On September 30, 2021, Southern Adventist University held an inauguration ceremony to officially install Ken Shaw as the school’s 27th president. Representatives from sister schools, university friends, faculty and staff, students, and family members joined together to seek a divine blessing on Shaw's leadership and celebrate the beginning of his tenure at Southern. Shaw assumed office on June 1.
“Being at Southern Adventist University is truly an honor for me,” Shaw said. “My wife, Ann, and I are so pleased to be here to serve the faculty, staff, and students, and the many important constituencies of Southern.”
Held in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, the ceremony included an academic processional, expressions of well-wishes from sister institutions and Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership, an address by Shaw, and selections performed by Southern’s School of Music.
Celebrating Shaw as the first alumnus to become president, alumni representatives from the past eight decades marched in the processional. Shaw graduated from Southern in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He went on to earn his master’s degree in mathematics from Middle Tennessee State University and a doctoral degree in mathematics education from the University of Georgia.
“Today marks a new beginning for Southern Adventist University,” Shaw said during his inaugural remarks. “It is a day that we need to rededicate and recommit to the ideals of this wonderful university, and to continue to listen to God’s voice, saying ‘this is the way, walk in it.’ Southern’s future is bright; with our talented faculty and staff, accompanied with God’s blessings, we can be the strong and reputable regional Christian university that provides students opportunities to experience a unique Christian education to grow their relationships with Jesus and to strengthen their character to be of service in their churches and their communities.”
Shaw challenged Southern’s students and employees with a Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (NKJV).
About Southern Adventist University
Southern Adventist University was founded in 1892. It is located on a 1,300-acre (526-hectare) campus in Collegedale, in southeastern Tennessee, United States. Its stated mission is to equip students to embrace biblical truth, embody academic and professional excellence, and pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.
The campus currently includes 10 schools and 11 departments. It has 2,390 undergraduate and 348 graduate students from the 50 U.S. states and 37 countries around the world.
Southern is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA).