On April 11, Southern welcomes paleontologist Marcus Ross, PhD, to campus as part of our ongoing origins curriculum for students and community members alike. We invite you, as part of our alumni family, to join us either on campus or online for these exciting presentations!

Marcus Ross“A Creationist’s Odyssey in Geological Education”
Campus Convocation
April 11, 11 a.m.
Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventist and live online

As a Christian, studying paleontology at a secular university was no simple task for Marcus Ross. His testimony provides examples for how to build and defend your faith when surrounded by those with opposing worldviews.

“(Mostly) Dry Bones: What Fossils Can Tell Us About the Flood”
E.O. Grundset Lecture Series
April 11, 7:30 p.m.
Lynn Wood Hall Chapel and live online

While most paleontologists view the fossil record as a sequence of life spanning billions of years, others see powerful scientific evidences that instead point to a recent worldwide flood as documented in Scripture.

-Staff Report

With more than $50,000 in gifts contributed to date this fiscal year, Southern faculty and staff are putting their treasure where their talent is. As a result, students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend Southern are provided with an opportunity for that transformative experience. At the end of March’s employee giving emphasis month, participation increased an additional 3.5 percent. This new support brought Southern’s total up to 67 percent—more than double the national average for employee contributions.

Employee Giving CampaignDuring the employee giving campaign, Southern’s Annual Giving office reminded faculty and staff of the immediate impact they make through their financial gifts. They responded generously. With two months left in the fiscal year, 17 departments have already reached their goal of 100 percent employee giving. Because of these contributions, more students can obtain scholarships, go on mission trips, and otherwise reap the benefits of Adventist education.

Employees believe that their gifts—big or small—are essential to the Southern Experience. Lisa (Clark) Diller, ’96, PhD, chair of the History and Political Studies Department, makes a monthly gift to Southern for a variety of inspiring reasons.

“I am an alum of Southern and received a substantial scholarship that allowed me to graduate without the burden of debt, so I’m grateful and wanted to give back,” Diller said. “I’m also inspired by our alumni, some of whom might not be able to afford much but still give regularly.”

Although financial support is a serious matter, the campaign included lighthearted moments. To maintain a fun, celebratory spirit during the monthlong effort, Annual Giving leaders held drawings for participation prizes ranging from reserved parking spaces to an additional vacation day.

“I’m delighted to have won extra vacation time to spend with my brand new grandson,” said Southern attendee Janita (Robertson) Herod, School of Religion office manager. “I will treasure every moment of my gifted day!”

To make a gift alongside faculty and staff in support of Southern students, visit southern.edu/give.

-by Sandra Delgado, Annual Giving coordinator

campus life
On April 1, Scott Stripling, DMin, presented the last Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum lecture of academic year 2018-2019: “Go Now to Shiloh: Have We Found the House of God?

Shiloh ExcavationShiloh, an ancient Samarian city, was a center of Israelite worship prior to David’s conquering of Jerusalem. The Amorites first occupied Shiloh in the Middle Bronze Age and later built a fortification infrastructure. Shiloh fell within Joshua’s tribal allotment (Ephraim), and the tabernacle functioned there for over 300 years after the Israelites took control of the site around 1400 B.C.

A Danish team excavated Shiloh for four seasons between 1926-1932 and again in 1963. An Israeli expedition later excavated the same site from 1981-1984. The most recent excavation work by Stripling and other team members working with Associates for Biblical Research seeks to connect the findings of the Danish and Israeli teams by opening the entire northern slope. They believe that research at Shiloh confirms the biblical record.

The Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum Lecture Series is designed to bring the latest archaeological discoveries from the southern Levant, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia to Southern’s campus community. Lectures are open to the public and are free of charge.

-by Angela Edwards, ’18, Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum coordinator

According to a recent study, only 0.3 percent of students across America receive a full scholarship to college. That daunting statistic didn’t keep senior English major Kristen Eldred from aiming high when imagining herself studying at Belmont College of Law.

“I applied for early acceptance, meaning I was supposed to hear back within four weeks of my application date,” Eldred said. “I wasn’t expecting to receive any news after only one week.”

Thousands of emotions swirled around as she first handled the envelope containing the information that could change her life. As she unfolded the letter, excitement rose upon reading the first line: “Congratulations!” She’d been accepted—and offered a full scholarship. 

Kristen Eldred“I was ecstatic,” Eldred said. “I remember screaming, and then the first thing I did was call all of my family!”

Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Eldred has experienced an abundance of support from her family regarding academics. They instilled in her a deep belief that through hard work, she can achieve any milestone she sets for herself. Those goals included pursuing a degree in English from Southern with an emphasis in professional writing. Dean of the English Department Keely Tary, ’97, PhD, has witnessed Eldred’s dedication firsthand as her academic adviser for three years. 

“She’s worked steadily and proactively toward her goals every semester through careful course planning, LSAT prep, and experiential leaning such as her law internship, which is impossible for most undergrads to secure,” Tary said.

Curriculum for each of Southern’s four different English degree concentrations is focused not only on writing and research skills, but also analytical reading, logic, editing, and oral communication. All of these are vital for success in law school.

“Southern has amazing professors that stimulate intellectual curiosity in our classes and teach important critical thinking skills,” Eldred said. “I've appreciated the high level of support I’ve received throughout my four years here.”

-by Brittny Desvarieux, junior English major

Community Connections
Students in Giselle Hasel’s drawing courses have embraced a unique service-learning project creating paintings for children at Bangla Hope, a Seventh-day Adventist orphanage in Bangladesh. Each Southern student in the class receives a photograph of one of the children at Bangla Hope and spends the semester crafting his or her portrait.

Southern attendee Robyn Griffin, a U.S. Board Officer from Bangla Hope, visits Hasel’s class every year to orchestrate the project. He frames the completed portraits and personally delivers them to the orphans.

Bangla Hope Orphans“The children are so beautiful and fun to draw,” Hasel said. “Mr. Griffin tells us they get so excited to see their portraits, and it has become a much-anticipated part of being in sixth grade.”

The paintings provide Southern students with the opportunity to not only practice their artistic skills, but also to participate in a unique global ministry.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” said Hunter Odenthal, sophomore graphic design major. “I’ve enjoyed learning about them and drawing portraits that they will be able to keep and enjoy.”

-by Natalie Boonstra, sophomore public relations major and Bible worker major

On March 23, Southern held its first 423 Night Market, an event that gave students the chance to shine outside the classroom by promoting their creative products and performances in a public venue. More than 1,500 students, employees, alumni, and community members attended the event at Collegedale Commons, a new community space located just beyond Four Corners near City Hall.

Matt Davis, a senior construction management major, runs a film and photography business on the side. He appreciated the chance to promote his small business in a fun environment.

“You’re seeing faces you recognize, but also people from the community,” Davis said. “This was a great opportunity for students like me to advertise their work and be represented.”

423 NightThe event featured a total of 58 booths, 50 run by students and eight run by faculty members. Besides food, they shared a variety of products and services, including handmade cards, ceramic bowls, massages, musical performances, and more.

“I believe students have passions outside of school work and this was an opportunity to showcase that,” said Student Association President Rhidge Garcia.

Mark Galvez, incoming Student Association president, intends to host this type of event next school year.

“A lot of students and faculty loved it,” Galvez said. “It showed the genius and creativity of … every individual on this campus.”

Community members expressed appreciation for the event and a willingness to support additional programs like 423 Night Market.

“This is wholesome and nice,” said Berta Vega, a medical assistant who lives in downtown Chattanooga. “It would be good for Southern to do more events like this, because it increases the connections between the community and students.”

-by Paola Mora Zepeda, sophomore journalism major


Thoughts of summer camp may be accompanied by fond memories of cabins and horseback riding, crafts and sitting around a bonfire, making new friends and drawing closer to Jesus. While Southern’s Academic Summer Camps don’t involve cabins and bonfires, they do offer high school students a chance to try out a potential career field, make friends with like-minded young people, and start thinking about God’s purpose for their lives.

Since 2016, Southern has offered a variety of three-day camps for both day students and overnight campers. Last year, 112 students from 13 states came and experienced a small taste of Southern as they explored topics ranging from business and medicine to creative writing and filmmaking. For many, this was their first experience with Adventist education, since half of the participants were either homeschooled or public school students.

Academic Summer CampsTahkai Martin attended the camps for two summers in a row. He took part in the graphic design camp one year, which reaffirmed his interest in the creative arts. Now a sophomore psychology major at Southern, he chose graphic design as his minor.

“The camps are kind of a college simulation; they give participants a chance to garner some practical life skills, such as having a roommate, being away from home, interacting with other people, and having accountability,” Martin said. “It was a great experience.”

This year’s Academic Summer Camps will be held June 17-19. Topics include:

 Automotive Repair
 Business Entrepreneurship
 Computing (App Development)
 Creative Writing
 Outdoor Adventure Leadership
 Social Work and Missions
 Vegetarian Culinary Arts

Academic Summer Camps cost $150 for day students or $200 for those staying overnight in residence halls. Online registration opened March 1. For more information, visit southern.edu/camps.

-by Natalia Perez, senior mass communication major

alumni highlights

James McKinneyAfter nearly six decades of medical service, James Ray McKinney, MD, recently retired to much fanfare in the community of Greeneville, Tennessee. McKinney was recruited to this small mountain town in the early 1960s to work “for one year” at Takoma Hospital. At his retirement celebration, friends and coworkers noted how many lives where changed by the fact that one year had turned into 58 years.

In small towns, opportunities are plentiful for transcending traditional job responsibilities when the need arises. “He delivered my baby, and he played the organ at my daughter’s wedding,” said Kathy Clowers. “He’s just an all-around excellent guy.”

For a full recounting of the celebration, read “Community Bids Farewell to Health Care Pioneer” from the Greeneville Sun newspaper.

-Staff Report

Adventist Health recently promoted Dustin Aho to a vice president position, which gives him responsibility for ensuring the healthcare organization’s mission is integrated throughout its culture and within the communities it serves.

Dustin Aho“We are proud to promote Dustin to a position he greatly deserves,” said Scott Reiner, Adventist Health chief executive officer. “His dedicated service will undoubtedly advance our goal of providing comprehensive whole-person care, expanded healthcare access, and a human touch that is rarely felt in this industry—all while ensuring we remain fully committed to our mission, vision, and values.”

Aho expands on the definition of mission identity in a recent podcast alongside fellow Southern alum and Adventist Health executive Alex Bryan, ’93, DMin.

Adventist Health is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that utilizes more than 24,600 employees, 5,000 medical staff physicians, and 3,700 volunteers to serve more than 75 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. A full press release about Aho’s promotion is available online.

-Staff Report

Upcoming Events
Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Origins Convocation. April 11 at 11 a.m. in Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists (as well as live online). Presenter Marcus Ross, PhD, director of the Center for Creation Studies at Liberty University, is a contributor to numerous academic and professional journals. His graduation in 2007 from the University of Rhode Island as a Young Earth creationist who earned a PhD studying paleontology was front-page news in The New York Times.

E.O. Grundset Lecture Series (Biology). April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Lynn Wood Hall Chapel (as well as live online). Marcus Ross, PhD, will present “(Mostly) Dry Bones: What Fossils Can Tell Us About the Flood.”

Star Watch. April 12 at 8:30 p.m. in Hickman Science Center parking lot. Explore the heavens through a telescope (weather permitting).

Gym-Masters Acrobatic Team Home Show. April 13 (9 p.m.) and April 14 (2:30 p.m.) in Iles P.E. Center gymnasium. Tickets for those without a Southern ID can be purchased for $5 each at the Hulsey Wellness Center. April 13 performance will also be streamed live online.

Choral Ensembles Concert. April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium.

Collegedale Brass Choir. April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium. Repertoire includes selections from Cheetham, Gervaise, d'Attaignant, Shahan, Uber, Gu∂mundsdóttir, and Hazell.

Symphony Orchestra Concert. April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists (as well as live online). Repertoire includes selections from Wagner, Mendelssohn, and Schumann.

Student Missionaries Dedication. April 26 at 8 p.m. in Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists (as well as live online). Derek Morris, president of the Hope Channel and former School of Religion professor at Southern, will lead a campus-wide dedication of students who will serve abroad as missionaries, task force workers, and evangelists.

I Cantori Concert. April 27 at 4 p.m. in Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists (as well as live online).

Jazz Ensemble Concert. April 27 at 9 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium.

Graduation Commencement. May 5 at 9:30 a.m. in the Chattanooga Convention Center. The ceremony is also available live online. For more information, visit southern.edu/graduation.

WELLkids in the Wild Day Camps. June 3-7, June 24-28, and July 15-19 on campus. Each weeklong 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.

Academic Summer Camps. June 17-19 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at various locations on campus (overnight housing available). Students entering grades 9-12 can choose from a variety of potential majors for a three-day immersive experience in career and calling. For more information and to register, visit southern.edu/camps

gfh Like us on Facebook

gh Join us on LinkedIn

amazon smile
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!