Students and Donors Jointly Invest in Adventist Education
The Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning saw tremendous growth during the last fiscal year as donors gave in support of its designated impact areas: Endowment, Bietz Center for Student Life, Annual Giving, Academic Growth, and Campus Life. The $50 million campaign, Southern’s largest ever, is nearly 90 percent funded and capital project plans are moving from concept to concrete.
Endowments ($14 million) are the largest single component of the Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning, and a big part of that category involves student financial aid. One program in particular, the recently-developed Work Initiative Scholarship Endowment (WISE), is helping push toward that ambitious goal as donors encourage students to take ownership of their education.
Hope Benhke, senior elementary education major, is a good example of how much students are willing to sacrifice for a top-tier, Adventist education. Early on in her collegiate experience, she sold her car to help pay for tuition. Even now, as she nears graduation, Hope is working three part-time jobs. Donors enjoy rewarding Southern students who demonstrate such commitment with tuition relief.
This new WISE video explains the creative dollar-for-dollar work study program that the university is making available to a limited number of qualified students. Consider making a gift toward growing the WISE fund in support of Southern’s efforts to make Adventist education available to every student.
Enactus Places Second at National Competition
Southern’s Enactus team—a group of students tasked with incubating and nurturing the development of actionable ideas that improve the world using passion, innovation, integrity, and collaboration—took its project presentations to regional competition this spring and came away winners. This earned the students an invitation to the national competition in May, where they won second place in their league, the team’s highest placement to date. They finished in the top seven percent of all 444 U.S. Enactus teams.
There were four main projects for this year.
Now I See:
• Partnered with Jacob Prabhakar, MD, an ophthalmologist who has restored eyesight to 10,000+ Indians dealing with cataracts using revolutionary, cost-efficient techniques.
• Launched a merchandise business in support of Prabhakar’s work that generated more than $7,000 in funds in two weeks. This paid for surgeries restoring eyesight to 80 people.
HTML: Higher Tech-Minded Ladies
• Narrowed the gender gap in technology, allowing 44 teen and pre-teen girls to re-envision their future and seize incredible opportunities in the computer science industry.
• Held a 10-week course where girls designed their very own app for mental health and wellness, soon to be released on the IOS app store.
GCS: Grow. Create. Share.
• Educated and equipped 25 kids in Chattanooga’s food deserts with indoor grow kits, teaching them how to grow and love healthy foods.
• Empowered a refugee entrepreneur to re-create his failing restaurant into a growing catering business. Revenues have increased 500 percent with Enactus’ involvement.
• Launched a pilot program to help immigrant children overcome linguistic isolation and thrive through Just for Kicks—a weekend soccer event which will be expanding to include academic mentorship.
Through projects like these, Enactus members have been privileged to watch lives change, opportunities open, and connections form. The prayer is that people’s lives will not only be improved now but for eternity. Just as Christ sought to meet needs in order to reach hearts for Him, Enactus hopes to do the same. Re-creation is real today! It is only the beginning.
-Michelle Duocuomes, ’05 and ’10, School of Business professor and Enactus sponsor
Southern Scholar Accepts Grand Opportunity
Daniel Capo, junior outdoor leadership and history double major, was offered one of 15 invitations nationwide to study in a less-than-conventional classroom this fall: the Grand Canyon.
This exclusive, semester-long program for honors students, titled “Boundaries and Borders: Limitless Exploration of Environment, People, and Place,” is a collaboration between the National Park Service, Northern Arizona University, and the National Collegiate Honors Council. It explores the landscape, cultures, and politics of the greater Grand Canyon region.
“How can I pass up studying in the Grand Canyon for three months?” said Capo, a member of Southern Scholars (Southern’s honors program). “If I’m going to be an outdoor leader like I want to be, it just seems like a no brainer.”
Mark Peach, PhD, history professor and director of the Southern Scholars program, hopes that Capo and other students in the future will use this experience to broaden their academic scope.
“I see my job as locating enrichment opportunities and then helping students to apply,” Peach said. “Daniel is perfect for this. When he returns to Southern and shares his story, he might get other students to think, ‘Yeah, this is kind of out of my comfort zone, but I can still do this.’”
-Tierra Hayes, junior mass communications major
Organization Awards $50,000 for Campus’ Race-Related Projects
Southern received a $50,000 grant from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to fund a multi-pronged project in academic year 2018-2019. Project components include:
• Recording and sharing the campus’ oral histories
• Inviting nationally-recognized speakers to Collegedale for convocation and community presentations
• Funding creative student-initiated programs to address racial equity
• Researching the impact of all these efforts on employee and student attitudes.
“Southern has an opportunity to be a model of a large institution that weaves racial reconciliation into its DNA, even though trying to achieve this goal can be challenging,” said Kristie Wilder, ’03, JD, dean for the School of Social Work and co-director of the project.
From a pool of 312 nation-wide applicants, Southern was one of 19 colleges and universities selected to receive funding from Lumina’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity. The fund was created last year in response to racially motivated violence in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia.
“As a philanthropic leader, Lumina shares a deep passion and concern about the nation’s racial climate, especially on college campuses,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These campuses have shown a willingness to address racial disparities at a systemic level: They recognize that achieving equitable results is about more than promoting diversity—it’s about whether the institution fosters a climate in which every student feels welcome and has the same opportunity to earn a degree or certificate of value, regardless of race or ethnicity.”
In these efforts, Wilder and the other two co-directors—Stephanie Guster, MSW, assistant professor of social work, and Rachel Williams-Smith, PhD, dean of the School of Journalism and Communication—have the full support of Southern’s administration.
“Each individual student on our diverse campus is infinitely valuable in God’s eyes, and we want them to feel that love here—to feel safe, valued, and at home,” said David Smith, PhD, president of Southern. “This project will be another piece in our ongoing efforts to foster that kind of environment on our campus.”
Summer SALT Offers Preview of Semester-Long Bible Worker Program
Seven years ago, Southern launched an evangelism training program in partnership with It Is Written called SALT (Soul-Winning and Leadership Training). Since then, SALT has graduated 141 students from its four-month Bible worker course, trained 350 during summer intensives, and participated in church and video instruction that has reached untold others. As a direct result of SALT, more than 1,000 Bible studies have been shared by students in the greater Chattanooga area!
The summer intensive is taking place July 5-8. Jerry and Janet Page, who serve as the General Conference ministerial secretary and associate ministerial secretary, are on campus presenting about revival and spirituality. In addition to the Pages’ powerful teaching, John Bradshaw, Philip Samaan, and the experienced SALT staff are sharing practical and winsome witnessing skills.
“If you know of a person who would like to gain further skills in sharing Bible studies and being revitalized in their personal spiritual lives, please invite them to consider Southern’s four-month program that starts in August,” said Alan Parker, DTh, School of Religion professor and Pierson Institute director.
SALT is available for credit and audit options and is open to both current Southern students and alumni or other community members. For more information, visit southern.edu/salt or call 423.236.2036.
Registration Opens for Annual Alumni Golf Tournament
Southern will host its annual Alumni Golf Tournament at the Bear Trace Golf Course (Harrison Bay) on Sunday, August 26. Registration and the driving range will open at 7 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.
Registration is $65 and proceeds will help provide tuition assistance for Southern students. Cash prizes and pro-shop certificates will be given for first, second, and third place. There will also be prizes for holes-in-one, closest to the pin, longest drive, and putting green contests. In addition, a catered lunch is provided. To register for the tournament or to receive more information, visit southern.edu/golf.
The Alumni Golf Tournament continues to fondly recognize former Student Association president Dave Cress, '79, along with his devotion to young people, passion for Christian education, and unforgettable gifts for nurturing personal relationships. Proceeds from the tournament support the Dave Cress Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund that provides tuition assistance for students at Southern.
Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.
Painting Exhibit. Through August 10 at McKee Library (second floor). “Whispers of God” is a collection of artwork by Becky Brooks, ’03. Brooks worked in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference Communication Department from 2003-2010 and is currently a freelance graphic designer working from her home in Collegedale. For library hours, call 423.236.2788.
Fiber Art Exhibit. Through August 10 at McKee Library (second floor). Madeline Mace, junior fine arts major, aims for her work to inspire open dialogue about issues concerning the human condition and how they relate to personal experience. For library hours, call 423.236.2788.
WELLkids in the Wild Day Camps: July 23-27 on campus. Each week-long session offers outdoor adventures facilitated by graduate students in the Outdoor Leadership program. Activities include rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, ropes course, caving, rafting, and more. Available for ages 10-16. For more information and to register, visit southern.edu/wellkids.
Summer Graduation. July 26 at 7 p.m. in the Iles P.E. Center. Tickets not required. Ceremony will be streamed online.
Orlando Ice Cream Social: July 31 from 6-9 p.m. at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Altamonte Springs, Florida (901 N. State Road 434). Southern’s offices of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations invite alumni and current students to come by for FREE ice cream. Wear Southern attire and show your school spirit! Let Southern (and fellow alumni) know that you plan to participate by visiting our Facebook event page.
ASI National Conference: August 1-4 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. Alumni and friends of Southern who are attending the conference or who live in the Orlando area are encouraged to stop by the university booth to meet staff and to learn about what’s happening on campus.
Golf Tournament: August 26 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bear Trace Golf Course (Harrison Bay, Tennessee). $65/player fee. Open to alumni, students, employees, and community. Registration and more information are available online at southern.edu/golf.
Homecoming Weekend: October 25-28. Honor classes: 1938, ’48, ’58, ’68, ’73, ’78, ’88, ’93, ’98, ’08. Special features include: Gym-Masters Reunion, Parade of Nations, Missions Expo, and Legacy Preview Southern (for alumni with prospective students). Worship services speaker is Pierre Monice, ’07. Registration and more information are available online at southern.edu/community.
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