The Chattanooga area benefits from Southern Adventist University’s presence by at least $152 million a year, according to a recent economic impact study looking at the 2020-2021 school year.
The study, conducted by a private consultant, focused on three major areas of the university’s economic impact: local business volume generated by university expenditures ($76 million); local full-time jobs created and sustained by Southern’s presence (5,338 jobs, including the university’s own 475 full-time-equivalent jobs, counted over the same period); and individual income generated by university expenditures (at least $77 million).
The Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area is the region most economically benefited by Southern’s operations.
It is estimated that approximately 57 percent of the university’s expenditures are made in that geographic area, representing $54 million in local spending. The analysis was based on the Caffrey model, which was developed in 1968 and is considered a standard by the American Council on Education.
“Southern is blessed to be part of this thriving community, and we are proud to contribute to the area’s economic wellbeing as well,” said Ken Shaw, EdD, president of Southern Adventist University. “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. We provide many opportunities for personal growth, plus numerous services and facilities to the community, and that indirect economic impact makes a significant difference.”
"Founded in 1892, Southern is dedicated to providing a quality, Christian education, with approximately 2,700 students currently earning degrees ranging from associate to doctoral. Located on 1,300 acres in Collegedale, Tennessee, Southern welcomes community members to enjoy the university’s wellness center, vegetarian health food store and nearly 40 miles of wooded trails," officials said.