Southern Inaugurates New President

Ed Wright presents Bible to David SmithDuring his recent inauguration ceremony, David Smith, PhD, newly elected president of Southern Adventist University, shared his sentiments in accepting this role.

 “I believe…that the best part of Southern’s story is yet to be written,” Smith said. “I am excited to be part of that story.”  

Smith was inaugurated as the 26th president of the university in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists on October 13, 2016. He has served in the role since June 1, when he succeeded long-serving president, Gordon Bietz.

As part of the inauguration ceremony, Ed Wright, Georgia Cumberland Conference president, presented Smith with a Bible, saying it should “serve as a stone tower of reference and remembrance.”

Dan Jackson, North American Division president, took the opportunity to praise God that Smith was elected as president. “He brings something to the table that will add to and support the strengths of this school.”

Smith holds a doctorate in English from the University of Tennessee and received both his master’s degree in English and bachelor’s degree in history from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He served as professor and then chair in Southern’s English department for 17 years and in 1998 became president of Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. After serving at Union, he returned to the Collegedale area to serve as senior pastor of the campus church in 2011.

Smith is excited to interact with and influence students and strengthen their authentic campus spiritual experience by helping each one discover God’s plans for his or her life.

“We will celebrate God and we will celebrate His power,” Smith said during his inaugural address. “This school, no matter what it faces, will move into the future grounded on the certain promises of God and the faith and dedication of those who serve Him.”

Abigail King Story by Abigail King Published: Last Edited:

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