Southern Adventist University provides $54 million economic benefit for metro Chattanooga, study says

Staff file Photo / A sign welcomes visitors to Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn.

Southern Adventist University helps pump $54 million a year into the economy of metropolitan Chattanooga from extra spending and income by the school's 2,700 students and the staff at the Collegedale campus, according to a recent economic impact study released Thursday.

The study, conducted by a private consultant, estimated Southern Adventist University helps generate a total of $77 million in economic activity supporting a total of 5,338 jobs, including the university's own 475 full-time-equivalent jobs. The study estimates 57% of the benefits are in metropolitan Chattanooga.

"Southern is blessed to be part of this thriving community, and we are proud to contribute to the area's economic wellbeing as well," Dr. Ken Shaw, president of Southern Adventist University, said in a statement Thursday. "In addition to the data included in the report, you can't forget the intrinsic value that Southern brings. Increased education results in improved productivity and quality of life, and our high caliber graduates are a huge asset to local businesses and organizations."

Founded in 1892, Southern offers programs ranging from associate degrees to doctoral degrees. Located on 1,300 acres in Collegedale, Tennessee, Southern also allows community members to use its university wellness center, vegetarian health food store and nearly 40 miles of wooded trails.

- Compiled by Dave Flessner