In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Alumni Relations is inviting alumni couples to enter our Southern Sweethearts giveaway by sharing how their alma mater played a part in their journey together. To tell your story, visit, where you can check out fun stories shared by other alumni couples, too.

Southern SweetheartsOne lucky couple will receive a Valentine’s Day gift pack filled with Southern gear and a set of the new Southern Sweethearts travel bags. Ten additional couples will each receive a set of ready-to-fill Southern Sweethearts travel bags.

In honor of the Southern Sweethearts year-round program, all newlywed couples who haven’t yet celebrated their first anniversary will receive a gift as well. 

The deadline to enter is Tuesday, February 15, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

A Southern Sweetheart couple is defined as an attendee or graduate married to another Southern attendee or graduate.

-Staff Report

The Alumni Association presents awards each year during Homecoming Weekend to recognize alumni whose known accomplishments have gone above-and-beyond in their profession and/or in service to others.

Alumni AwardsWe invite you to nominate alumni who demonstrate and support the university’s mission and core values in their workplaces and communities.

Nominations for the 2022 awards are open now through Monday, February 28. Nominations received after the deadline will be held for future consideration. Visit to view the selection criteria for each award and a list of past recipients.

-Staff Report

On February 17, 2022, Southern Scholars will host the inaugural Benjamin McArthur Lecture.

Benjamin McArthur, PhD, was a beloved professor and an active scholar. He taught in the History and Political Studies Department of Southern from 1979 until 2017, except for a three-year period from 2009-2012 during which he served as the academic dean of Southwestern Adventist University. He published three books and numerous articles during his long academic career.

The Benjamin McArthur Endowed Lecture Series addresses topics that McArthur cared deeply about: the life of the mind, service to community, and spiritual commitment. Additionally, it offers opportunities for participating students, employees, and community members to have informal conversations with the guest speakers, including luncheons and receptions.

“The Lecture Series will honor the academic contributions Dr. McArthur made to Southern Adventist University and contribute to the life of the mind for our campus and community by inviting distinguished speakers to present their ideas to the community,” said Mark Peach, PhD, history and political studies professor and Southern Scholars interim-director.

Eric Anderson, PhD, director of the Walter C. Utt Center for Adventist History at Pacific Union College and personal friend of the McArthur family, will present the inaugural lecture, titled “First They Came for the Confederates: History, Noble Lies, and Vandalism.”

Eric Anderson, PhDAnderson holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago. In addition to 30 years of teaching and administration in Adventist higher education, he has been a Fulbright lecturer in Greece and a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities. A specialist in United States history, his research focus includes an interest in African American history and the South. He has written on a variety of historical topics, including Reconstruction and race in politics. His most recent publication is a chapter in Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet, published by Oxford University Press.

Funding for this lecture series has been made possible through Giving Day appeals by the Southern Scholars academic honors program and by employee and corporate gifts.

The Benjamin McArthur Lecture Series is free to attend and the public is welcome. The inaugural lecture will be on February 17 at 7 p.m., in Ackerman Auditorium, 2nd floor of Mabel Wood Hall, and it will be livestreamed. Visit for streaming as well as information about upcoming lectures and how to support the growth of this new series.

-Staff Report

Xander Ordinola quietly slips in and out of events at Southern with his camera in hand, capturing collegiate life as the photo editor for the Southern Accent, the student newspaper. A junior mass communications major with an emphasis in photography, he has big dreams and is moving closer to fulfilling them as a student.

Having transferred to Southern from a public university, Ordinola appreciates the family-like atmosphere he experiences on campus.

“The relationships you build at Southern aren’t like those found anywhere else,” Ordinola said. “I’ve experienced how people genuinely care about you, your future, and your progress. Every staff member and professor wants to invest in you.” 

Xander Ordinola As the end of the 2021 Fall semester drew near, Ordinola knew that he would be unable to pay his outstanding tuition bill in order to register for the following semester. His family was not able to provide financial help, and his work wasn’t going to cover the needs. As the first day of the Winter 2022 semester dawned, Xander still hadn’t registered; however, God made provision through the generosity of alumni and friends who contributed to the Student Scholarship Fund. Ordinola received the financial help he needed just in time to attend his first scheduled class. 

Ordinola is profoundly grateful for the gifts that have made it possible for him to continue his studies at Southern.

“I have been relieved of a huge burden, and I am also inspired to repeat that kindness for others,” he said.

He hopes to work in the future as a photojournalist for the New York Times or the Associated Press. Because of generous support from the Southern family, he can continue the journey toward achieving his dreams.

Learn more about the impact of student scholarships and give today to help change the lives of students at Southern.

-Sierra Ureta, junior public relations major, and Sandra Delgado, annual giving manager

During the Thanksgiving break, 30 Southern Adventist University students traveled to Cancun, Mexico, to conduct an evangelism series, leading to more than 50 individuals choosing to be baptized. The trip was part of the Soul-winning And Leadership Training (SALT) program, which is a partnership between Southern Adventist University and It Is Written.

The students each led out in their own churches, preaching for seven days. Earlier in the semester, the SALT students had gained valuable experience while assisting with a local evangelistic series held by John Bradshaw, director of It Is Written.

SALT students“The students went out into the community and gave Bible studies and then invited those people to the meetings,” said Douglas Na’a, SALT program director. “It was a great experience for them to be able to participate in the series from the very beginning to the end.”

More than 10 individuals from the Chattanooga community were baptized as a result of the meetings. Additionally, three Southern students requested baptism, including Prem King, who comes from a Hindu family and came to Southern specifically for the SALT program.

Participating in evangelism through SALT helped to grow King’s faith as he shared it with others, and he eventually decided to fully put his trust in Christ and become a member of the church.

“I kept telling myself that I didn’t need to get baptized, but I began to realize how important it is, and I couldn’t wait any longer,” King said. “I just decided to follow Jesus and not turn back.”

Learn more about SALT and support the program here.

-Staff Report

Students have the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in photography at Southern, thanks in part to generous community members. The School of Journalism and Communication’s Intro to Photography course utilizes 35mm manual film cameras, which can be hard to come by in today’s digital world. Associate Professor Stephen Ruf is grateful for alumni, employees, and community members who donate manual film cameras that he can refurbish and loan to his students.

“These cameras are older than the students, but students are getting a lot of use out of them,” Ruf said. “I think it’s neat that instead of collecting dust on a shelf, the cameras get new lives as tools for the photography classes.”

By using film cameras, students are motivated to quickly learn the devices’ inner workings, because the photographer does not receive immediate feedback after taking a photo. To get a good shot, students must know how to properly change settings like aperture and shutter speed.

Jim Marlowe, an accomplished photographer who graduated from Southern in 1976, has donated multiple manual film cameras to Ruf’s class and fervently agrees with his method.

“In the film days, you had to know in your soul, ‘I nailed it,’ because you only got one shot,” Marlowe said. “That’s why I think Ruf is doing a favor to his students. Film photography teaches them to slow down and evaluate the scene in order to tell a story.”

Donated CamerasAlthough Marlowe now uses digital cameras, he still shoots with a film mentality to guarantee a high-quality photo. He says students who gain film experience will become better photojournalists in the highly competitive field.

Estefania Sanchez-Mayorquin, senior journalism major, works as a lab assistant in the university’s photo darkroom and had no experience with film cameras prior to enrolling in the class her sophomore year.

“I mostly took pictures with my phone, and I didn’t understand what made a good photo,” Sanchez-Mayorquin said. “But when I got the hang of the manual camera, I really enjoyed it.”

Taking the class inspired her to minor in photography, and she recently purchased a film camera of her own.

“Film photography is a window into the world of digital photography,” Sanchez-Mayorquin said. “It allows us to appreciate the art of what makes a good photo because it’s so much more than just hitting the shutter button.”

Contact Stephen Ruf for more information about opportunities to help photography students.

-Amanda Blake, junior journalism and communications major

Upcoming Events
Sunday, February 13 – Loma Linda Alumni Brunch: Southern alumni and their families living in the Loma Linda area are invited to enjoy a complimentary meal with Ken Shaw, ’80, and to welcome him as the university’s 27th president. Ken will share his vision for Southern’s future and looks forward to hearing stories from your time on campus. Seating is limited. Learn more about the event and RSVP at

Thursday, February 17 – 2022 Benjamin McArthur Lecture, presenter: Eric Anderson, PhD, Ackerman Auditorium, Mabel Wood Hall, 7 p.m.

Thursday, February 17 – Aaron Shust Concert, Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 7 p.m.

(Calendar and live streaming links)

Sunday, January 30 – Southern Symphony Orchestra Concerto Concert, Laurie Redmer Cadwallader, conductor; Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 4 p.m.

Monday, January 31 – Bridget Kibbey, harp, guest recital; Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 5 – Evensong: Collegedale Academy Choirs; Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 6 p.m.

Sunday, February 13 – Bailey Krall, flute, senior recital; Ackerman Auditorium, 6 p.m.

Saturday, February 19 – Evensong: vocal students of Julie Penner; Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 6 p.m.

Saturday, February 19 – Pops Concert, “Out of this World,” featuring Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, and Steel Band, Ken Parsons and Keith Lloyd, conductors; Iles P.E. Center, 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 26 – Evensong: Collegedale Caroliers, Holly Greer, conductor; Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, 6 p.m.


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