Homecoming 2022Alumni near and far traveled back to campus to remember, relive, and reconnect. More than 700 people attended Homecoming, enjoying traditional events, such as the Kick-Off Banquet and Alumni Lunch and experiencing new features, including the Alumni Hike and Student Missions Sabbath School. They also joined in with unique activities, like the Reunion Dinner with professor emeritus Ed Lamb and the Signatures Through History autograph display.

Look for yourself and former classmates in the online photo album, and we look forward to seeing you next year, October 26-29, for Homecoming Weekend 2023. Our alumni speaker for the worship services will be Dwight Nelson, ’73.

-Staff Writer

With classes beginning in Fall 2023, Southern is launching a new bachelor’s degree in engineering. This program will build on the associate degree in engineering that the university has offered for many years and will be housed in the Physics and Engineering Department.

“This is a program that prospective students have been asking for,” said Ryan Herman, director of Admissions. “We’re excited that now engineering students will be able to complete their bachelor’s degree here and enjoy the full Southern Experience.”

engineeringThe program will include the option of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering concentrations. With a strong emphasis on math and science, the degree will hone students’ problem-solving and analytical-thinking skills, preparing them for fulfilling engineering careers or serving as a launch pad for advanced degrees in a variety of fields.

“This bachelor’s degree in engineering is a wonderful addition to Southern’s academic offerings,” said Tyson Hall, PhD, associate vice president for Academic Administration and dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. “Because engineering is a service-oriented profession that emphasizes designing practical solutions for the benefit of others, our new engineering program fits naturally with Southern’s mission to equip students to embody professional excellence and pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.”

-Staff Writer

This fall, Southern Adventist University’s student-led Enactus chapter placed seventh in the global “Action with Africa” challenge, a social entrepreneurship competition that highlighted the work Enactus teams around the world are doing in Africa. Out of more than 200 projects that applied to participate, Southern’s chapter was the only group from the United States to place in the international competition’s top eight in August.

The Southern team progressed to the competition’s main event in Germany. There, Adonna Andino, junior accounting major, and Ashley Blake, senior accounting major, presented to a panel of judges about their team’s project, which assists Akuna Soap Industry (located at Riverside Farm Institute in Zambia). They explained Akuna’s mission of training Zambian women to become entrepreneurs by selling all-natural, affordable soap. This empowers females to secure a sustainable income and pursue education in a country where gender inequality is an ongoing problem.

EnactusAs a result of their presentation, the Akuna project was granted €8,000 in funding. Michelle Doucoumes, ’05 and ’10, Southern associate professor of business and Enactus sponsor, accompanied Andino and Blake on the trip.

“Akuna is unique compared to many other Enactus projects I’ve seen over the years,” Doucoumes said. “It was invented, built, and is now being run by students. That’s what Enactus is supposed to be about: students who change the world.”

Andino and Blake are both thankful for the service and academic opportunities this competition and Akuna have provided for them.

“I’m learning business principles and looking at balance sheets, but what I really love about Akuna is the Christ-centered service at its core,” said Andino, the current Akuna project manager. “It’s all about the people we’re helping, and I think that aligns perfectly with Southern’s mission to pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.”

-by Amanda Blake, junior journalism major


A Taste of Southern, the first event of its kind hosted by Southern Adventist University, debuted on October 2 in downtown Chattanooga. The event featured music ensembles, works of art, and a farm-to-table dinner provided in part by the university’s own Thatcher Farm. Held at the alumni-owned Westin hotel on Pine Street, the invitation-only evening provided 200+ local business and organization professionals in attendance a glimpse of what students and employees enjoy every day on the Collegedale campus.

More than $88,000 was raised, with proceeds going to establish an endowment scholarship for first-generation college students. As early as Fall 2023, students whose parents do not have four-year degrees will benefit from the new funds. The event’s program included stories from a current first-generation student as well as from a first-generation alum who is now impacting the Chattanooga community as director of video at McCallie School.

Taste of SouthernSeveral elected officials attended, including Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, who offered the invocation. District Attorney Coty Wamp shared glowing praise for the event: “Chattanooga has a few gems, and Southern is one of them. Anytime we can rally around one of our schools in this community, I’m happy to be here.”

Sponsors for the event included San Sebastián Development, Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Blluum, DeFoor Brothers, Morning Pointe Senior Living, and nearly 20 other community partners.

Southern has been part of the region for 130 years, and Greg Vital of Morning Pointe noted, “The unique factors of the campus and the contributions its students are now making as part of the business and professional community are quite amazing, and it was nice to see that highlighted.”

Don Howe of Howe Farms, an alum who started what is now the largest wedding venue business in Tennessee, was pleased “to see our university doing so well and being involved in the community and so many programs. It made me proud.”

In addition to performances by the School of Music’s Steel Band and I Cantori, the evening featured an art gallery curated by the School of Visual Art and Design with works by faculty, alumni, and friends of the university. Visit for photos of the event, the art gallery, and more.

-Staff Writer

In October, the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) announced its 2022 Hall of Fame inductees, including Southern Adventist University alum and long-time physician Robert Bowers, MD. A 1957 biology graduate, Bowers embodies his alma mater’s values and commitment to serving others generously.

In 1995, Southern presented Bowers with the Alumnus of the Year Award, and he recently was named recipient of the Champions of Health Care Lifetime Achievement Award that honors Chattanoogans who leave a legacy on the quality and delivery of healthcare.

TICUA AwardAs a young boy, Bowers gained an admiration for the twofold ability to understand problems others couldn’t see and to take action to fix them. This eventually became his calling into medicine, and he earned a doctorate at Loma Linda University Medical School in California in 1961. After years working as a family physician and later as an ear, nose, and throat specialist, Bower now freely gives his time as medical director for Volunteers in Medicine Chattanooga (VIM). The faith-based nonprofit provides primary care to people in the region without access to health insurance––nearly 16%, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Operated on private donations, VIM logs 5,000 patient visits each year, all of whom are not insured by employers but also don’t qualify for Medicaid or government-issued subsidies. Bowers also was founder and past president of the Medical Foundation of Chattanooga, where he helped start Project Access to connect those who are uninsured with specialty care.

“You see another human being’s needs and you can help meet that need, so you do something about it,” Bowers said.

He is described by his peers and coworkers as a problem-solver who does whatever it takes, whether that includes paying a patient’s bus fare to return home, reaching into his pocket for cash to cover someone’s prescription fee, or requesting food vouchers for a struggling family.

Southern Adventist University is one of 34 member institutions in TICUA. The organization engages Tennessee’s private, non-profit colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to better serve the state and its citizens.

-by Tina (Frist) Smith, ’89, Communications Manager

Upcoming Events
November 10 – Percussion Concert by Britton-René Collins
Southern is pleased to present percussionist Britton-René Collins in concert at 7:30 p.m. in Mabel Wood Hall’s Ackerman Auditorium. With a wide musical repertoire, Collins has loved percussion since she was 8 years old, and that passion shines through in every performance. Tickets are required and will be sold at the door for $8 per person (free with a Southern ID). For more information, call 423.236.2814.

November 12 – I Cantori Performance
Join us for a sacred evening with the School of Music’s I Cantori Chamber Choir on Saturday, November 12, at 5:30 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists. Conducted by Gennevieve Brown-Kibble, the choir will be accompanied by Gabrielle Newman, senior piano performance major. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 423.236.2880.

November 13 – Artist Talk and Gallery Reception
You are invited to attend an artist talk and reception with Donald Keefe, associate professor in its School of Visual Art and Design, at the Association for Visual Arts (AVA) in Chattanooga. The talk and reception focus on Keefe’s solo exhibit “Ambispection,” a collection of drawings and paintings on display at AVA for the past month. This free event is Sunday, November 13, from 3-5 p.m., with the artist talk at 3:30 p.m. Registration is appreciated, but not required. AVA is located at 30 Frazier Avenue.

November 29 – Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Join Southern Adventist University for a festive evening of food, fellowship, and music to kick off the Christmas season on Tuesday, November 29, at 6:30 p.m., beginning in front of Wright Hall. Stroll across campus and enjoy performances by various music groups, including Southern’s Jazz Ensemble and Steel Band, the Collegedale Academy Band, and more. For more information, visit or call 423.236.2814.

December 1 – Carl Bernstein: Why Truth Still Matters
Join us for a riveting conversation between legendary journalist Carl Bernstein and local television host Alison Lebovitz as they explore “Why Truth Still Matters.” Southern Adventist University will host this free event on December 1 at 7 p.m. in Iles P.E. Center. Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions for a live Q&A during this inaugural event of the R. Lynn Sauls Endowed Lecture Series, sponsored by Southern’s School of Journalism and Communication. Registration is strongly recommended; visit for more details.

December 3 – Christmas Pops Concert
Southern’s School of Music invites the community to an evening of popular Christmas music themed presented by the Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, Steel Band, and Southern Ringtones. Under the direction of Ken Parsons, Keith Lloyd, and Laurie Cooper, the concert will be on Saturday, December 3, at 8 p.m. in the P.E. Center. For more information, visit or call 423.236.2880.

December 10 – School of Music Christmas Concert
Several musical groups from Southern’s School of Music will perform on Saturday, December 10, at 4 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists. Featuring the Symphony Orchestra, Bel Canto, Die Meistersinger, and I Cantori, under the direction of Gennevieve Brown-Kibble and Laurie Redmer Cadwallader, the concert will encompass a wide spectrum of music themed. For more information, visit or call 423.236.2880.


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