New Production Studio Planned for Film and Journalism Programs
The Art Annex, located behind Brock Hall and just across Colcord Drive (formerly Industrial Drive), underwent more than 6,000 square feet of renovations in 2016 and 2017 during Phase 1 of a multi-year plan for Southern’s School of Visual Art and Design. Gifts from the Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning helped facilitate those improvements.
When additional funds become available, Phase 2 of the Art Annex project will realize the creation of a new film and broadcast journalism production studio where students will find an environment rich in opportunities to grow both creatively and spiritually. It’s an exciting project, but measuring the return on investment isn’t limited to computations of square footage and dollar amounts alone; the human element is key to appreciating a truer campaign value.
“You can ask the question: when is a building more than just a building, and I don’t think you have to look very far to find an example,” said Associate Professor David George, ’98, MFA. “Your home is more than just a building when your family is there; it’s all the experiences you have of people growing up!”
A new video from Southern highlights this unique connection between faith and art on campus, and how the production studio will nurture community.
Making the Journey Possible
The high-quality, Christ-centered education students receive at Southern is made possible thanks to the generosity of alumni and donors who graciously give in so many ways. More than 4,000 individuals came together last academic year, making a profound impact in students’ lives. We are grateful for their support.
The Annual Report serves as an opportunity for students and faculty to share a small glimpse of their time at Southern and the difference alumni and donors have made in their lives. This year’s report, available online, includes inspiring student stories, a two-page “fact sheet” listing fascinating statistics, updates on the $50 million Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning, news briefs, and a summary of various campus needs where more than $9 million in gifts were applied.
Group Spends Fall Semester Studying at England’s Newbold College
Southern provides many opportunities for students to expand their academic horizons, meet a diverse range of people, and experience different cultures. One of these arrangements is through a study-abroad program sponsored by the School of Business since 2012. This fall, 10 students—the largest single group yet from Southern—are taking advantage of the university’s enrollment agreement with Newbold College and studying in England.
Braam Oberholster, DBA, the Adventist Health Systems Endowed Chair for Business Administration at Southern, attributes increased interest in this program to both positive word-of-mouth advertising from returning students and heightened interest among young people in global matters. Flexibility is also key. Students are allowed to choose from 12 different courses, which will count toward graduation, that are agreed upon in Southern and Newbold’s memorandum of understanding. The results are transformative.
“Participants gain a broader global perspective through travel and exposure to European approaches to their courses,” Oberholster said. “They also learn to become more comfortable living and working with people of other cultures because they’re expected to room with a non-U.S. student for the semester.”
The School of Business covers all travel expenses and students’ Southern tuition covers the rest; all scholarships, grants, and loans remain in place. A newer program with similar parameters exists for Hong Kong Adventist College, as well.
$400,000 Corporate Gift Encourages Student Missionary Participation
The Student Missions Operations Endowment, initiated by a $50,000 gift from the estate of Joyce Ford in 2016, is designed to reduce financial apprehension associated with signing up to serve abroad by offsetting some of the airfare and other expenses. An anonymous $400,000 corporate contribution was added to that endowment this August, bolstering both the volume and scope of student assistance.
At its current $450,000 level—gifts are welcomed to continue growing this fund—the missions endowment will provide more than $20,000 each year in perpetuity for both full-time student missionaries and those serving on short-term projects through Southern’s uQuest program. Currently, the cost to spend a year overseas in missions averages $3,400. The Student Missions Operations Endowment will go a long way toward reducing that amount.
In addition to lower travel expenses, students will also benefit from more pre-trip training sessions and an increase in the number of care packages received from Southern while stationed overseas. The care packages cost $40 each to create and mail, a figure that multiplies quickly when mailing four times per year to more than 60 student missionaries. For Christine Lomeland, a senior nursing major serving at an orphanage in India, care packages are an answer to prayer.
"They include everything from necessities to copies of the Southern Accent, long-dreamed-of foods (including FriChik!), and so many encouraging notes,” Lomeland said. “Getting a package at any time during the year is exciting and makes it feel like it’s your birthday, but receiving one around Thanksgiving or Christmas—even if you’re loving your new place and the people there—is so special because your heart can start to feel a little lonely and far-away. I always shed a few grateful tears over the packages from Southern.”
Southern already spends nearly $10,000 per year on packages, but will use endowment funds to send them even more frequently in the future since the emotional return on investment is clear.
“Thank you to everyone who has ever donated or is thinking about donating toward student missions,” Lomeland said. “God is using your gifts to change lives.”
Professor Co-Hosts 3ABN Discussion Program for Young Viewers
Good questions form the heart of a healthy education. However, when it comes to spiritual growth, Christians often hesitate to admit they don’t have all the answers. “Raw Questions, Relevant Answers” is a new show on Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) that explores tough topics, such as finding God’s will, family issues, relationships, media, bad religion, and many more.
School of Business professor Michelle Doucoumes, ’05 and ’10, is one of three co-hosts. With the goal of meeting the needs of viewers ages 15-30, the show’s hosts see transparency as a critical element for earning viewers’ respect.
“Past experiences have brought trials and hard times into my life and made me question God,” Doucoumes said. “The only reason we are able to authentically answer tough questions on this show is because we are already studying them for ourselves!”
Along with her teaching responsibilities, Doucoumes also coordinates Southern’s Institute for Ethical Leadership and is an instructor for the SALT program (Soul-winning and Leadership Training). Her experience on the collegiate level complements the experiences of co-hosts Dee Casper and Mark Paden, both of whom have worked in academy settings. Collectively, they can speak to a wide range of ages and issues.
“We felt like there was a need for a question and answer panel lead by peers to prevent younger viewers from feeling like they were being talked down to,” Doucoumes said.
The show took root quickly after Casper and Paden proposed the idea to 3ABN; six months later they were filming. All 24 episodes of seasons one and two were recorded over a four-day period, a pace so condensed that only divine guidance could explain their successful completion.
“We ran most of these episodes in one take without script or pre-notes,” Doucoumes said. “We really just did it as the Lord impressed us to!”
“WHY I GIVE” SERIES:
Volunteer Combines Passion for Sports with Philanthropy
Bruce Stepanske wanted to be a professional athlete when he grew up. Getting paid to play is every 12-year-old’s dream! Fast forward to his retirement years and all those visions from adolescence have returned, but now they’re in reverse. Stepanske systematically makes financial gifts to Southern every time he performs well on the golf course or at the bowling alley.
This unique philanthropy model includes setting aside $10 for every birdie or $5 for every par when golfing and $2 for every strike or $1 for every spare when bowling. After keeping careful records of his sporting achievements, Stepanske makes monthly gifts toward the Legacy Society Scholarship at Southern.
“I’ve been doing this for about two years,” Stepanske said. “At first I was giving it to the Salvation Army and St. Jude—which are great organizations—but then I decided to donate it to Southern and keep it at home.”
After graduating from Andrews University in 1963 with a degree in physical education and business, he worked for Greater New York Academy and Mount Vernon Academy before moving to Collegedale in 1978 for a job as associate business manager at Southern. His student-centered approach transformed the transactional process of setting up loans and paying accounts into relational moments of grace that some students didn’t soon forget.
“I was visiting Kettering College one time when I saw a guy I recognized but didn’t know from where,” Stepanske said. “He told me: ‘You saved me. I didn’t know how I was going to get through college but we sat down and worked out a plan. I give you credit for my degree!’”
Along with his financial gifts and managerial skills, Stepanske also contributes to Southern through his time as a Lights Volunteer. He enjoys picking up students from the bus station or airport using a university vehicle and bringing them to campus to begin their Southern Experience. Those 30-minute car rides often grow into deeper connections as Stepanske and his wife are intentional—especially with international students—about inviting them over for dinner and taking them to see local attractions, such as Ruby Falls.
“These experiences keep us feeling young,” Stepanske said. “We’ve really enjoyed it.”
Romero, ’18, Selected for Visionary Volkswagen Team
Bradley Romero, a computer science graduate with an embedded systems concentration, was selected to join nearly 100 engineers from around the globe for Volkswagen's Future Electronic Engineers Program. Team members will support the startup phase for a new generation of full-electric vehicles.
The initial stage of this process is for Romero to participate in on-the-job training with Volkswagen experts in Germany for six months or more. Venturing into these new areas of technology is a daunting first step after graduation, but it’s an undertaking he’s able to face with confidence.
“The School of Computing challenged me and my fellow students in ways we could never have imagined,” Romero said. “Every new lesson advanced our skills. When we were stuck, the professors pushed us forward. I’m excited to be a part of the Volkswagen team and give Southern credit for helping get me here.”
Read more about Romero, and Volkswagen’s Future Electronic Engineers Program, in this article by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.
Kristen Holritz Faculty Flute Recital. September 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium (Mable Wood Hall). Adjunct Professor Kristen Holritz, principal flutist of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, will be joined by Kaitlyn Vest, cello, and ChoEun Lee, pianist.
Andy Crouch Convocation. September 20 at 11 a.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists (and live online). Crouch is a public speaker, author, and musician. His two most recently released books are The Tech-Wise Family and Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing.
E.O. Grundset Biology Lecture. September 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Lynn Wood Chapel (Lynn Wood Hall). Chattanooga State Biology Professor David Wollert, PhD, will present research about CRISPR, a powerful biotechnology tool giving scientists unprecedented access to the genetic makeup of all living organisms. Its potential applications are widespread, but they also open an enormous range of bioethical questions
Symphony Orchestra Concert. September 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists (and live online). Under the direction of Laurie Redmer Minner, the ensemble will perform César Franck’s Symphony in D minor, among other works.
Janelle Junn Art Reception. October 4 at 6 p.m. in the John C. William Arts Gallery (Brock Hall). Janelle Junn, ’11, is a New York artist and Pratt Institute graduate. Her exhibit runs through November 5.
E.O. Grundset Biology Lecture. October 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Lynn Wood Chapel (Lynn Wood Hall). East Tennessee State University Biology Professor Thomas Jones, PhD, will present "Spiders on the Clock: Pushing the Limits of Circadian Biology."
Wind Symphony Concert. October 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists (and live online). With Ken Parsons conducting, the theme for the evening will be “Teach Us to Pray,” with pieces such as David Maslanka’s “Give Us This Day” and Andrew Boysen, Jr.’s “All Creatures of Our God and King.”
Archaeology Lecture. October 8 at 7 p.m. in Lynn Wood Chapel (Lynn Wood Hall). Michael G. Hasel, PhD, curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern, will present “The Rise of the Kingdom of Judah in the Tenth Century BC: The Emerging Picture from the Ancient Past.”
Tlen Huicani Concert. October 23 at 7 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium. Dedicated to preserving and promoting the musical heritage of Veracruz, Mexico, Tlen Huicani means “the singers” in Nahuatl, an Aztec language. A distinguishing feature of the group is its work with the harp.
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.
Like us on Facebook
Join us on LinkedIn
Support The Southern Fund through AmazonSmile—it's the same as Amazon, but for all eligible purchases, Amazon will make a donation to Southern Adventist University!