Mugi Kinoshita had plans. As a senior animation major at Southern, she was working hard to build her skills and portfolio, hoping to land an animation job at a top studio after graduation. But in the midst of her busy final year of college, she sensed something was missing.

“I felt the need for prayer,” Kinoshita said. “At first, I planned to have a prayer meeting with just my housemates, but I had a burden for the people in my department. So I prayed, ‘If it is Your will, let me have an open prayer meeting in the School of Visual Art and Design.”

A few minutes later, a friend texted: “Can I join your prayer meeting?”

Kinoshita felt God calling her to proceed, so she created a poster, posted an invitation on Instagram, and began personally inviting her classmates to join her for 10 days of prayer, meeting in the School of Visual Art and Design lobby. Her goal was to make it easy for anyone wanting to experience Jesus to participate.

The first day, only two students joined Kinoshita, but little by little, more people joined in, and by day nine, there were 10 people attending.

“It was amazing how God brought specific people each day for a purpose,” Kinoshita said. “I reminded myself every day to praise God for whoever showed up because even if it was only one or two people, it was His plan.”

dorm worshipParticipants expressed their appreciation to Kinoshita for organizing the prayer sessions, saying: “It was so healing,” “I could really feel God’s presence,” “The 10 Days of Prayer was simply life-changing,” “We should do this more often.”

In fact, so many people expressed a desire to continue praying together that Kinoshita began hosting a weekly prayer session, open for anyone on campus to join.

“I realized the importance of prayer,” she said. “I saw God reaching out and restoring attendees. People becoming happier day by day, encouraging each other, opening up to others. They were finding Jesus and being filled with excitement and passion for Him. It was the happiest experience in my life to let God work on people through me. I felt I was nothing by myself; with Jesus, I had a purpose, hope, peace, and a bright future.”

Through this transformative experience, Kinoshita has a new perspective on her career path.

“Before, my career goal was to work as an animator or background painter at my favorite studio,” she said. “But now, I am open to anything that God wants me to do because I believe that God’s plan is the best. I realized that even a dream job, if it is not God’s plan, would be miserable. I really, really want to use my artistic talent to reach out to people who are lost and to bring healing to their souls through Jesus.”

“Mugi’s story is such an inspiration!” said Joseph Khabbaz, vice president for Spiritual Life and campus chaplain. “It is a wonderful example of the many ways students and employees across campus are making prayer an important part of their lives and letting God work through them.”

–Staff Report

On Sunday, April 24, Legacy Society members and other invited guests gathered for a special dinner to celebrate gifts from alumni and friends that are impacting lives for eternity.

The Legacy Society, comprised of donors who have included Southern in their estate plans or other planned gifts, welcomes contributions for any donor-specified designation: lecture series, undergraduate research, faculty chairships, and more. However, the most popular designation is for scholarships to help with tuition. In fact, members raise funds each year for two kinds of scholarships, those that pay out immediately and those that go into an endowment for future disbursement.

Current students benefiting from these scholarships helped serve the Legacy Society meal in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists’ social hall and sat with attendees, sharing details about their specific journeys and what a blessing it is to be enrolled at Southern. Photos from the event can be viewed online.

During the event, President Ken Shaw, ’80, PhD, offered a brief message of thanks with attendees, highlighting the many ways he has seen their gifts at work on Southern’s campus and in the lives of students. Additionally, a video montage shared stories and moments of sincere gratitude from several students who benefit from Legacy Society scholarships.

Legacy Society Dinner 2022Beatrice Ngugi, ’19, an international student from Nairobi, Kenya, first came to Southern for her bachelor’s degree in business. While studying here, she developed a passion for missions and made the decision to be baptized. Ngugu is continuing her education at Southern as a graduate student in the School of Social Work.

“I spent many days and nights praying that I could make it to the finish line and follow God’s call on my life,” Ngugi said. “Through generous donors, He opened many doors for me. I am so grateful!”

While everyone in the Legacy Society is directly impacting the lives of students on campus, not all members make their gifts as a result of personal experiences at Southern. Max Berueffy designated a bequest in his will to the Pay It Forward scholarship—where students agree to make a future gift, of any size, toward that same fund after graduation—based on his friendship with, and admiration for, one of Southern’s former trustees, Karin Covi, ’81, MD.

“Even though I did not attend Southern, and am not a Seventh-day Adventist, I strongly support the role of religiously affiliated educational institutions in our society,” Berueffy said. “I chose to help fund this specific scholarship because I believe in encouraging students to acknowledge the opportunity education has given them ‘to work for the good of all, especially those who belong to the household of faith’” (Galatians 6:10).

To learn more about using a planned gift to provide for student scholarships, email the Planned Giving director or call 423.236.2832.

-Staff Report

On Friday, May 6, Tennessee Representative Greg Vital presented a special resolution to Southern. Signed by Governor Bill Lee and leaders of the Tennessee House and Senate, the House Joint Resolution is “to honor and congratulate Southern Adventist University on the occasion of its 130th anniversary.”

“It is my honor as representative of district 29 House of Representatives to present this to President Ken Shaw, the faculty, administration, and students,” said Vital, a Southern alum, during the presentation. “Congratulations students, graduates, on your 130th anniversary.”

130th AnniversaryFounded in 1892, Southern is dedicated to providing a quality, Christian education. The university enrolls approximately 2,700 students pursuing degrees ranging from associate to doctoral. As a learning community, Southern equips students to embrace biblical truth, embody academic and professional excellence, and pursue Spirit-filled lives of service. The primarily residential student body represents nearly 40 countries around the globe.

Located on 1,300 acres, the university welcomes community members to enjoy campus resources, such as Hulsey Wellness Center, the Village Market vegetarian health food store, numerous performances and lectures, its own Classical 90.5 WSMC radio station, and nearly 40 miles of mountain trails. While Southern alumni contribute to their communities all around the world, many work in the greater Chattanooga area, especially in health-related fields. Additionally, students actively serve others within the local community and abroad.

“We are honored to receive this official recognition from the State of Tennessee and particularly proud to have it presented by our state representative, friend, and alumnus Greg Vital,” said President Ken Shaw, EdD. “We hope to continue our long-standing tradition of preparing students to positively impact our region and beyond.”

–Staff Report

During the Sonscreen Film Festival in April, film production students in Southern’s School of Visual Art and Design were recognized for excellence in filmmaking. Seven Southern students won awards:

• Best in Fest and Best in Drama: “Like Paper,” Michaela Hounslow

• Best in Documentary: “As You Are,” Tyler Whitsett and Sid Ramirez

• Best in Art Experimental: “Truth Is Stranger,” Michael Moyer

• Best in Comedy: “Life of Walter,” Michael Moyer

• Jury Selection: “We Are People,” Marcus Maynes

• Audience Choice: “Spark,” Ashton Weiss and Michael Rackley

Sonscreen 2022

The Sonscreen Film Festival provides young filmmakers with an opportunity to showcase their purposeful, relevant productions centered on social awareness, outreach, and uplifting entertainment. This year, 23 Southern film students attended the festival, held at the Loma Linda University Church in California. While Southern students have been attending the festival for almost 20 years, this year’s group was the largest.

“Screening your work for an audience and fielding questions is such a valuable experience and reward for any filmmaker,” said Nicholas Livanos, ’07, associate professor of film at Southern. “I’m so thankful my students got the chance to share their hard work with peers and industry professionals; we’re coaching the next generation of Christian filmmakers.”

Michaela Hounslow, a senior, felt humbled to receive the highest award and credits her crew for their perseverance.

“Making films is a vulnerable, exhausting process, and when that work is rewarded, it’s a special kind of encouragement,” Hounslow said. “I strive to tell stories that highlight a sense of humanity in places where people don’t expect to see any. Stories have preserved our thoughts, ideas, fears, and hopes for generations, and I’m honored to be a part of that tradition.”

–Stefanie Green, senior public relations major

Enrollment is now open at Southern for two online master’s degree programs aimed at helping those in the workforce break into a new field and make a difference.

The School of Education and Psychology is offering a new Master of Arts in Teaching degree, taught completely online, with field experience available close to home. This innovative program allows participants to pursue their dreams of teaching, even if they did not study education at the undergraduate level.

“We believe that many people are currently in careers they don’t find fulfilling, and this is an opportunity for them to do something that would fit with their personal mission to make a difference in the world,” said Tammy Overstreet, ’92, PhD, dean of the School of Education and Psychology. “We want students in this program to go out and be world changers, one student and one classroom at a time.”

New Degrees 2022Southern will help participants arrange field training in person at a school near them. Options are available for students to begin working as teachers while completing their practical hours. Participants can earn Seventh-day Adventist or public school certification through the program.

“Given the great demand for teachers, my hope is that this program will help fill that need,” said Robert Young, PhD, senior vice president for Academic Administration. “It aligns with part of our mission, serving the needs of the church.”

The School of Computing recently added a new Master of Science in Applied Computer Science, which includes a choice of three certificates: Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, and Web Development. No prior tech experience or education is required. Project-based learning is used in every course, so students can apply the new skills in their areas of interest.

“These skills are highly valuable in today’s market,” said Rick Halterman, PhD, dean of the School of Computing. “Our options will provide students with skills that are immediately needed by companies.”

Visit to learn more.

–Stefanie Green, senior public relations major

Upcoming Events
• Carolina Campmeeting Alumni Picnic, June 3, 12-1 p.m. — Under the tents by the lake, Lake Junaluska, NC. For more information visit the information and registration link.

• Academic Summer Camps, June 13-15 — Southern is hosting 11 in-person camps where high school students can explore or sharpen potential career interests before even starting college. Each three-day camp includes hands-on learning with some of our top-notch professors as well as a spiritual component, modeling how Adventist education offers both academic rigor and development for the whole person. Free transportation is available for those coming from Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Nashville, Tennessee. For more information or to register, visit


When you use AmazonSmile, you can also support Southern students. It provides the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile and select Southern as the charitable organization of your choice, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to Southern.

AmazonSmile works on your computer browser and Amazon Shopping phone app (available for IOS and Google Play for Android). In the phone app, find “Settings” in the main menu (☰), then tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to enable the service on your phone.

Support Southern when you shop at AmazonSmile!  

amazon smile

                                                                            gfh   gh