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Southern Adventist University is a liberal arts university located in Collegedale, Tennesseemarker It is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The university operates a radio station, WSMC-FMmarker, which plays mainly classical music as well as news from the BBC, National Public Radio, and Public Radio International. The station also provides live broadcasts of services from the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church. The school also operates a health food store and a wellness center.


Southern's roots stem from the establishment of Graysville Academy in Graysville, Tennessee, in 1892. The school moved to the community of Thatcher's Switch in 1916, renaming it "Collegedale". In 1942, Kenneth A. Wright became president of the school. During Wright's administration, "Southern Junior College" became accredited as a four-year institution. A new name, "Southern Missionary College", was adopted in 1944. Two men and four women received Southern's first baccalaureate degrees two years later. It earned the nickname "Southern Matrimony College" because many young people married while attending Southern. Renamed "Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists" in 1982, the school became a university in 1996. On September 9, 1996, trustees voted on a new name: "Southern Adventist University".

In mid-1997, Gordon Bietz became president of Southern Adventist University. Academic expansion has continued, with 7 graduate degrees now offered in business, education, psychology, nursing, and religion. Fifty baccalaureate degrees are offered, 20 associate degrees, 38 minors, and two one-year certificate programs. Over the past 13 years, Southern has grown by over 1,000 students, supassing all previous enrollment records. Southern is the largest undergraduate institution in the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


Southern Adventist University as a whole is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools's Commission on Colleges and the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities. Individual schools and programs are also accredited by various degree-specific professional organizations and accrediting agencies.

Recent Events

On the morning of April 26, 2005, a fire broke out in the Thatcher Hall Dormitory. One student died and two others were injured. Though the fire has been ruled an accident, the cause has yet to be determined. The area of the building in which the fire occurred was not equipped with fire sprinklers, though smoke detectors and fire alarms were in place and functioned properly. Sprinklers, as well as other fire safety measures that go well beyond what is required, have been installed in Thatcher Hall.

In 2006, Southern received national recognition for its use of interactive gaming as a learning tool in Campus Technology magazine. The university was selected as one of 16 institutions from nearly 500 entries to be listed as a Campus Technology 2006 Innovator.

Secret of the Cave, a feature film created by Southern Adventist University with assistance from students and faculty, was released on DVD in 2007. Secret of the Cave was awarded the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival in Indiana. It has also been awarded the Family-Approved Seal by the Dove Foundation. The DVD is available in major retail outlets.

Southern is ranked one of the "Best Baccalaureate Colleges" in the South in U.S. News & World Report's 2010 "America's Best Colleges" edition. In early 2009, Southern became an All-Steinway School, housing 30 new Steinway & Sonsmarker pianos. Southern is one of three in Tennessee and the 100th in the world to gain the title of an All-Steinway School. In an economy where some schools are cutting costs and shutting down departments to stay afloat, Southern announces the lowest tuition increase in 12 years for the academic year 2009-2010.


Southern has had many names since its founding.
  • 1892: Graysville Academy
  • 1897: Southern Industrial School
  • 1901: Southern Training School
  • 1916: Southern Junior College
  • :(Alumni from this period are known as So-Ju-Conians.)
  • 1944: Southern Missionary College (SMC)
  • :(Alumni from this period are known as SMC-ites).
  • 1982: Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists
  • 1996: Southern Adventist University

McKee Library

The McKee Library is located on the campus of Southern Adventist University.[The library] contains more than 165,000 volumes, over 25,000 electronic books, subscriptions to over 880 print/electronic periodicals and access to over 19,000 electronic journals.
  • Thomas Memorial Collection
The library is defined by its major Civil War collection on the third floor. "What's In the Collection:

More than 3,600 volumes concerning Lincoln and the Civil War,

Many authentic photos and newspapers of Lincoln and the Civil War,

Two original copies of the only biography ever read and approved by Lincoln,

A ten dollar check signed by Lincoln (located in the vault),

Oak from the floor of Lincoln's Springfield law office,

A section of Lincoln's original marble sarcophagus,

A gavel made from a tree planted by Lincoln,

& Several oil portraits of Lincoln."

See also


  1. []
  2. SACS
  3. []
  4. []
  5. The Chattanoogan newspaper article: Fire Ruled Accidental In Which Southern Adventist Student Died
  6. Welcome
  7. Thomas Memorial Collection Contains material related to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

External links

  • Official website
  • SAUwiki is a wiki for Southern run by students - dead link
  • WSMC-FM is the radio station owned and operated by Southern Adventist University
  • [78098] Secret Of The Cave, A student movie made by the Southern Adventist University

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