honor Classes: 1936, ’46, ’56, ’66, ’71, ’76, ’86, ’91, ’96, and ’06.

Early highlights include the 60th anniversary celebration of the nursing program at Southern; a reunion for former Student Services staff, residence hall deans, and resident assistants; as well as music by the Wedgwood Trio. Click here to register. 

School of Nursing 60th Anniversary Reunion

Alumni are invited to celebrate this special milestone for Southern's nursing program. A 7 p.m. reception will be hosted at the Embassy Suites Hotel on October 29 during Homecoming Weekend 2016. The evening also includes alumni awards presentations. This event is limited to 300 guests and an RSVP is required. Click here to register.

WSMC goes to Chicago and London

 chicago and london

Explore Chicago in the fall or enjoy a week in London with WSMC. Float down the river with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, discover the Art Institute of Chicago, or see the city skyline from SkyDeck Chicago. Visit the quintessential sights of London with a local guide, including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. Visit wsmc.org for more information.

Chicago: October 25-28, 2016

London: May 18 – 25, 2017

Europe Trip 2017: Martin Luther and the Reformation-Celebrating 500 Years


University alumni and employees are invited to join the “Martin Luther and the Reformation-Celebrating 500 Years” tour scheduled for June 13-25, 2017, hosted by the Alumni Association. 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.

Contact Alumni Relations by emailing alumni@southern.edu or by calling 423.236.2830 to learn more and to reserve your space before January 1.


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